It is an eye opening experience following local players over the years and seeing how things played out for them. About 5 years ago I watched a high school catcher hitting laser beams all season long. Looked like a man among boys. Went D1. 5 years later I looked up his stats as his college career came to an end and he went undrafted. He hit about .275 in college but got maybe 120 At-Bats total over his entire college career. And this from one of the best local high school hitters I've seen in a long long time. He was All-State in high school, but he was a backup in college.
I talked to him last week and he said his college experience was awesome, he wouldn't change a thing. He said he worked his tail off, stayed healthy, but in the end there were just players on the roster better than him. He said that he thought the amount of playing time he received was completely "fair" and that he was just happy to contribute. Kid got his degree and has a job already in the "real world"
I agree with you 3and2. There were a couple of players who played with my son at D1 univ. One player in particular was a great guy, worked his butt off in practice per my son. He knew he wasn't good enough to get much PT. In 4 years he probably had no more than 20 at bats, always in the 9th inning when game was out of reach. He was asked why he didn't transfer to another program where he can play. His reply was he loved the school, he loved his teammates and loved being a part of this team and contributing. All this added to the best college experience he could imagine. It was then I realized that sometimes the most inspirational player isn't the one with the highest batting average, or most home runs or rbi, but the player who understands where he fits into the total picture and appreciates any opportunity. And something tells me besides a degree, he probably got more value out of the college experience than many of his teammates. By the way, he also was a very good player in high school.