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We are going through the family process of analyzing the various risks/rewards to turning pro directly out of high school. I guess I am asking for input from you’ll. Talk to me about the facets of this decision to go pro out of hs.

We begin with these assumptions: we do not control whether any club will draft S (2010). If, but only if, a club projects S as having MLB talent (sometime in the future), will a club put S on their board. Then, if the price S has set on himself matches (equals or is less than) the price the drafting club places upon his hide, a deal is possible.

S can only control what he can control, so he works and works and works to get better so that a club will project him as having MLB talent. The questionnaires he is sitting on (waiting to be filled out) show that he has at least appeared on some radar screens.

While the family has no control over the talent projections, we do have the ability to influence S’s desirability by placing an amount on his hide.

While some here would assert that it is too early to assume any draft, let me emphasize that we are not assuming S will be drafted. We are analyzing whether to put his name into the pool as signable.

In our family, we tend to mull over future options very early – we find that there are many facets to future decisions and that thinking early means that we can try to think of as many facets as possible before the moment (and emotions) arrives. (We began thinking about colleges at the beginning of hs.) Note I did not say plan early – just think early! Planning requires that the other party to the dance (e.g., the college) be there looking at you. We are just thinking now.

This very long winded preamble is needed to set the stage for my issue. For our family, thinking about the direction of S’s baseball future is now; acting is later.

S has twin goals: baseball and the highest and deepest education he can achieve. Baseball of course means MLB. Education means (probably) science/engineering and continuing through at least graduate school. The first goal has a shelf life; the second does not. If he achieves the first, the second may fall by the wayside if life satisfaction was attained (and for our family life satisfaction is the ultimate goal in life – of course what that is is up to every individual to define!).

In looking at the college baseball v. pro baseball out of hs debate, we have been struck by how difficult (read that virtually impossible) it is to become a top science/engineering student and a top collegiate baseball player. Anecdotal evidence of the exceptions aside, one only has to look at the majors of players to see that science/engineering majors are virtually non-existent – even at science/engineering schools (for example, check out Rice an engineering powerhouse).

S is on course to attend his dream school. This school offers no merit or academic $, all $ aid is need based. We will get some of the tuition covered through financial aid (we are just simple middle class people). If S goes pro, his admission is deferred until baseball is over. Baseball is decent; the coaching is superb. Many players from this school have been drafted; several are now in MLB. Academics at this school are off the chart and if you really focus on academics, there are boundless opportunities to delve deeply into your academic passions.

To us, (and assuming the draft – over which we have no control), receiving slot $ and future school (at this school) fully covered seems too good to pass up. It gives S the chance to fully focus on baseball in his drive to reach the Majors without the distraction of school and without compromising his educational goals. I presume that professional baseball will maximize whatever talent he has and one day (whether it’s 2 years, 5 years, or 20 years) the baseball will reach a conclusion. If he makes it to the Majors, his financial future will be fine and he would have achieved life satisfaction (assuming baseball does that). If not, his dream education awaits, fully funded! Both options pursued to conclusions; neither sacrificed nor short cut for the other.

To be sure, he passes up playing collegiate baseball (a priceless experience) and, upon returning to college, will not be that wide-eyed 18 year old to whom everything is new. Rather, he will have been on his own for a period, self-sufficient, and probably not into what college freshman do to have fun.

In exchange, he is on his own earning poverty wages with people he most likely would never have met (a priceless experience) living a dream which maximizes the time he needs to devote to his singular goal.

I guess I am asking for input from you’ll. Talk to me about the facets of this decision to go pro out of hs.
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Along the same lines Goosegg, what are the health insurance policies for minor league players? Are they covered by the team all year long or on their own for all their insurance needs. This is usually a time where they can be on their parents insurance while taking 12 hours or more while in college. Any info would be appreciated or refer me to another thread if it has already been covered in depth before.
Very interesting and well thought out. The part about a limited academic track is true. Something would have to give between baseball and college. It seems to make a lot of sense if you can make the numbers work. I am just a little cloudy on how the education part would be fully funded after baseball? Also, is it the policy of the school that your son was admitted to hold his spot indefinitely? I know some of this may have been discussed in other posts in the past, but I'd like you to further explain your thinking.
Last edited by birdman14
The MLB scholarship program is negotiated and not always 100%. I would think the amount would be determined by how much they want the player. The way the program works is basically the player must start school within two years after he is done with baseball and has five years to use his MLB scholarship money once he starts using the program. One thing to note is once you start using the fund the clock starts ticking on the 5 years. Most that take part time classes during their career pay out of pocket and leave the scholarship for after their playing days are done.

As for holding the spot for admittance, I'm under the impression once you don't show up on campus all bets are off. If you want to enroll it will be based on academic merits alone. (Doubt the coach is going to help you much if you passed on playing college ball) Smile
Last edited by jerseydad
I am very much pro college but this is a personal decision depending on your son's situation.

Couple of things, I belive, at this point before the season has begun, you don't have to think that long and hard about what's going to happen.

Everything at this point is dependent on his season, if he has signed to go to school he should continue to work towards that goal. Everything else will fall into place as the season progresses, you'll see, if he gets drafted, then he has a decision to make, it will be a tough one, but the team drafting him and what they will offer (regardless of what your son wants) will be the deciding factor. The team may or may not give your son what he wants to go to school after he is done playing ball. The more they want him to sign, the better the prospect, the more likey they will honor what you want, but remember most of those opportunities go to the players who they want the most. If not, as far as you they are concerned, you can go to school. That will become a negotiating point after he's drafted. Remember that it takes most players out of HS 5+ years to reach MLB. In that time it is virtually impossible to attempt to attend school. In that time the costs for education will rise, they will not (again unless they want you very much) allow for inflation. And no school will defer admission for 5 years, he will have to reapply again in the future. You are assuming that your son's education will be fully funded, it might be under the MLB plan, but not enough to pay for his dream school. Make sure you get a copy of the MLB scholarship plan and fully understand it. He will most likely have to work later on to help support himself while in college, or obtain a loan to live off of during that time, again get a copy of the MLB plan and fully understand what it does pay for and doesn't pay for. Do not expect that they are going to cover the cost of the school of his choice, it usually doesn't work that way. And understand his bonus has nothing to do with the MLB plan.

You are talking now about him reaching MLB, do understand that the odds are very much against that happening, and you don't really understand that until you get paid to play and really understand the journey and all that is in front of you. It's quite overwhelming for son, drafted out of college.

Your son's health insurance will be covered by the organization, in most cases his medication will not, unless given during season, no dental. He will not make enough to pay rent, make a car payment or pay his cell phone, during season unless he is given enough money to last him 5 years and invests it wisely. He will not be able to afford to live anywhere other than with you (even with a nice signing bonus Smile) unless he gets a good job and it is very difficult for many to get a job he may want, or to get a job that affords him the time to work out in the gym, throw, etc. One needs the off season to prepare for the next, that is the only way you will make it, no couch potatoes get to MLB.

My opinion is this, if it is about the money, go to school, if it is not about the money, go pro. If you get some bucks (whatever that means to your son) to sustain you, than go for it. But fully understand that it is a long a difficult journey.

If he attends a program where winning is a top priority and he wants to better his game for an opportunity to get drafted after 3/4 years, it is very difficult to major in science/engineering. They wouldn't let son do that where he attended, not that others did, but his plan (and theirs) was to get drafted in 3 years, and there was no way he could play that level and get to be a better baseball player and be in engineering, that is just the way it was in his case.

Playing college baseball and playing proball are both priceless experiences, you can't put a price tag on either, it just a matter of what the priority is, but do make sure that you fully understand everything there is.

I know this is an exciting time, and a confusing one, but you or he have no control over what will happen draft day, even being realistic in what he wants. Try to sit back and relax, enjoy his last HS season and let the chips fall as they may, don't rack your brain. BTW, my son was projected as having future major league talent, but no one obviously put him on their draft board in 2004, in fact most scouts told him to go to college first and that he did.
Last edited by TPM
A few thoughts based on our experience...

Our son's college roommate majored in civil engineering while playing ball, but it was difficult and he's brilliant. Still, it can be done.

The MLB plan may not cover all future college costs when your son returns, due to inflation. Also, some advancement bonuses come out of the player's MLB college fund each time they reach a new level... AA, AAA,and the majors...reducing their balance.

Reaching the majors will not neccessarily set your son up financially either. Most MLB contracts require several years of proven performance at the big league level. Its a long, expensive road and gets harder each year, especially at the MLB level.

Your son sounds like he's both a gifted student and athlete. IMHO, unless he's drafted in the 1st round, seems mature for his age, and is begging to sign, I'd encourage the college route where he'll hopefully get a good start in both worlds.

Enjoy your son's last high school season. Smile
Last edited by TxMom
you have recieved some great advice here. from years of experience.

by recieving draft cards it's nice to know you've achieved a level of recognition for the hard work put in to the game?

the college plan is a great parachute,but i don't think they pay for the school of your choice. i think it has a money cap as well, not to say you couldn't ask for what you want.

i'd put it like this, both college baseball and pro baseball should be looked at as jobs. one job gives you more oppurtunity's and allow's for minor failures, the other (pro) not so much.

at the end of the day, you and your family are the only ones that know what's right for you. more often than still won't know.

but it is/can be a fun part of the journey.
It is not reduced when a player moves up a level but rather when he earns money under the Bonus Incentive Plan. The bonus incentive would be for milb advancement EACH beginning season, not during season. I was confused as son moved up and it wasn't taken out, though he earned more, but that was during season.

Thanks, I learned something today!

Here's the MLB plan.
Last edited by TPM
If a participant earns benefits under the Incentive Bonus Plan, and has previously been paid benefits under the College Scholarship Plan, such benefits shall be deducted from the amount due under the Incentive Bonus Plan. Any remaining Incentive Bonus Plan balance will be paid directly to the participant.
If a participant becomes eligible to receive benefits under the College Scholarship Plan and has previously been paid benefits under the Incentive Bonus Plan, such Incentive Bonus Plan payments shall be deducted from any amounts due under the College Scholarship Plan. Any remaining balance, up to the cost of the player’s actual expenses for that term, will be paid directly to the player or university.

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