Drew Gilbert Signs Deal, Shows Off New Threads in H-Town

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With an orange Tennessee wristband hanging around his wrist, former Tennessee outfielder Drew Gilbert officially put ink to paper with the Houston Astros this week.

After a three-year career in Knoxville, Gilbert was selected by the Houston Astros with the 28th overall pick in the first round of the 2022 MLB Draft. Less than 10 days after his name was called on-stage, Gilbert has now signed his deal and is posing for pictures in the Houston Astros’ threads.

According to MLB.com reporter Jim Callis, Gilbert signed a 2.5-million-dollar deal with the Astros.

After Gilbert signed his rookie Major League Baseball contract, the former Volunteer took a quick trip over to the University of Houston to see his old friend Ross Kivet. The former Tennessee assistant coach under Tony Vitello left the program prior to the 2022 season to become the hitting coach at Houston. Kivet began his Tennessee career in 2018.

Drew Gilbert provided Tennessee fans with countless unforgettable memories during his time in Knoxville. Gilbert was a dynamic, honest, emotional player that showed toughness and aggression at every turn.

No memory is perhaps as unforgettable as Gilbert’s walk-off grand slam during the 2021 Knoxville Regionals. The Astros used that moment to introduce Gilbert to their fans on social media when he was drafted.

On the night of MLB’s draft, Tennessee head coach Tony Vitello was part of MLB’s broadcast team. After Gilbert was drafted by Houston, Vitello delivered a powerful story to the audience.

“I can’t describe to people how he changed my life when he got to our program,” Vitello said on the July 17 broadcast. “He does things in the locker room and in the dugout that’s very tough to describe, especially in a short amount of time, but literally changed the way the program operates, thinks, competes, and works. He went to the place that he thought he could turn into one of the best baseball programs in the country – and he did it. He got our guys thinking about being on the attack, believing in themselves, and he set a very very high bar for work ethic.”

Ric Butler is a Knoxville based sports media personality who has covered University of Tennessee athletics since 2017. Most recently, he served as the lead writer for the website of a local radio station. Ric also helped create and host a daily radio show called “The Blitz." Ric’s passion for sports, smooth vocal, and infectious personality have made him popular with both his peers and Vol Nation. Originally from Dallas, Ric didn’t grow up riding horses to school. But he did dream of the big city lights. When not chasing down the latest Tennessee story, Ric can be found watching the WWE, often attempting their moves in an embarrassing fashion.