BOSTON (CBS) – Auburn’s Tyler Beede would rather learn than earn.

In June, the right-handed pitcher was selected 21st overall by the Toronto Blue Jays, but turned down a $2.5 million signing bonus Monday night, electing to attend Vanderbilt in the fall.

“At some point you have to think what’s best for you, what’s best for your future,” said the 18-year-old Beede.

Beede is the only first round selection not to sign with his team. The pick was risky by the Jays, as Beede had already signed a commitment letter to Vanderbilt.

WBZ-TV’s Jim Smith reports

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Lana Jones With Tyler Beede

“We understand baseball only goes a certain way, and not that long of a way in life. It could be five years down the road, it could be 15, but it’s going to end at some point,” said Beede, who now has aspirations to become the first member of his family with a college degree. “Education goes a long way; it goes your whole life. To have the education and degree to fall back on was very important for me and my decision.

The former Lawrence Academy star was looking for $3.5 million, and the Jays were unwilling to meet in the middle. Now he is setting his sights on a NCAA Championship with the Commodores.

As compensation, Toronto will receive an additional first round pick in the 2012 draft.

Read: Red Sox Sign 8 Draft Picks Before Deadline

The 6-4 Beede led Auburn to a 2009 State Championship before transferring to Lawrence Academy. There, Beede went 14-1 with a 0.80 ERA over two seasons, striking out 189 batters in 96.1 innings.

He is not eligible to re-enter the MLB draft until 2014.

Walter Beede, Tyler’s father, was selected by the Chicago Cubs in the 13th round of the 1981 Draft.

Comments (4)
  1. Warren Merrill says:

    Beede would have to work for twenty-five years averaging 100K a year to earn the 2.5M the Jays wanted to drop in his lap. If he failed at pro baseball he would still have the money. He could then go to college. Now he has to go three years risking injury which could eliminate anypro opportunity or signing bonus. Also, If he doesn’t succeed at Vanderbilt he may not be drafted high and could lose a significant amount of signing bonus.

  2. Karen S says:

    Bravo Tyler! Congratulations on making the decision that’s right for you. Knowledge is power. There is a bigger picture than signing bonuses, and having a photo op that benefits somebody else longer than you. Those who forego their education take a lot longer to complete it, if they ever do. A friend who played pro football didn’t finish his degree until after he left the league, had a family. Good luck at Vandy!

  3. Dan Richards says:

    Silly Beede. You think undergrad degrees still get people decent jobs.

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