Baldwinsville Like hundreds of thousands of other American teenagers, Scott Blewett would celebrate his high school graduation on Sunday with the rest of his Baker High School classmates at Onondaga Community College's SRC Arena.
Unlike most of them, though, Blewett will head toward his new job with $1.8 million in the bank, and potentially much more ahead.
Less than two weeks after getting chosen by the Kansas City Royals in the Major League Baseball Draft, Blewett signed his first professional contract with the Royals, a seven-year deal that included a $1.8 million signing bonus.
This means that, instead of heading to St. John's University in Queens this fall, Blewett will set out for Burlington, North Carolina, where he will join the Burlington Royals, Kansas City's Single-A affiliate in the Appalachian League.
All told, the Appalachian League features 10 teams, split into two divisions, and featuring affiliates of the New York Mets, along with Atlanta, Houston, Minnesota, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Toronto.
Burlington began its season on Thursday night, so Blewett will not miss much of the two-month season for the Royals, which concludes Aug. 29 - depending, of course, on how well Blewett, a right-handed pitcher, performs for the squad, and where he fits into the Royals' plans.
Even before he throws a pitch in Burlington, it's been a busy month for Blewett, the two-time Gatorade New York State Player of the Year who led Baldwinsville's baseball team to its first-ever state Class AA championship in 2013.
He was picked 56th overall, midway through the second round of the MLB Draft, on the night of June 5, just hourts after attending the baseball Bees' season-ending banquet. Early the following week, Blewett flew to Arizona, where he met with Kansas City team officials, joined by other Royals draft picks, many of them pitchers like Blewett.
Based on pre-draft formulas, a 56th pick in the draft would get a signing bonus slightly more than $1 million, so Blewett's contract easily exceeded those expectations. Now, in Burlington, Blewett will get a chance to show that the money the Royals invested on him is well spent.