Batting prospect Tom Westley has signed a two-year senior contract with Essex.
Westley, 18, is a product of the academy at Chelmsford and featured in four championship matches during the 2007 season as well as representing England at Under-19 level.
"I'm privileged to get a two-year contract," he told the county's official website.
"We've signed a few players already - with the possibility of a couple more - so there will probably be more competition for places next year so I'll have to go up a few levels and score 'bigger' runs to cement my place in the team."
Essex chief executive David East added: "Tom is another shining example of how well our academy system is working.
"His progress over the last couple of seasons has been excellent, and we are all very hopeful that we have another star in the making."