Reply to "College vs draft - scout attention"

My son is currently experiencing the same thing. So here is the advice I give him which I will share will everyone. Just remember I have no experience at all and am just going with some basic common sense and things learned here on this site.

My son will attend college. I know that there is a line somewhere where the money will dictate whether you sign a professional contract. What is that line? I guess it may depend on a few things that will be unique to everyone. What are some of those things?

1. Some kids are not cut out to be college students. This applies to the general population as well.

2. Some kids have playing professional baseball as their #1 priority in life and everything else is secondary--wrong or right. They just want to know they gave it everything they had and if they have the opportunity to sign early they will. They are not willing to risk not having the opportunity in the future to be drafted for any myriad of reasons such as injury, opportunity to start in college, etc.. So they may want to jump at the first opportunity presented; they may not have an opportunity in the future.

3. Economic situation. Some kids may not be getting enough money (athletic or academic or a combination) and their family situation makes paying for college very difficult for their family.

How do you let these teams know which direction you are leaning? Opinions may differ but the advice I've given to my son is to be HONEST. These teams will have an answer from you regardless of whether you are being honest with them. They know it because they ask for it. When answering the basic MLB questionnaire (on the MLB Draft Prospect Link) you provide these answers. That may be your first opportunity to provide an answer before you actually have direct discussions with them. This question is DEFINITELY asked multiple times and in different ways--so provide honest answers.

Each team may request an additional questionnaire from you via the MLB Prospect Link. Not all teams that invite you to the Link will also ask that an additional questionnaire be answered--but many do. They may flat out ask you again if you will sign and may also ask for a number (the line). They may just ask "how you would feel" about signing a contract. These questions may just be an attempt to gauge your "honesty" in how you answered similar questions on the generic MLB questionnaire.

Have my son and I talked about the "line?" Not really. It's really a tough things to determine because of the following:

1. My son would rather have the college experience as both a student and an athlete. He knows his chances of making the MLB are very slim. Not because he has doubts in himself but because he's practical. Nobody knows what the future holds. He does know a good education will provide an opportunity for a good career and life--that's a sure bet.

2. The signing bonus numbers per round are fairly well defined. He knows he's not likely to be in the top 3 rounds so he's better off not worrying about "the number." And if he were? He'd rather not think about it because of item #1.

My advice concerning attending pro events and workouts? Do them as long as it FITS in your training regimen and cycle. You DO want these guys interested because you DO want the opportunity to be considered in the future. And if you don't want to be considered? Then it doesn't matter and you wouldn't be thinking about these things.

Some of the reasons why I think keeping these guys interested is important:

1. You want to be considered in the future. And you want them follow you through your college career.

2. Perhaps their interest can help influence future summer collegiate league placement. You definitely want the opportunity to play against top competition in the future.

3. It shows you have interest even though you TOLD THEM YOU WANT TO ATTEND COLLEGE.

Just to re-emphasize: I am NOT an expert. My son is going through this process now so all I can do is provide the best advice I can based upon what I know. Perhaps in 10 years I can update this post!

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