How much of a signing bonus does it take to indicate serious comitment on the part of a program that drafts your son?

What I am trying to discern is, if a prospect is offered $75,000 or $275,000, at what dollar amount should you have some sense that you are going to get the plate appearances to adjust and prove yourself, and not be moved from the lineup to make room for the guy with the $500,000 bonus?

Is that how it works,the more money the more opportunity to succeed?

The Journey Continues!

Original Post
Is that how it works,the more money the more opportunity to succeed?
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i believe there is some truth to that, or more chances to fail.

once your signed it comes down to your ability, you produce every day.....you'll stay.
quote:
Originally posted by floridafan:

Is that how it works,the more money the more opportunity to succeed?


Yes that is how it works, but that doesn't mean that the player paid less of a signing bonus will not get the opportunity to prove himself.

I hope that PG can weigh in on this but this is how I have observed the pro game.

First players are paid more for the skills they have or what they may project at the time of the draft. This doesn't always mean it's gonna work out for the guy paid more, and organizations love nothing more than finding a player that can play at the ML level and not having to spend much on them. This to them is a testimony of their development system.

Second, for a position player it's all about your bat (ask Tyler Bortnick). Those that find themselves in the line up everyday (as they progress) are the ones who can hit, most often has nothing to do with the position, they will even convert your position if someone else is better than it than you (at the position) but you can hit. Often, you will see position players who can't hit as well but have strong arms, get converted to pitchers.

I think that teams make commitments to every player they draft, but remember for most players, it's 5 years or less (depending on draft age and the investment) that you have to prove yourself. As long as that sounds, it's not that long at all.

The difference in the $$ is that if the team finds themselves with too many players and has to release some, they will release the players that have not produced as they would have liked, and given them less when they were drafted.

I have a friend whose son was drafted as a catcher, however, it was evident after a few years that there were other players in front of him much better than he, instead of being released, he was converted to relief pitcher and he is loving every minute of it and doing well. He was drafted later rounds but received a decent bonus out of HS, obviously the organization made an investment in him , a smaller bonus might have meant a release.

You can try to figure it out, but in reality this is a business and most decisions are based on business. You never know what they are thinking.

As far as the money, it doesn't mean anything if this is what the player wants to do, but in some cases, the money means alot to the player to give up what other options he may have, it all comes down to personal decisions.
Try to remember this as well, when you become a pro you are just not playing for one team, but 29 other ones who might give you an opportunity if someone else ahead of you and you are not needed, but have proven yourself as a good solid player with potential.
It depends on a lot of things. Once you are drafted, the guys who loved you and drafted you have no more say on things. The development side of the organization takes over and if someone on that side is not as high on you it can cause difficulties for a player. I am aware of an All-American player who was drafted in the 5th round and received a 200k signing bonus. He has played two seasons now of short-season ball and that cannot be a good sign for him in that organization. He also has name players ahead of him like Tony Pena's son so a lot can be defined by who you have to leap over.

For lower round picks, production will set you free. It appeared to me that they go about two or so weeks where everyone gets a chance. For the prospects, they seem to continue to get decent playing opportunities even when they struggle. For non-prospects, you might find yourself sitting on the bench for long periods of time if failing to produce.

The worst thing a player can do is leave college early and find they are behind someone in some organization or worse yet, sitting on the bench. Unless ridiculous money is involved, it can happen to just about anyone. Injuries obviously play a big part in all this. If you stay in college four years, unless you are a very high draft choice, the money is almost nill. It is hard to make a perfect decision sometimes.
Hi!
I remember reading somewhere that players drafted in the first 3 rounds tend to get more "opportunities." With that in mind, the dollar amount is probably in the $500,000+ range for a college junior. After that, I don't think there's any defining amount. It all depends on performance, projections, the depth chart, coaching preferences, injuries, and even the player's attitude.
Agree with what CD said "If you stay in college four years, unless you are a very high draft choice, the money is almost nil". Take a look at the numbers below - these are from the top 10 rounds (1-10) of the 2009 MLB draft. I think 14 (of the 22 seniors) got 40k or less - and don't forget, these are top ten round guys...


4 yr college (juniors)
avg(median) $155,700
avg(mode) $125,000
avg(mean) $475,254
min $60,000
max $7,500,000
How many drafted & signed 145

4 yr college(seniors)
avg(median) $35,000
avg(mode) $25,000
avg(mean) $69,109
min $10,000
max $200,000
How many drafted&signed 22

juco
avg(median) $137,500
avg(mode) $125,000
avg(mean) $201,459
min $90,000
max $475,000
How many drafted & signed 22

High school
avg(median) $500,000
avg(mode) $125,000
avg(mean) $810,239
min $70,000
max $6,250,000
How many drafted & signed 97
My son's BF was drafted as a senior with no eligibility in the third round, 200K I think he got?

Yes he will get a lot more chances than others just because of the money he received and his draft slot.

CD brings up an important point, you must have your at bats or innings to improve, and the lower you are drafted the greater chance there is of not playing everyday. IMO, unless you do get lots of money, which means more opportunity, get your work in where you will get more playing time, which for most is in college. It might mean less money when drafted, but you have put in the time needed to advance quicker.

Someone told me once that a hitter needs about 3K at bats from age 18 and up to reach the skill level needed to even become a consideration. You will notice that many college hitters will arrive in MLB quicker than others, only because they have put in that time needed to improve their skills. I am not sure this is correct, but makes lots of sense to me.

For pitchers there are other considerations, mainly the wear and tear on the arm.
Something to think about...

While it's true that the more they pay someone the more rope that player will be given. However, there are many who reach the Major Leagues even though they didn't receive a large signing bonus.

If a player signs for a low amount of money, he is going to get a chance. I wouldn't worry about the guys who sign for half a million or more... There aren't enough of those types to stop you.

If you look at the typical lower level Minor League rosters you won't find many players who got $500,000 or more to sign. There's plenty of room for the guys who didn't get the big signing bonus. Most MLB clubs in any given year will have three or four players they draft and pay a lot of money. Most clubs will have at least two (entry level) leagues they play in. Sometimes the highest paid draft picks will even skip those levels. This leaves at least 50 roster spots from a pool of players that might include two or three that received $500,000 or more. Each club will have several minor league teams, the high priced guy ay a given position can’t be on every team. There’s plenty of room for those who didn’t receive a lot of money to shine.

There are places that show signing bonus’ paid to each player a MLB club drafts. At least, those who have received any substantial amount of money are listed. If they draft 50 players and sign some free agents (most for practically nothing) you will see the vast majority of players on the entry level rosters will be players who did not get a lot of money. When you’re in the batters box or on the mound, it doesn’t matter how much money you have in the bank. You do good things often enough and you will keep moving up and maybe get the big money in the end. As in all things, there is always some luck involved!

So in the end, if a player doesn't make it, it's not necessarily because how much they have invested in someone else. For the most part, I would say it's a bigger advantage for those players that a club has a large investment in, than it is a detriment to the rest of the players. All players have to produce in order to stay, they release those they’ve paid millions to. They just don’t release them as quickly.
PG, thanks for you comments I agree.

The Cards just released their top pick from 2005, so that opens a place for more opportunity for those who may be later round picks. They also have released a player who was considered a top prospect last year. For whatever reason, it deos happen.

Also, keep in mind for those reading, sometimes their top picks are used for trades (ex Andrew Miller), so as I said you never know what they are thinking. Business is business.
PG - great post!

Some off the cuff stuff here since it is cold outside and waiting for the SB!

I do believe there are fair opportunities in the minor leagues for non-bonus guys. bbscout used to say that if you hit .300 every year and at each level that you will eventually find yourself in the big leagues. That may be true, but I agree that there is luck involved as well. Billy McMillan was a great college player at Clemson and a career .300 hitter in the minors yet his big league career never quite took off. Obviously it is a huge honor to even make it to the majors but I wonder with him if the stars never quite aligned. More than just having a plus tool like hitting however, sometimes they are looking for more. Outfielders without blazing speed, maybe more power is exepected nowadays. In every case, especially with top draft picks, clubs are looking for dominating players not just guys who are adequate.

Some organizations are valuing players differently these days with modern statistics playing a role. Boston and Oakland are two that come to mind. Beyond homeruns and rbi's, for example, are categories like on base percentage, weighted on base average, and even quality at bats. At the end of the day, the idea is to win. Other organizations just seem to know how to draft. Minnesota is one that comes to mind that consistently produces. The Yankees also seem to be very good at picking talent imho. I am sure I have missed some but those come to mind. There is obviously luck involved in picking the right players and luck that they ultimately develop.
quote:
Is that how it works,the more money the more opportunity to succeed?


My perspective on this is the player needs to forget the issue of money the day after he signs his contract.
From that point on, how it really works is you play 144 games with 7-8 off days, every AB in every game is graded and reported to the MLB team before the manager goes to bed each night/morning, and people you, as the player, rarely see or talk with, make decisions about playing time, player movement, signings and releases.
While it is a reality of business that some levels of bonus money will provide more chances to succeed or fail, I think a player is fooling himself by even having that in his thinking.
When you have played 125 games, it is August 1st, 100 degrees and 95% humidity for the Sunday 1pm start, your focus is on how badly you ache, how tired you are, and getting yourself mentally and physically prepared to play this game as if it is the 1st game of the season. Your job is getting yourself mentally ready so you are better today than you were yesterday. Your job is controlling what you can do on that field today to get another chance tomorrow.
And then you finish that game, get on a 8-12 hour bus ride, and start again tomorrow, while someone reporting to the GM for the major league team reviews your managers game report, charts it, and includes it in what it means to that organizations needs.
I knew several guys who received $500,000 plus years ago. Very few made it.
I knew Carlos Delgato Ryan Freel, Vernon Wells and many others who made it to MLB. I have no idea what their bonuses were. Wells and Delgato were no brainers to get to MLB. Ryan was a great utility player and a great guy. I was some what surprised he made it when I compared him to others that didn't. There are lots of surprises on both sides of the fence.
One SS I watched got a 1.2M bonus and he was one of the worst players I ever saw. He didn't last very long.
CD,
I didn't know much about Billy McMillon so I looked him up.
Maybe what happened to him is what happens often, nothing to do with skills, but wearing down, plus interesting to note he played in the steroid years.

The average MLB career is 4 years, if you get there. He managed to get in the 4 to hit average. Perhaps it was just time to walk away.
If you want to see a kid who has put up numbers at every level, plays the game really hard and well and is more the rule than the exception, check Aaron Mathews stats on the cube. He is very close to a career .300 hitter in Milb. He has proven himself at every level.
Aaron was a 19th round pick who signed for about $75,000 according to the agents book, License to Deal, is a great kid, hard working, and has done everything his organization has asked. He has not gotten above AAA and is very unlikely to do so unless he gets a huge break.
quote:
Originally posted by saintpetrel:
Agree with what CD said "If you stay in college four years, unless you are a very high draft choice, the money is almost nil". Take a look at the numbers below - these are from the top 10 rounds (1-10) of the 2009 MLB draft. I think 14 (of the 22 seniors) got 40k or less - and don't forget, these are top ten round guys...


4 yr college (juniors)
avg(median) $155,700
avg(mode) $125,000
avg(mean) $475,254
min $60,000
max $7,500,000
How many drafted & signed 145

4 yr college(seniors)
avg(median) $35,000
avg(mode) $25,000
avg(mean) $69,109
min $10,000
max $200,000
How many drafted&signed 22

juco
avg(median) $137,500
avg(mode) $125,000
avg(mean) $201,459
min $90,000
max $475,000
How many drafted & signed 22

High school
avg(median) $500,000
avg(mode) $125,000
avg(mean) $810,239
min $70,000
max $6,250,000
How many drafted & signed 97


Curious where you got these numbers?
Would be interesting to see the numbers for rounds 10-50?
quote:
Curious where you got these numbers?
Would be interesting to see the numbers for rounds 10-50?


You can find the overall numbers from the first 10 rounds from various sites: Perfect Game, Baseball America...

I just put them in in Excel spreadsheet.

I, too, would love to see rounds 11-50. What a difference that would make. Plus, I know my son's team brought in many NDFA guys all season long - my guess, probably for 1K. The average MILB roster is not going to have many rich guys.

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Couldn't agree more with PG & IFD, once you there, if you put the numbers up (anyone there will get a shot, it's a business and every player is an investment, granted at different amounts), you're going to get the opportunity to hang around. And as another poster said, at this point you are being watched by the other teams (trade bait). Getting drafted is a ticket to the dance. It's what you do with once there that counts. Like PG said, when your in the box, you're not thinking about your bank statement Smile
I think Boras said it best..."98% of players drafted are released" Everyone drafted has "a chance" to get to the big leagues, but the nature of the beast is that some guys get more "shots". The following is based strictly on a common sense model, and stricly my opinion: If I am a scouting director, my job is to make good decisions when it comes to investing money into the players I think can give my club Major League Service. If I give a guy $500K or more he better show the tools I drafted him on. What will I look like if a 45th rounder (roster filler) produces better than my bonus baby? Cudos to the area scout that talked me into drafting that guy, but he will be released before "my" guy.

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