Seems like everywhere I go someone is bringing up the percentage of playing at the next level.  Youth ball to High School, high school to college or pro, college to pro, minor league to major league. 1%, 2%.10%, etc.

 

Of course the odds are always greatly against making it to the next level. What's new, do people think it is supposed to be easy.  If the odds are bad should a young person give up or lower their goals?

 

As far as having goals, what about those who want to be a MLB GM?  There's only 30 of them.  How about CEO of a fortune 500 company?  How about the odds of becoming a multi-millionaire?  Heck you want great odds?  Look into the fast food industry!  

 

Bottom line...at any given time there are 750 players in the Major Leagues.  750 people will fill those positions with another 750 or more knocking on the door. There are thousands of spots on college teams.  Surely everyone knows there are not enough spots open at the next level for every kid that plays high school baseball. And should we subtract those that have no desire to play at the next level, that would lower he odds considerably.

 

Some that talk about the odds, maybe rightfully so, claim it is all about being realistic.  Well, I'm sure glad that many don't want to be realistic or we wouldn't have a next level.  I look at the odds like this... I'm only interested in what my odds are, don't care what everyone else's odds are!  Actually why even care what the odds are? And if you fail to reach the top, is that the end? Shoot for the moon or you won't get there.

 

Not sure what others think about this...  I believe the odds are not so bad if you have talent.  The odds are nearly impossible if you lack talent. In other words, the odds are different from one individual to another.

 

Anyone else see it that way?

Original Post

I like to think that the discussions about the odds of playing at the next level do two things:

 

First they do add a little reality.  I have a ninth grader who is just starting to really think about baseball beyond high school.  We were on our way to a work out the other day and he ask me; "Whats my plan B?"  Well, I know when I was 14, I did not even have a plan A, never mind a plan B.  But it shows he understands that there is the possibility he does not make the cut at some point.

 

Second, it makes those kids with the desire realize how hard they need to work.  My son, like many talented players never had to work that hard at the younger ages.  He always practiced hard, because he loved being there.  But he never worried about be good enough. Over the past year, he has been fortunate enough to play in some top national events and see the skills of the players around him.  He also has had the chance to talk with some coaches and pro players and hear from them, what it takes.  Some kids will then decide they just don't have the skill and/or desire to work that hard.  Others will take it as a challenge and it will push them like they need to be pushed.  I am sure all of us on this board hope our sons are the ones who take the challenge.  (And have the skills to go with it.)

 

 

I agree with everything that you posted.

Is there a way to personal message somebody on this website?

PGStaff - I have a son that plays high school ball in Michigan. Are you familiar with prep baseball report? I have a few questions about Perfect Games showcases.

Great post PG.  Personally, I have always looked at odds as a motivator, the slimmer the odds, the better.  Makes reaching the desired goal even more personally satisfying.  Maybe I'm just the glass is half full kind of guy....but I think that anything is possible, given you have some talent and are willing to put in the work...and thrive off of being told "you can't do it" or "you'll never make it"   AND, no matter what the odds are, if you even take the time to contemplate, thus introducing doubt into you mind, over the fact that someone tells you you can't beat the odds, then you probably aren't of the right mind set to overcome and achieve in the first place. That's why the only the best and most talented move, IMO

"As far as having goals, what about those who want to be a MLB GM?  There's only 30 of them.  How about CEO of a fortune 500 company?  How about the odds of becoming a multi-millionaire?  Heck you want great odds?  Look into the fast food industry!"

 

This is a great perspective.  I like this way of thinking.  However, with respect to odds of playing in the MLB, the reason I would discuss this with my son is that it is a very binary situation with respect to making a living - if he makes it he's a millionaire, if not he struggles financially.  In comparison, he may strive to make CEO and fail, but if he ends up a VP, or Director, etc he can still have a financially successful career.  So while the odds of making CEO of a Fortune 500 company may be lower than making the MLB, someone can "fail" in this goal and still end up quite successful.

How many guys in MLB cared what the odds where?  I'm guessing they thought I know I will make it period.  Most of those guys also out worked everyone on every team they where ever on.  My dad always said every minute you spend on the couch watching TV there is someone working at that very minute to get ahead of you.  

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

  Actually why even care what the odds are? 

To be better informed?

 

Students who are not athletes are checking the chances that various SAT and GPA levels will qualify them for admission to various schools. (Bad or unnecessary thing?) Baseball coaches all over the world think about righty-lefty matchups every day. (I think they would be remiss if they didn't consider it, regardless of how they choose) Bill James, well you get the idea.

 

Not preaching to anyone else. For me, I prefer to have the knowledge...in this case odds....than not to have the knowledge...before making decisions.

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

Not sure what others think about this...  I believe the odds are not so bad if you have talent.  The odds are nearly impossible if you lack talent. In other words, the odds are different from one individual to another.

 

Anyone else see it that way?

I agree with this. I think the odds of success for a talented player (student, artist, musician, salesman) are better than for untalented ones.

Last edited by Green Light
Originally Posted by MikeVT:
Is there a way to personal message somebody on this website?

Click on the screen name of the person you wish to contact.  That will bring up their personal page.  Look on the right hand side and click the tap that says "Start Dialog".  That will get you going....
PG what a great perspective. I am in total agreement with your post. My wife and I have had this exact discussion. She fears if junior does not make it to the next level he will be "crushed". My thought is why would I ever tell him "you may not make it". Obviously school is vitally important and the education is a safety net of sorts, but I don't want my son ever to think "what if I don't make it". Every bit of energy directed at the negative thoughts takes away from the positive. JMO. I especially like the way you suggested that one should shoot for the moon lest they NEVER get there. Anyway, it kind of reminds me of the saying in golf " a putt that goes past the hole has x% of going in but a putt that is short has absolutely 0% of going in.

Several years ago there was a six part cable series on minor league prospects. The show highlighted six top D"backs AAA players at Tucson. The players were Carlos Quentin, Chris Young, Dustin Nippert, Brian Barden, Casey Daigle and Bill Murphy.

 

Quentin and Young became full time MLBers. They have both played in the all star game. Nippert had a couple of short call ups with the Rangers. Barden had short call ups with the D'backs, Cards and Marlins. Daigle had a couple of short callups with the D'backs. Murphy had a couple of short call ups with the Dodgers and Jays. Daigle is most known for his best catch in Tucson. He's Mr Jenny Finch.

 

So out of six AAA top prospects only two stuck in the majors. I remember the D'backs GM saying is,"Pro baseball is a poor career choice. 2% of minor leaguers will see the majors. 1% will stick long enough to earn a living. 100% believe it will be them."

Last edited by RJM

Why would anyone assume that the player who fails to succeed at baseball will be unsuccessful in life?  I personally know several wealthy explayers who became very successful after their playing days ended. We all know nonbaseball players that are unsuccessful.

 

The odds on being successful in life are different from one person to the next. Just like baseball. 

 

Personally I think success is anyone that's happy and doing what they want. Most people never reach that goal. 

 

Anyway here is my point...

 

One young person has a goal of becoming a brain surgeon. He has the intelligence and desire to accomplish that.  The money it costs will be a great investment.  He has no talent or interest in being a baseball player or to participate in any sport beyond high school.  The odds on him becoming a doctor are very good.  The odds on him being a professional baseball player is ZERO.  Not 2%, not 1%, but ZERO %

 

Another young person has a goal of being a Major League player.  He has the talent and desire to accomplish that.  He lacks the intelligence and interest to become a brain surgeon. The odds on him making the Major Leagues is better than the overall odds. The odds on becoming a brain surgeon or even a doctor are ZERO!

 

Different odds for each individual! The overall percentages are not correct. Reality (the odds) is not really real.

The overall percentages are correct. That's what they are...overall percentages.

 

The way someone can use overall percentages is to compare yourself against the norm. This is a waste of time if we are talking about the lottery because there are no variables involved.The overall percentage chance for winning tells the whole story, period.

 

But if you are looking to get into College X, and the admissions rate is 25%, and the average GPA is 3.5, and the average SAT is 1700...anyone could plug in their own academic stats and draw a presumption about whether their chances were better or worse than 25%. Or they could decide to apply or not, without this information.

 

If anyone out there is interpreting overall stats to be applicable to every single individual, then I would caution against that. After all, the overall 2012 American League batting average was .255. Odds of getting a hit, based on the definition of AB, was 25.5%. But we all know that everyone did not hit .255. Better hitters hit better, worse hitters hit worse. .255 was just the overall average

Last edited by Green Light

Another %... 6% of high school seniors will go on to play college baseball.   Here is a question... What would the % of those seniors that have the desire and talent to play college baseball that do play college baseball.  Obviously that would be much higher than 6%.

 

I would guess that more than half of all HS senior baseball players have no intention of playing in college.  So why would they be part of the odds?  Then there is the other seniors who simply don't have the talent to play college baseball.  Subtract them from the odds. So the true odds would be... The number of high school seniors that have the talent and desire to play college baseball, that actually get the opportunity to play college baseball.  Of course, I have no idea what % that would be, but I'm positive it is much more than 6%. While those who lack talent and/or don't want to play college baseball would be 0%.

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

Another %... 6% of high school seniors will go on to play college baseball.   Here is a question... What would the % of those seniors that have the desire and talent to play college baseball that do play college baseball.  Obviously that would be much higher than 6%.

 

I would guess that more than half of all HS senior baseball players have no intention of playing in college.  So why would they be part of the odds?  Then there is the other seniors who simply don't have the talent to play college baseball.  Subtract them from the odds. So the true odds would be... The number of high school seniors that have the talent and desire to play college baseball, that actually get the opportunity to play college baseball.  Of course, I have no idea what % that would be, but I'm positive it is much more than 6%. While those who lack talent and/or don't want to play college baseball would be 0%.

Correct.

Love the message.  I think it is useful for kids to see the initial set of odds to understand that it will take great effort, ability and work ethic.  But I agree it is also useful to identify that the odds improve significantly when you separate those with and without the desire.  But most important, the message tells a young player they have a great deal of control over reducing those odds in a big way.

 

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

Another %... 6% of high school seniors will go on to play college baseball.   Here is a question... What would the % of those seniors that have the desire and talent to play college baseball that do play college baseball.  Obviously that would be much higher than 6%.

 

I would guess that more than half of all HS senior baseball players have no intention of playing in college.  So why would they be part of the odds?  Then there is the other seniors who simply don't have the talent to play college baseball.  Subtract them from the odds. So the true odds would be... The number of high school seniors that have the talent and desire to play college baseball, that actually get the opportunity to play college baseball.  Of course, I have no idea what % that would be, but I'm positive it is much more than 6%. While those who lack talent and/or don't want to play college baseball would be 0%.

You're leaving out one group from your calculations, I believe.  There are some kids who may have the talent and desire to play at the next level but just can't or won't pull the grades required.

JCB,

That is a good point, but if they have enough talent and desire, most can go to a Junior College. That can also lower the cost for some who might not get a financial package they can afford at a 4 year college.

It would be interesting to know the % of high school seniors that truly desire to play, have the talent to play, are willing to accept the college, can afford college and qualify for admittance... That actually end up playing college baseball? I'm guessing it is a fairly high %.

 

I know there are a lot of kids who decide to attend a certain college and not play rather than go to one they could play at.  I wouldn't count that as part of the "odds" either. They could have but chose not to.... Shouldn't count If trying to figure out the true odds.

The odds of playing at the next level were never a discussion point in our household. My son played the game because he loved it and wished to continue to play. He is happiest when on the field playing baseball, next to that is probably training and preparing his body to play baseball.

He plays because that is where he finds joy. He has generally always had a reasonable understanding of where he stacked up talent wise. He aways knew whether he could compete, he never found himself in a situation where he did not feel fully capable of competing.
 
It never mattered what level of ball he was playing, he knew he could compete at each level and knew that he would make it to the next level. It was never a question. There has never been a plan B. He was always all in 100%, sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward.
 
Things are much tougher now, yet he continues to know he can compete at his current level of play and expects to make it to the next level. Odds do not come into play. He does what he does...perhaps at some point he will not have the opportunity to make it to the next level one day. If that day ever arrives, he will deal with that day then. He does not calculate odds. That is counter productive to achieving his goal. A distraction, a reason to fail, an excuse...
 
There really is no plan B. One day he may need a new plan, but it will not be a plan B, it will be his plan. Achieving greatness, and anyone past college has achieved something very special, can not be accomplished with a divided mind, unless you have truly superior gifts.
 
It is all in, or not really worth the effort, at least for my son.
 
And, money has nothing to do with it in all reality. He does not play the game dreaming of great wealth, although he would like to be able to pay his bills. But he plays the game dreaming of his next at bat, his next diving catch or double play ball. The ball he hits off the wall and legs out for a triple or the ball that leaves the field of play. It is purely for the love of the game that he plays.
 
Odds of play never ever factored into loving the game.




Last edited by floridafan

floridafan,

 

That is precisely why I have always liked your son. He is a "true" baseball player.  Great post!

 

BTW, Whenever that day comes for him to hang it up (That day comes for everyone) I bet he will be successful at something else.  In his case, I still see baseball in his future after his playing days are over.

The odds change in large part due to self-selection.  Baseball has psychological (and physical) breaking points:

 

*Little league to travel baseball

*Travel baseball to high school baseball

*High school baseball to college baseball

*College baseball to professional baseball

*Professional baseball to the majors

 

Each player (and by extension the parents) are making mental decisions along the way (self-selecting) as to the odds little Johnny will make it to the next level.

 

From youth to travel baseball failure is the main culprit of the gleaning process.  There are early maturers who dominate the game and reserve outfielders (like Bum, Jr.) who had little success but through sheer determination pressed on.  Most quit because of the hopelessness they feel from failure.  Their odds are 0% from the beginning because of the lack of mental fortitude.

 

From travel to h.s. baseball there are those that find other interests, find girls, don't put in the hard work necessary, etc.  Their odds are likewise 0%.

 

From h.s. baseball to college there are even more reasons to quit the game.  Poor grades.  The prospect of going to a J.C. to develop more.  Money issues.  I'm pretty sure the odds are closer to 90% for a kid who has worked his tail off, learned to deal with failure, and wants it bad enough. 

 

From college to pro the physical side is the determining factor.  But even at that level, guys quit because they're lonely for their girlfriend, feel hopeless due to lack of playing time, or don't work at their craft hard enough.  Their odds are likewise 0%.

 

There was one kid who played with Bum, Jr. was had a very good college career.  Way better than Bum, Jr.  He got rocked in Rookie ball and quit.  His odds are 0% and were from the beginning.  He finally faced failure and couldn't handle it.  Meanwhile, son just kept plugging along. 

 

What are Bum, Jr.'s odds now? There is somewhere between a 0% and 99% odds that he'll be called into the office someday and told to go packing.  But I guarantee you right now there is a flat-out 0% chance it will be Bum, Jr. who quits on his own.  He is just wired that way.  This year was tough because he tore his ACL.  But he has rehabbed in record time and is raring to go next year.  His mental toughness developed through years of failure (and mental resiliance developed from years of success he has had, too, to carry him through the hard times) means his odds, if it were up to him, are 100%.

 

I am 100% confident that Bum, Jr. can compete at any level, AA, AAA or MLB, if ever given that chance.  He's a brilliant kid who learns from each experience and adapts.  Are his overall odds 100%, heck no, but better than the 0% chance if he were to self-select and quit.

Last edited by Bum

Right on, right on, PGStaff.

 

Aside from how flat-out wrong the numbers are, data on the odds of playing Major League Baseball too often cause uninformed people to push young high-prospect ball players away from pursuing their dream.

 

How many sincere extended family members ... close friends ... or teachers ... have used this flawed data to tell young men they can't -- or at the very least, shouldn't?

 

Not only do many of these young men have to overcome the odds ... they have to do it without the full support of people they often respect. That stinks.

 

On the upside, though, it teaches them something:

 

 Quote

 

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

Stubbornness in the face of overwhelming odds!

 

That would describe me the last time I visited the casino.


I live in Las Vegas.  It's the machines that are stubborn and the patrons that are odd.

PG this is a great post and there have been a lot of great posts.  I think one thing that reduces the number is player willing to travel out of state.  I have had multiple player go site unseen to mid west colleges simply because they are from Southern California and play for a reputable program.  There are some players that do not want to leave So Cal or California. 

 

Another example of getting players out is the SGV Arsenal Program.  Go and look at there website and see how many guys are leaving to go to college.  Mike does a heck of a job getting players out and they really stress grades.  I think if a player is willing to explore the nation and all levels of 4 yr. college baseball they will find a place to land.  To often players and especially parents do not understand what level their player is at and have to lofty expectations of them and that holds a player back.

Reading this great gymnastics-free thread as the father of a 2017 grad, I wish the world would slow down a bit.  Yes, my 2017  and I have discussed whether he’d like to play college ball, and yes, a couple of baseball people along the way have told him that if he works hard he may have the talent to play at the next level.   But he’s only  been in HS a couple months!  He’s yet to show he can balance his responsibilities and  pull the grades he needs to pull in HS, and he’s yet to play in an official HS game.  Until he walked onto campus in August, his stated goals as a baseball player were simple:  be an impact player, probably on JV as a frosh, definitely on Varsity as a soph.   But he made the fall “varsity” team and one of his teammates was a 2016 who made a verbal to a DI, and a couple more kids he knows from travel either have verbals or are rumored to be close, so I know he’s starting to think a little further ahead.  Or at least he would be if he was healthy.  Unfortunately he has a shoulder injury that is keeping him out of basketball right now, and could  threaten  his spring season.  That’s another thread, but it adds to my feeling that there’s no rush to worry about college.  It'll still be there in 4 years.  I just want the  kid to be able to enjoy playing ball in HS.

Originally Posted by JCG:
Originally Posted by PGStaff:

Another %... 6% of high school seniors will go on to play college baseball.   Here is a question... What would the % of those seniors that have the desire and talent to play college baseball that do play college baseball.  Obviously that would be much higher than 6%.

 

I would guess that more than half of all HS senior baseball players have no intention of playing in college.  So why would they be part of the odds?  Then there is the other seniors who simply don't have the talent to play college baseball.  Subtract them from the odds. So the true odds would be... The number of high school seniors that have the talent and desire to play college baseball, that actually get the opportunity to play college baseball.  Of course, I have no idea what % that would be, but I'm positive it is much more than 6%. While those who lack talent and/or don't want to play college baseball would be 0%.

You're leaving out one group from your calculations, I believe.  There are some kids who may have the talent and desire to play at the next level but just can't or won't pull the grades required.

There are also the kids with the grades and future ambitions to pursue a school for academic reasons, in spite of the opportunity to play somewhere with a lower academic standard.  Or the ones with the ability and academics to do both, but who aren't willing to make the sacrifices in time to play, or who aren't motivated enough by the athletic competition to want to play.

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

As far as having goals, what about those who want to be a MLB GM?  There's only 30 of them.  How about CEO of a fortune 500 company?  How about the odds of becoming a multi-millionaire?  Heck you want great odds?  Look into the fast food industry!  

There's been some good economics research done on the CEO thing, and the disparity between CEO compensation and the VP level that mostly concluded that the difference between them isn't talent as much as it's luck, and the enormous pay disparity exists in part because the VP level guys are irrationally pursuing the next level that few of them will ever reach in much the same way that people irrationally play the actual lottery.  Wish I could remember where I read that, a quick Google turns up unrelated theories.

BUM, your son sounds a lot like I see in my son. Stubbornness was difficult to deal with as a young lad, but it sure is a huge asset now. My son is several years behind your son but I relish every post you write because they are REAL. You don't pull any punches and I appreciate that about you. You really seem like someone I would most enjoy watching a game with. I just hope my son makes the opportunity to take him to the level your son has reached.

I think its good to know the odds, as someone stated, it makes you work harder.

 

You have to understand how very hard  one has to work in this game, to succeed.

 

You have to also understand exactly how this business works, in order to succeed. I don't think that some folks really get that. 

 

Also from what I see, you have to be wired a bit differently than most.  This job isn't for everyone and it has nothing to do with how tall or short you are, whether you bat or throw from the left side or the right. 

 

There is nothing wrong with a player who wakes up one day and says I am ready to move on, that has nothing to do with failure.   No one really can understand that unless they have been in that situation. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Atta boy PG for planting this thread.  This is a necessary conversation for the student athlete.  Maybe not so much the kid that has no desire or aptitude for school.  But I still think the kid that is school bound should be aware because it expands the conversation to risk and best fit.

 

I have a 2016 MIF/OF. Discussions on this topic have helped him understand the broader considerations about a school choice.  Most obvious is cost, Will the values/beliefs of the school affirm or conflict those at home, Academic offerings that align with student's interests, and my favorite (and mostly never mentioned anywhere) can your student be comfortable on and around the campus.

 

Ultimately, I think keeping the eye on the ball for us means we are helping our son pursue his dreams wherever that may lead. Shoot for the moon but pack your parachute.  We also want to provide information and guidance to advance his chance for success.  We are especially blessed to be with an outstanding showcase org in Carolina that is well connected with area schools. 

 

We really appreciate the message our son has been receiving from college and showcase sources to make college ball a reality. 

 

1. Character  2. Work ethic  3. Talent.  Yes, in that order. 

Originally Posted by gman17:

 

Shoot for the moon but pack your parachute. 

 

Nice quote gman17. 

Yes many would say they put character, work ethic and talent in that order.

 

Please don't believe that!  I think they mean they want all three ingredients. 

 

If the talent is lacking, at least at the higher levels, you could have the best character and work ethic in the world... They might respect you, but they won't be recruiting you.

 

In fact, if the talent is missing, they won't spend any time trying to find out what your character or work ethic is like. 

 

However, if you have the talent they are looking for, the other things do become the most important. If that makes any sense!

I think everyone needs a plan B unless you are living at home or have a wife that is working. 
 
Hopefully your son has a degree that is marketable that he can use to support himself should his dream of playing baseball end. 
 
My sons know that they should approach life as if they are one check away from being homeless. 
 
 
Originally Posted by floridafan:
 
It never mattered what level of ball he was playing, he knew he could compete at each level and knew that he would make it to the next level. It was never a question. There has never been a plan B. He was always all in 100%, sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward.
 
 
There really is no plan B. One day he may need a new plan, but it will not be a plan B, it will be his plan. Achieving greatness, and anyone past college has achieved something very special, can not be accomplished with a divided mind, unless you have truly superior gifts.
 
 
Originally Posted by baseballmania:
 
 
My sons know that they should approach life as if they are one check away from being homeless. 
 
 
 

I certainly would never want my kids to approach their future with that type of attitude.

 

What is meant by a marketable degree?  

 

The daily grind experienced by most professional players is unlike anything else anyone will ever know,  so does trying to live on meager pay.  I guess that is why so many are successful. 

 

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

Yes many would say they put character, work ethic and talent in that order.

 

Please don't believe that!  I think they mean they want all three ingredients. 

 

If the talent is lacking, at least at the higher levels, you could have the best character and work ethic in the world... They might respect you, but they won't be recruiting you.

 

In fact, if the talent is missing, they won't spend any time trying to find out what your character or work ethic is like. 

 

However, if you have the talent they are looking for, the other things do become the most important. If that makes any sense!

+1

This thread is awesome.

 

If your son wanted to be an actor, would you just tell him to hang it up if he came to realize he was never going to be the next George Clooney or Tom Cruise? or...might you encourage him to branch out onto the stage or theater so that he might broaden his horizons that way.  Perhaps he could become a director, agent, producer, writer, character actor, etc. etc, etc, while still pursuing his love of acting.

 

Baseball is like that as well.  While everyone would like to be a big star in the big leagues, sometimes that is not always possible.  However, some love the game so much that they will find a way to make a living at baseball.  There are hundreds of possibilities. 

 

 

 

Add Reply

×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×