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@Good Knight posted:

You are a good student. You love your team friends. You are draftable. You are a good player.

Do you stay in school, play Senior year with your guys and graduate? Or subject yourself to MILB life?

I coached a young man in HS who went to a P5 and decided to stay his senior year.  He tore his Achilles tendon and was done.  He often thinks about what could have been.

We walked in this parents shoes....

99% of the time, the player will make more in bonus money being drafted as a junior than a senior.  Take the money and play!  The player has 10 years to finish his degree.  The chance to play at the highest level may not come again.

.....Unless he is playing for a team that actually has a shot of winning in Omaha, then maybe stay for his senior year.

When drafted in the first ten rounds the MLB organization is telling you you’re a legitimate prospect. 84% of American MLB players come from the first ten rounds. Senior year the player doesn’t have negotiating leverage. The offer is likely to be lower.

Tenth round typically isn’t big money anyway. Unless it’s a high school player the MLB organization is trying to lure away from college with big money.,

Last edited by RJM

There’s no issue with getting the team to pay for his last year of school (it may even be required these days). They pay in the rears, and most don’t take advantage of the benefit.

Our most valuable possessions are the memories of our experiences. If you’re in a position of trying for the brass ring without derailing your life, then you probably should toss your hat in the ring. If not, you might be destined to be one of those who often talks about how they could have played…

I will say the minors puts a lot of wear and tear on the parents, at least it did for me…

Just went through this decision!  We talked a LOT about it at dinner, let me tell you. My son was eligible as a sophomore but decided to return to school because it was impossible to finish his major coursework in two years--and waiting years to take the major capstone seemed impractical. (Who is going to pick up exactly where they left off with statistics or programming or any other topic after 5 years off?).

Luckily, he stayed healthy and was ready for the draft when offered the chance in a Day 2 round the following year. Were the same scouts still interested?  Some yes; some absolutely no.  Some dropped him forever when he didn't sign as a sophomore. Some new ones were interested in junior year. But at least now, after figuring out how to return in the Fall (which he did by asking the Dean to come back to school 2 weeks late, and asking player development to reschedule his Fall instructs to Winter), he has only a few electives left to finish. He's in a much better position to graduate with the major he originally wanted at some point.

He has friends who did exactly the opposite.  They graduated and then signed later as UDFAs for very little money.  Some are doing very well on this track!  One is already in AA.

I think the decision is very personal.  Agents, by the way, almost always want you to go now, as there's a huge premium on younger players. For pitchers, the risk of some random injury is real, particularly in college (where some coaches will let your pitch count get into the triple digits each and every week if they have no one decent behind you). Some of his friends still have one COVID year of eligibility to leverage, so that's not exactly the same as being a senior, and some are riding baseball through grad school and still hope to sign after. There are a lot of options.

I guess you have to make a bet that you've thought it through and will be satisfied with the outcome you pick—in case the alternative never comes to pass.  But what a great position to be in! I wish them the best!  Let us know what happens.

Last edited by RHP_Parent

I think that sums it up @RHP_Parent. These are all deeply personal decisions with so many factors to consider. Health, your ceiling, the college experience, the delta between what you think you are worth and what they think you are worth... You are always betting in yourself. If you stay in college the bet is that they have undervalued you and that the combination of you being able to prove something you haven't already AND that you are getting closer to graduating or graduating (plus the college experience) is more than the value of what you would get going in the draft. On the other side, you are betting that you can get into the minors and thrive. When you get it right, you look like a genius. When you get it wrong you have people saying "I could have told you that." It all really starts with really thinking about the relative importance if each factor for the player.

One thing I will add is that now that there are less minor league teams and less rounds of the draft, the window of opportunity has gotten even tighter.

Last edited by PTWood

This is one place where it's really helpful to think long term if possible. My son took enough AP and dual credit courses in HS that he finished his degree in three years and then enrolled in a teaching certification program so he could keep playing. He may someday go back, but when the draft called, it was a pretty easy decision. But the degree was important — my dad is a college professor and the first in his family to go to college so it really mattered to him, and to us. Glad he didn't really have to think too hard about it. Also helped that he was a history major and not engineering or neuroscience or anything like that.

Last edited by Iowamom23
@Good Knight posted:

You are a good student. You love your team friends. You are draftable. You are a good player.

Do you stay in school, play Senior year with your guys and graduate? Or subject yourself to MILB life?

Just keep in mind, after senior year, your leverage is zero and you're probably getting $5K after taxes. But, if you're not going to see much after junior year, then it's probably smart to consider playing senior year and finishing that degree. It's sort of mentally hard to go back after you left.

If the goal is mlb definitely go after your junior year. Not only you have more leverage for a better signing bonus but also age plays against you as a college senior, if you are 26 in AAA you aren't really a prospect anymore.

Also if you are really good free agency gets pushed back another year and if you are a free agent after age 30 that does reduce earning potential a lot.

Yes, there are college seniors who make mlb at age 27 but I think that is more the exception.

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