Baldwin forgoes college baseball experience, signs with Royals
For Geoff Baldwin, the dream to play professional baseball has come true.
Tuesday, three days after he was drafted in the 10th round, Baldwin signed a seven-year contract with the Kansas City Royals.
Although the details of the contract haven’t been officially released, Baldwin said he was able to negotiate to have his college paid for whenever he chooses to go to school.
“It was a lot of me and my advisor making sure the school would be covered,” Baldwin said while sitting in his hotel room in Surprise, Ariz. “Getting here and playing has been awesome.”
Baldwin’s other option was to play college baseball for the University of Nebraska, but for someone who has always fantasized about playing professional baseball, the decision wasn’t too tough.
“He’s always wanted to play pro ball,” Baldwin’s father, David, said. “He was excited about Nebraska, but he’s always wanted to play pro.”
Baldwin’s first day of minicamp was Tuesday, where he said he spent six hours on the field. It was a combination of physicals, infield work, and an intersquad scrimmage.
“I thought it went well,” Baldwin said. “Once I got to batting practice, I felt right at home.”
Baldwin was given number 53, and will be rooming with New Mexico Junior College pitcher Eric Diaz, a pitcher who the Royals selected in the 16th round. Being one of the younger players in Surprise, Baldwin said it has been unique playing with older players.
“There are few Dominican guys who are 18, but for the most part everyone’s 21 or 22,”
Baldwin said. “I look up to guys like that who know the ropes.”
Baldwin said he will remain in Surprise with the Royals’ Rookie League team, which begins its two-month season Sunday against the San Diego Padres’ Rookie League team. At only 18 years old, Baldwin doesn’t expect to be playing in Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium anytime soon, and will concentrate on improving.
“My approach is pretty simple, I’m going to come in and get better,” Baldwin said. “It’s a process, I’m not going to shoot up like a college guy might, I’m going to have to work my way up.”