With pitchers and catchers set to report to spring training camps in less than a week and a half, I figured I would post about my favorite sport, and America’s pastime, baseball! Prior to my time at Ohio University, I attended the University of Missouri and served as the student manager and bullpen catcher for the Tigers baseball team. I had the pleasure of catching two first round pitchers as well as work with three major leaguers during my time at Mizzou. During my time I also witnessed at least five of our recruits forgo their collegiate career for the chance to play minor league baseball as an 18 year old and begin living their childhood dream. Of these five players that chose to pursue their professional career early, only one of the players is currently at a higher level within their team’s farm system compared to those who signed to come to Missouri, and came, the same year. For this reason, I believe that high school baseball players should attend college, unless they are offered a signing bonus upwards of $1 million.
The possibility of making a major league team is very slim as there are only 750 spots; spread throughout 30 teams with a 25-man roster. Keep in mind that there are over 220 MLB affiliated minor league teams, ranging from different types of rookie teams to AAA teams, with at least 25 players on each team. Doing the math that leads to over 5,500 affiliated minor league players. Along with these teams, there are independent leagues that have had some success in producing major league talent, see the Northern League or Golden League, as well as foreign players who have access to major league affiliated training facilities and leagues in their home country. This leads to a pool of roughly 10,000 professional athletes competing for 750 spots. With this being said, if one gets drafted in the first round or is offered more than $1 million, which is late first round money, later on in the draft, they should not turn down this opportunity. These players will get more chances and a longer leeway period than the lower paid minor leaguer.