CD is right on, playing the game can open lots of future possibilities. For son, he will have to return eventually to finish his degree (2 semesters), but regardless he will be "marketable" because of baseball.

I think that most players do have a plan B, that's why most attend college first. My son had a teammate that is a graphic artist, his work is amazing.

I think it's good to think about the future after baseball. 

Last edited by TPM

Well. I'm conflicted.

 

Loved the quote about shooting for the moon but packing a parachute so much that I shared it with my daughter just now.

 

Then I read the view that fully committed means leaving the parachute at home:

 

"Sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward."

 

That makes sense, too.

 

So I asked JP. He's completely of the second view.

 

I remain conflicted.

 

 

 

 

 

I think it is instructive to look at real life work world and see how it is currently manifested in baseball. 

 

Look at the Human Resources Dept (fka Personnel). Often, these folks don't waste time in the initial screening process.  They rely on external agencies, headhunters, etc... The fact that a potential  employee is being recommended by an agency means the prospect has passed the initial screening and should be considered a qualified candidate.  The travel/showcase teams today are the external agencies.  The best run organizations have built relationships with college coaches.  That's why the character/work ethic/talent is not the message for all but for those at a respected organization with solid integrity. 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by jp24:

Well. I'm conflicted.

 

Loved the quote about shooting for the moon but packing a parachute so much that I shared it with my daughter just now.

 

Then I read the view that fully committed means leaving the parachute at home:

 

"Sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward."

 

That makes sense, too.

 

So I asked JP. He's completely of the second view.

 

I remain conflicted.

 

 

 

 

No right or wrong here I guess. One way to look at it would be:

 

If you expect your kid's coaches down the line to burn their ships for your kid, then you can burn yours too. If you expect your kid's coaches down the line will have a Plan B for your kid, then maybe you should too.

The son of a friend had his affiliated minor league career end last year. He played Indy ball this year. Fortunately for him he had one big pay check playing Japanese majors. He said he'll be done playing when they tear the uniform off him. Then he hopes to put on a coaches uniform (college or minors). The guy isn't money driven. He's baseball driven. And he has a very patient wife.

 

Then I read the view that fully committed means leaving the parachute at home:

 

"Sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward."

You have to have no fear. Living with a parachute only gives one an excuse to fail.
Example:

Would you have pushed harder if you had no other option, if you're only option was to make it?

 

Odds and statistics define many people, however they don't affect those who live with no fear of them. A number can only limit a person if he or she lets it.

 

Chase your dreams and fear nothing.

I don't think this is good advice.  This isn't a situation in which effort and commitment alone can determine success.  Talent is relative, injuries occur, stuff happens.
 
Originally Posted by Throwingas96:
 

Then I read the view that fully committed means leaving the parachute at home:

 

"Sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward."

You have to have no fear. Living with a parachute only gives one an excuse to fail.
Example:

Would you have pushed harder if you had no other option, if you're only option was to make it?

 

Odds and statistics define many people, however they don't affect those who live with no fear of them. A number can only limit a person if he or she lets it.

 

Chase your dreams and fear nothing.

 

Saying your kid doesn't have a "Plan B" is disingenuous.  We all have plan B, and if not, we are a fool.

 

In the modern world, corporations and teams are doing contingency planning continuously.  There is no fear built in.  Its actually planning for success while recognizing uncertainty. 

 

A corporation wants to serve their customers even if their headquarters is hit by an ice storm.  The team wants to win the game/series even if the #1 starting pitcher can't get thru the 2nd inning of game 1 due to illness/injury.

 

We learned as scouts at an early age...be prepared.

 

If the odds or statistics are enough for a kid to quit then he never had the passion required to excel. 

 

I highly recommend the story of Daniel Nava/Boston Red Sox.  His perseverance is beyond human.  Inspirational !!!

 

 

Originally Posted by jp24:

Well. I'm conflicted.

 

Loved the quote about shooting for the moon but packing a parachute so much that I shared it with my daughter just now.

 

Then I read the view that fully committed means leaving the parachute at home:

 

"Sort of like the invading army burning their ships, no way but forward."

 

That makes sense, too.

 

So I asked JP. He's completely of the second view.

 

I remain conflicted.

 

 

 

 

It's really not that difficult.

 

If you instill in your son a love and appreciation for the game, and the importance of good grades and work habits in school and on the field at the same time, you more or less will cover the bases.

 

He will begin to understand the odds himself as he matures, especially when the talent pool begins to thin out if he attends college.  He should have other interests as well, it shouldn't be all about baseball.

 

If your son is talented, has good grades, he will have many choices.  When the time comes you can sit down and have a discussion as to his possible future regarding the game, until then, try to enjoy his HS years, it goes by very quickly.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Bum:

Saying your kid doesn't have a "Plan B" is disingenuous.  We all have plan B, and if not, we are a fool.

What he said.  

Interesting thread.  It is pretty cut and dried from my perspective.  750 players in the entire world will play MLB at any moment in time.  There were around 7.129 Billion people in the world in 2013.  So, to answer PGStaff's thread question I look at it the odds as not particulary good.  Yes the same can be said for other professions. But other professions don't have a limited shelf life or timetable that a professional athlete faces.  Very few have the freakish skill set, discipline, will, and unbelievable luck that it takes to be a professional baseball player.

 

With that said, I think there comes a time where every player has to ask themselves if baseball is giving or taking away from their lives and goals.  When it is giving back such as a baseball scholarship or an opportunity to attend a university that a student wouldn't usually have access to....that is a positive.  When it is taking away from something else the person could be doing for himself or family then it is time to be doing something else. 

 

Over the years, my personal observation is that many players overestimate their talent and underestimate the rest of the (world) field.  I've seen it in high school and college baseball.  In 1984 I tried my hand (very briefly) at professional tennis.  Let's just say it was an eye opening experience for a young man who learned quickly how many unbelievable tennis players there are in the world.   I'll assume it happens at the MiLB professional level too, because the feedback I've gotten from some MiLB players is people still try to get by on talent alone. In baseball, you have to have the talent & desire but you also have to have any unbelievable amount of luck.  Do you want to bet your career on luck?  Some do and some don't.  At least 750 decided the risk was worth the reward.

Last edited by fenwaysouth

Fenway, with all due respect...

 

7.129 Billion people, those are the type of numbers (odds) that I'm talking about.

 

Lets start cutting into those odds.

 

Of the 7.129 billion people.

 

How many are males?

How many play baseball?

How many live where baseball is not played?

How many are either too young or too old to count?

How many desire to make baseball their career?

 

Sorry I just don't see the insurmountable odds. First of all we can't use 750 as a number.  That is the number at any given time, but the number in any given season, or the overall number is much higher than 750.

 

Then there is the fact that others actually make the decision for you.  You start when young, you play for enjoyment.  Later comes high school, if you don't stand out there, Plan "A" probably should be something other than being a ML player.  If you are still in the running, college baseball or the draft is the next step.  If drafted in a good round out of HS, you have a good chance of making it.  If you go to college the process continues. You need to standout enough to create scouting interest.  Then you either get drafted or attempt to catch on as a free agent.  Your odds will depend on what round.  If you're a 1st rounder your odds are great! If you are selected in the 30th round your odds are not so great. Now if you have made it to professional baseball you are in the true number that dictate the odds of playing MLB. This is where the 4 ingredients to winning (success) take place.  (Talent - Effort - Intelligence - Luck)

 

Yes, luck, both good or bad, can determine success.  Effort covers things like desire, work ethic and persistence.  Intelligence covers everything from behavior to decision making. And Talent will always be #1, but sometimes it isn't enough without the other three ingredients. These four things will determine "your" odds.

 

Anyway, I understand the numbers (odds).  I also understand that odds are determined by whatever numbers someone wants to use.  To me, the only numbers that count are the number of players in professional baseball.  I just don't think young people that love the game are ever going to quit playing in high school or college.  Beyond that, most players would continue on to pro ball if they get the chance, but that is no longer up to them.  If no one signs them, their odds are ZERO.  Only those in the pool of professional players are involved in the real odds. Everyone else has hopefully gained a lot from playing a game they love.

 

Now comes the time to look at risk and reward.  Let's say you're not an early round draft pick.  Lets say you fit into the 5% or lower range of making it to the Big Leagues.  Once you make it the odds don't matter, you're chances of sticking around for awhile will depend on you.  Everyone would like those odds!  But back to the 5%... The RISK is you don't make it, you didn't get a good signing bonus and you have spent time doing something you love rather than what you will end up doing. (Notice I said spent time rather than waste time). The big REWARD is you will become a multi millionaire doing something you love for a living.  You will retire as a wealthy man at a young age.  Of course, there is everything else between the biggest risk and biggest reward.  I look at it as a small risk with potential of large reward.  In fact, I actually see the risk as somewhat of a reward.

 

How many occupations are there out there with that type of reward?  That little of risk?  That good of odds?

 

So obviously the odds are horrible if we use numbers that include every man, woman and child on Earth.  Odds are not good even if we just use those that play baseball.  However, this is not like the lottery where every set of numbers has the same chance. That would be true odds!  When we see a young Bryce Harper, Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, etc., we know their odds are very good.  Others maybe not that good, some maybe one in a million.  All I know is that in any given time there will always be 750 people in the Major Leagues. And from one day to the next it is not the same 750 people.

 

Bottom line... I'm not sure baseball should be considered a "plan" A or B.  There really isn't any planning involved that I can see.  You can plan and accomplish some things like being an accountant or being in business, but it doesn't work that way in baseball.

 

To me kids should have one plan... Be the best you can be at whatever you decide to do.  Sometimes I think it's the parents that most think about a plan. In my experience young people change their plans a lot.

 

What is Plan B? Hey, the kid went to college a semester shy of a degree. What's Plan B? He is 3 years removed from any degree of academic skill sets acquired through college. He was not an engineering major, nor did he ace his math, accounting or economics classes.

 

His plan is to play ball. His plan has been to play ball since he was 10. He does not have nor need a Plan B.

 

As everyone knows at some point he will no longer be a player. At that point he will evaluate his options and come up with a plan. I understand that that is an anathema to some and fool hardy to others.

 

The guy does not live in isolation. He has friends, contacts and family. Who knows what tomorrow brings. How many Plan B's work precisely as planned? How may people out there with College Degrees right now have found that their Plan A, Plan B and Plan C have failed to materialize?

 

Call me a fool, or foolish if you like, I guess you can call my son a fool as well, its just a message board here... Right now my son is focused on one objective and one objective only. He is not divided.

 

Again, when the day comes to hang up the cleats, he will approach that day and that goal with the same intensity.

Last edited by floridafan

floridafan,

 

We always tend to do comparisons when evaluating talented young players.  I could compare your son to someone like Allen Craig (Cardinals) for example.  People that have seen both might see the similarities.

 

However in another way, I could comp your son to the Head Coach at Dallas Baptist.  When Dan Heefner played in our events and hung around our building while he was in high school, it was easy to predict he was going to make a career out of baseball. I'm sure his plan wasn't to be one of the youngest DI baseball coaches ever. But that is what happened!

Florida Fan, no offense--I would never call you or anyone a fool as I was speaking rhetorically.  (I didn't even read your earlier post about no plan B. I was just saying in reality we all do, if only in the back of our mind.  At least we should.) 

 

Bum, Jr. says he would go to law school and has expressed an interest in politics.  I hope so.  He'd be one of the good guys.

 

No offense sir.. Merry Christmas.

Originally Posted by Bum:

Florida Fan, no offense--I would never call you or anyone a fool as I was speaking rhetorically.  (I didn't even read your earlier post about no plan B. I was just saying in reality we all do, if only in the back of our mind.  At least we should.) 

 

Bum, Jr. says he would go to law school and has expressed an interest in politics.  I hope so.  He'd be one of the good guys.

 

No offense sir.. Merry Christmas.

Now I'm really rooting for him to make it in baseball.  The last thing the world needs is more lawyers or politicians.  :-)

 “He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
― Lao Tzu

 

Knowing the chances is knowing others. Knowing oneself allows a person to use that information to the best personal advantage.

 

Can't understand why this is an either/or discussion. I would advise youngsters to get all the objective information they can about any prospective professional endeavor, and using self-awareness, apply it to their personal situation.

 

I suppose there can be such a thing as too much information. But I would hesitate to advise a youngster to ignore data...unless I thought he was incapable of understanding it.......or had very little self-awareness.

 

Edit: in which case he would be neither wise nor enlightened

Last edited by Green Light

I am a big believer in chasing your dreams and giving it everything you have, but I know the value of being prepared. Through my travels as a professional ball player, I can't tell you how many times players say "well now what am I going to do" once their careers are over. I mentor many student athletes and we talk constantly about a college education. Even in pro ball (this was my 7th season), you can tell the difference between a guy who came out of high school and a guy who went to college quite easily. College allows for kids to grow up and learn to be adults, which is going to be very helpful if one is blessed with the grind of the minor leagues and poor pay checks.

 

I was went to Oregon State, played very well, won two national titles, and was a high draft pick, but because I got my degree in business I was able to start my own. Now I am still playing baseball but also started a sports education website that helps student athletes in 4 different countries. My company BASE By Pros gives kids connection to pro athletes for advice, helps kids get recruited (because college is so important), and we put on events that connect college coaches with students and parents to explain what college is like and how to prepare to move to the next level.

 

Really… the odds are against most, but it is even more against those who do not give their heart and passion into the game. This being said, the odds are against those who do not understand what a business is and how to be an adult. Baseball is a business and what the boss says goes. Even if you feel you are the better candidate for a position.. your opinion doesn't really matter when the line up card is built. You can control your work ethic and how you present yourself on and off the field, but the rest isn't up to you. This is why having a college education is super important. Not many guys find it easy to go back to school when they are older, have a family, and working off little finances. Get it done!

Attending college for 3,4,5 years working towards a degree before one is drafted (or in the game), IS having plan B.

 

I think that most people that come out of the game (over 24-25 let's say) are mature enough to understand that they need to think about life after baseball at some point. These discussions are more important for the young player in HS who actually has no clue what milb life is all about and the hard work it takes to get past A ball let alone to MLB.

I happen to agree with PG's post, he always seems to add reality to these types of discussions.

BTW, luck has a LOT to do with the ODDS. Like any job, it can be about being in the right place at the right time, the right team, etc.

 

Having said, that mine is 28 and still playing, not ready to stop until someone says he can't anymore, his odds are becoming less and less due to his age and he knows that. I am sure that with that in mind he has thought about life after playing the game.

 

It's not what you see on TV.

 

Here is a good example of why prior discussion can be beneficial. I remember son telling me about a player he roomed with (son was sent back to Jupiter to end his rookie short season due to sore arm) who was a late sign for 10,000 (before taxes). At the end of the GCL short season, he told son that his experience was nothing like he expected pro ball to be. Appears that he was very unhappy he had not gone to college. Obviously no one informed the 17,18 year old about what it can be like your first season coming out of HS. Signing for lots of money usually helps ease those feelings.  The odds IMO were not that high for him as a late sign out of HS, and someone should have told him what options may have been better for him, or if they did he wasn't listening.

 

 

Originally Posted by jacjacatk:

Now I'm really rooting for him to make it in baseball.  The last thing the world needs is more lawyers or politicians.  :-)

I hear you.  But if you knew Bum, Jr. you would know he's incorruptible.

Originally Posted by Bum:
Originally Posted by jacjacatk:

Now I'm really rooting for him to make it in baseball.  The last thing the world needs is more lawyers or politicians.  :-)

I hear you.  But if you knew Bum, Jr. you would know he's incorruptible.

No worries, then, he'll never have a career in politics and his future as a lawyer is probably limited, too.

Just read through this post yesterday and finished up today. Trying to get the holidays together

 

Lots of excellent points being made. And also welcome Mitch its nice to have a players perspective.

 

I think everyone is different. What works for one player may not work for the other.

 

I see FF point about being 100% committed.  also agree with TPM that unless your in the game, nobody can judge ones decision.

 

For me as I have seen the game unfold, I respect the players that stay, and I respect the players that decide to move on and start a different chapter in their lives. No shame in that.

 

As TPM said and its true its hard, and many glamorize it but its hard work. I don't think players that leave love it less, Maybe they just want to make money, buy a house try life in a different aspect.

 

I have learned that there is not one right way.

I look back on my sons journey as I am sure many of you have, and I would of never

guessed it went the way it did.

 

For our family, my son has a degree from an excellent school that he would never of been to without baseball. His friendships and connections are awesome and he loves being an alumni. He also has made friends with some outstanding young men in pro ball.On his teams he played on last year, there were three Cal players, Two USC, a Notre dame(he left baseball for a very good job)Stanford, Duke. Very smart and hardworking men. Had the pleasure of meeting many of them.99.999999 of them, many drafted in top rounds wont make it.

 

I think as we start this journey and I see it with the new young parents, we try to control and predict how it will end. Nothing could of been more perfect then the plan that has evolved, because God was in that plan from thee moment  he created our sons with his own hands.

 

I know baseball or no baseball,my son and your sons are precious to us,and whatever they do,how far they go, I don't think its going to matter 20 years from now(I mean unless they make millions)) I think what matters is they conduct themselves as they have so far, hard working men, good work ethics, good families.

 

The rest they have no control of.

 

On a side note, a player my son played with at USC drafted in late rounds, like 37th?,on the small side, LF with out much pop,kind of a fringy player as seen by most,I always liked him, he has that unknown tool, anyway he made the 40 man roster for the Cardinals for 2014. He has hit .300 and above at every level, doesn't strike  out really good OBP, if he wasn't a lefty and played MI he probably would make the 25 man.) Anyway it can happen to those players, but others may tire of the grind.

 

I respect all of them for their hard work and tenacity. many of our boys were told they never would play college let alone Pro ball. They are all success stories to me.

 

Hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas season, enjoy your families.

 

baseball is right around the corner or maybe a new path?

 

 

 

Originally Posted by Bum:

You're an idiot jac.

Not that I'd immediately deny that, but I thought the sarcasm about incorruptible politicians was pretty obvious, and standard.  There was no intention to offend, and even if I thought being a lawyer or a politician was a completely noble profession, I'd still be rooting for Bum Jr to make it in baseball.

This thread just keeps getting better. As the dad of a HS player (and a dad who earlier in this thread admitted to being conflicted) I'm concluding there are three types of HS boys who aspire to, and at this age -- compared with their peers nationally -- have a legitimate shot at playing in the ML:

 

Type 1: All eggs in the ML basket, grades and other interests be damned. No real ability to assess their own skills and value versus their peers. It's all or nothing.

 

Type 2: All eggs in ML basket, but get good grades and even if no expressed interest, are in fact positioning themselves for success later. Have the maturity to continually assess their skills versus the competition. Believe they have what it takes, and go for it ... but take care of business while pursuing their dreams. They get the odds.

 

Type 3: Hedge their bets by getting good grades, and developing specific plans for the day they're forced out of baseball. They also get the odds.

 

I like Type 2.

 

(And I also like Green Light's always unique perspective.)

Some folks see odds as a barricade and some see it as a challenge.  I like slim odds because only the best earn the goal.  MLB, college ball, fire chief, DA....the list goes on and on.  Most of those folks didn't have those positions handed to them but they set goals and used "odds" as a motivator. 

My problem is the accuracy of the odds.  I see nothing wrong with actually knowing the odds, but really, what are the "real" odds? Certainly no one believes the odds are the same for every individual.  This is not like the odds of winning the lottery. For one individual the odds might be 1 in a billion. For another they might be 50-50, for some even better than 50-50.  The odds are different for the player they have invested a large sum of money in than the player they signed for $1,000.

 

So the odds are different from one individual to the next.  And those odds change (better or worse) based on performance, health, and other things.

 

One more thing to consider while discussing the percentages and odds.  I have no way of really knowing this but I would guess well over 90% of amateur players would love a chance to get those small minor league checks. It has to be one of the most sought after  under paid jobs there is, though one with a much higher potential than others.

 

College is a plan B, even if there is no actual plan B. For many plan B still involves baseball.  After all, they have a baseball education. Baseball employs a lot of people.

Originally Posted by PGStaff:

My problem is the accuracy of the odds.

You are uniquely positioned to help us with this. You have the data.

 

How many RHPs who you have clocked at 85 mph or under have made it to the pros compared to all the RHPs you have clocked?

 

Other posters may have similar questions. PG can be part of the solution to your own "problem"!

Last edited by Green Light
Originally Posted by PGStaff:

My problem is the accuracy of the odds.  I see nothing wrong with actually knowing the odds, but really, what are the "real" odds? Certainly no one believes the odds are the same for every individual.  This is not like the odds of winning the lottery. For one individual the odds might be 1 in a billion. For another they might be 50-50, for some even better than 50-50.  The odds are different for the player they have invested a large sum of money in than the player they signed for $1,000.

 

So the odds are different from one individual to the next.  And those odds change (better or worse) based on performance, health, and other things.

 

That is an interesting way of looking at it. It's not quite scientific, but maybe instructive to take local pools of players and see how they have done statistically. For example, our local HS league, which is solid, though not outstanding, consists of 8 schools.  Average enrollment is 1600 or so.  So roughly 160 kids are playing at any one time.  You could  assume that 100 of them get significant innings.  How will they do?  How have the players who came behind them done?  Better yet, of those in the group who have gone on to play some kind of college ball, how many have collected paychecks for playing ball?  

 

For kids currently playing HS baseball, looking at those numbers in their local  area would probably give them a better sense of their odds of success in baseball than numbers that include the entire population of the world.

 

 

Those are interesting thoughts JCG...

 

Under the articles page of the hsbbweb, the founder of the site posted some interesting numbers that are fairly accurate in terms of numbers...  He concluded that about 1 in 10 of about 1/2 million high school players go on to play in college at some level from juco to D1.  Of about 140,000 draft-eligible college players each year, about 1 in 100 of those are lucky enough to get drafted.  Those numbers have changed for the worse as there are now only 40 rounds in the mlb draft instead of 50.  From what I know, about 1/2 of the mlb draft comes from D1 colleges.  Most of the other half comes from high school eligible players.  For instance, only about 20 to 25 players from the D3 level get drafted each year and I am guessing about 50-70 at the D2 level get drafted.  Thus, the odds of even getting a chance to see if the odds apply to you are fairly low.  fenwaysouth mentioned luck as a factor and I agree with him.  It is a very important part of the equation.  Sometimes you have to outlast things until the luck breaks your way all the while being a top producer at whatever level you may be competing at so that you can continue waiting for the break that might not come your way.  You have to really like baseball sometimes for that to happen.  One thing for people to realize for minor league pay is that if you can somehow mange to get "some" big league service time, you can start to earn a very decent living at the minor league level - assuming your services are still desired.  For instance, many AAA players earn 20,000 a month (about 120k per year) during the season and many of them have been earning that for years.  You probably have never heard of them but there is a reason guys stay in baseball for their entire careers even if they hardly ever play in the big leagues.    

 

INSIDE THE NUMBERS


by: Bob Howdeshell High School Baseball Web

Total number of participating teams and players in high school  and college baseball programs -- as reported by the various  institutions
***
National Federation of High Schools
***
Teams
 
Participants
14,988 455,414 (1,622 girls)
NCAA
National Collegiate Athletic Association
NCAA
Division I
Division II
Division III
274224319
ParticipantsParticipantsParticipants
8,4396,8999,825
***
National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics
***
Teams
 
Participants
320 9,600
NJCAA
National Junior College Athletic Association
NJCAA
Division I
Division II
Division III
18511485
ParticipantsParticipantsParticipants
5,5503,4202,550
COA
California Junior College Association
COA
Teams
 
Participants
87 2,175
***
Totals For 2 & 4 Year Colleges / Universities
***
Teams
 
Participants
1,608 48,408

Now we'll take a look "Inside the Numbers"

The following is a compilation of the odds for a high school player  to either get drafted by a professional team or play college baseball.

Making the Pros

We will make some assumptions on the total numbers of players  eligible each draft year.

High School Players @ 114,159 seniors NCAA (4 year schools) @ 12,581 juniors & seniors NJCAA (2 year schools) @ 11,520 COA (@ year schools) @ 2,175 That gives us 140,435 "draft eligible" players. 140,129/1,500 = 94

1 player in 94 will be selected in the Major League Baseball Draft

Playing in College

High School seniors = 114,159 College "seniors" (or sophomores when related to juco's) = 13,137 That means their are 114,159 graduating high seniors versus 13,137  slots open

Honestly, though, if you choose that path (pro baseball) you likely know where you stand by the time you're in your early 20's. And how many of us truly knew where we'd end up and had a plan by then, anyway. It's no different than the kid who goes to college and gets buried under student loans with a useless degree in a field that doesn't have jobs or doesn't pay well. I wonder how many guys who tried pro ball and failed would have chosen not to pursue the dream if given a second chance? Not many, I would venture to guess.

Once again... I believe the only odds that matter regarding making money playing baseball are when and if you get signed to a professional contract. In other words, this year there were 1216 players drafted.  Seeing that I don't know the actual number, lets assume about 1/3 of those players sign a contract. Using the number 400, how many of those players will make a living in professional baseball. Let's guess that 40 or 10% will make it and 20 or 5% make it and stay for awhile.  I like those odds (1 out of 20) chance of making millions playing baseball. And my odds increase based on how well I perform. Of course if I happen to get selected in the first couple rounds my odds are much better than 10%.

 

To me those are the only odds that count regarding a career in baseball.

 

The other odds that do count is the number that go from high school to play in college.  To me it doesn't really matter that much unless someone is entertaining the idea to quit playing and concentrate on something else while still in high school.

 

The odds of going pro out of college really doesn't matter unless it would cause you to quit baseball and concentrate on something else.

 

Most players, love the game or maybe baseball is helping them pay for college.  They might dream of playing in the Big Leagues, but they are young and the odds of them making it isn't going to change their life one bit.  If they become one of the many that don't get signed to a pro contract, life goes on, nothing stopping them from starting a prosperous life.  Some that truly desire it the most will keep trying through independent baseball or other channels, they keep chasing the dream despite the long odds. I just can't possibly call these young people foolish for chasing their dream. And their education in life continues. These type people have a special quality that might just lead to big success in something down the road.

 

So no matter how the odds stack up, it doesn't even matter until you are actually in professional baseball.  The many that don't ever see a professional pay check continue on in life.  Most will have gained a lot from their involvement playing the game whether it ends in high school, college or pros. Each young new professional has his own odds of success. Some will succeed, many won't. Those young people that are not in professional baseball also have their own odds for success. It's just they are not part of the baseball odds.

 

So here is how I look at it. What are the odds of baseball having a positive impact on a players life. Again, just guessing, but I would say well over 90% will be very glad they played the game. 

 

It just seems ridiculous to me that we have numbers of participants and odds of those participants making it to the very top level.  When in fact, those odds will never pertain to a very large % of the number of participants. And they are never the same odds from one individual to the next.

 

Now if you have a new born baby boy and think he is going to become a MLB player, you might want to consider the odds before you become "one of those parents". Even then the odds can be better for some due to genetics.

 

Bottom line... you can use any number you want. Number of youth players, high school players, college players or the population, every man, woman, child, in the entire world.  And those odds mean absolutely nothing to over 90% of those people. In fact, they really don't mean anything to the other 10% either.

 

 

I'm so completely tracking with PGStaff on this. COMPLETELY.

 

And since I love this thread, I'll throw something else controversial into the mix:

 

I submit that as young as HS, there are a lot of young men out there who everyone, including parents, know that -- barring serious injury -- have overwhelmingly good odds of playing pro baseball.

 

They conclude that for all the right reasons -- the ones we talk about here constantly.

 

Young men like that would be foolish not to go hard after their dream -- because the odds are actually very good.

 

Editing this to try to be clearer: I submit that parents like Bum,TPM and others here KNEW their sons had very good odds early on.

 

OK, ''splain to me how I'm wrong

 

Last edited by jp24

Being a parent of one of those CD referenced from the D3 level, I wonder if any parent
"understands" or "appreciates" the odds, as our sons pursue their goals. More to the point, I wonder how many players are able to pay  attention to the  the odds, or even care that there are "odds."

To put this is a reverse image, once a player is drafted and playing in Milb, the "odds" can change for them every year during the off-season, during Spring Training, and again between June 1 and June 20, as well as from day to day, depending on who is released, who is on the DL, who is acquired and who chooses to retire.  One important  reason is the signings and releases by the organization during each time frame. For instance, around the timing of the draft, the organization might have 8-10 players at a position on June 1.   Then comes the draft, releases and other items and the odds might be down to 6-8 players at one position or up to 12-14 players at that position. This might not even include those in extended Spring Training or who might be on the DL or coming in through the Latin Countries. On the other hand, if a player is in extended, the draft is huge for their "odds."

The words which reverberated for our son are similar to those of Mitch Canham and I am sure what PG is saying. In Milb, focus only on what a player can control: his training habits, his diet, his preparation, his being ready to play and compete every inning of every game and then starting all over again tomorrow.  By 6am, all your stats from game day are downloaded, evaluated and analyzed within the teams overall goals at a location distant from any game played. Line ups are often made from a distance, not those who manage and coach from day to day/game to game. If you are a 25th round pick and hit around .300 for a Milb season, expect to show up for ST battling for a spot on a roster at the next level and don't expect you earned very much. If you are a 5th round pick, show up for ST and you likely will be higher in the order, certain to be in the line up and probably at the next level, even if you scuffled much of the previous season. Those are decisions made from a distance and no parent or player is positioned to know or even guess at  what factors or what options exist to increase or decrease the "odds." In fact, my guess is those factors and options vary depending on the organization and necessarily the "odds" also vary by organizational management, structure and expectations.

In terms of the odds, we have experience from a broad environment. Being close to Stanford, we have listened to Coach Marquess from Stanford.  He is a  strong proponent for the education/degree and planning beyond baseball, because so few of players at the talent level of Stanford end up earning a living from baseball. To illustrate, I read a blog today about Jason Castro from the Astros taking his last final...8 years after being drafted and leaving Stanford.

On the other end, we had a very strong minded D3 kid with a college coach who believed in him and created and coached a pathway toward the odds to  MLB  be "damned", which ended up with injury cutting short some wonderful Milb seasons.

The higher a player achieves, the odds change, but they are rarely in control of the player. The odds are rarely  understood by anyone, except those receiving and analyzing stats at 6am and during the off-season.

Talent impacts the "odds." Draft position impacts the "odds." The organization impacts the "odds. Many, many factors impact the "odds" which change from player to player and sometimes from day to day.  For some players, the odds change this week depending on the Rule V draft results.

For those in Milb, MLB is a rugged business. I truly wonder if anyone "makes" it based on the "odds."

Last edited by infielddad

The odds. How do they factor in to what your going to do? Do you never try because the odds seem too stacked against you? Do you use that as an excuse to never try? Do you stare in the mirror years later and wonder "Just what might have been?" I have always thrived in the role as the underdog. It has always motivated me. When the odds seem too great I take it as an opportunity to prove I can do it. My team can do it. We can do it. It can take you to a level you would have never been.

 

I would much rather go against the odds and be all I can be and fail at my ultimate goal, than to have to wonder what if? I know. My goal for my son's was for them to be all they could be no matter what it was. Baseball, football, life. I never wanted to look in the mirror and say "oh what could have been if I had only>>>>>>>>>>>!

 

And who are these people telling me what the odds are for me? They have no idea what I am capable of doing. They have no idea what the odds are for me. The odds are if you shrink from the opportunity at hand because your afraid of failure you will regret that decision for the rest of your life. Our goals for our children in the game can vary. Some just want their son to make the HS team. Some want their kids to play in college. Some want their kids to play in the show. Some want their kids to be a HOFer. Some just want their kids to be the best they can be and to not have to look in that mirror one day and wonder what if.

 

I say to hel with the odds. Go for YOUR dreams. If you fall short you will still be higher than the person that played it safe. The person that failed to live life with the kind of passion and pursuit of greatness that takes you as far as you were capable of going. Yes they will be safe. They will probably never get cut. Never strike out. Never leave the bases loaded. Never be told they just were not quite good enough. What a pitiful boring life.

 

My youngest loves the game as much as anyone I have ever been around. His dream was to play ML baseball. Now he has a new dream. He is attacking it with the same passion and drive that made him the player and team mate he was. He graduates from college this month. Five and half years of school. Countless memories. Heart break. And times of great joy. Its been a full five and half years. No regrets. No looking in the mirror and wondering what if. He knows. So now he is on to his new dream. And I have no doubt he will fight for that dream as much as he fought for his other dream.

 

And you know what? Regardless of the odds. He will fight on. That's living. Real living. Not this idea that we play it safe and think were going to have a full life. The only limitations we have in this life are the limitations we put on ourselves. Odds? I don't give one second of my time too odds. They don't know me.

Coach May, I love to read your posts.

 

I'm thinking tonight.  This planet has been around billions and billions of years.  The universe probably far longer.  What are our odds that we are here tonight, talking on HSBBW, that we are here alive and talking about baseball.

 

Even greater than the odds our sons will make MLB.

 

While we are still on this Earth, make a difference.  Whether baseball or life.  The odds are stacked against us, but so what--we carry on.

 

Originally Posted by Bum:

I'm thinking tonight.  This planet has been around billions and billions of years.  The universe probably far longer.  What are our odds that we are here tonight, talking on HSBBW, that we are here alive and talking about baseball.

 

Technically, 100%, since everything leading up to us doing it has already happened.

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