Connecting MLB and the NCAA
If you use the Boston Red Sox as a representative sample, the odds of reaching the big leagues after being drafted are about 1 out of 10.
From 2001 through 2004, Boston had five players per year make it to the majors. Out of the 200 names that they drafted in those four years, the club still has Kevin Youkilis, Jon Lester, Jonathan Papelbon, and Dustin Pedroia.
In 2006, there were nine Boston picks that made it to the majors. Daniel Bard and Justin Masterson came out of the first two rounds, Ryan Kalish in the 6th, and Josh Reddick and Lars Anderson in the 17th and 18th rounds. After that year, the only two Sox draft picks that have touched the big leagues are Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Weiland.
So what’s the point?
In six years from 2001-06, the Red Sox drafted about 300 players and 37 of them reached the majors. About 150 of those draftees had only finished high school, and just 12 of those high school picks ever played one game in the big leagues.
That leaves about 140 high school kids stuck in the minor leagues. Most of these kids likely passed up a baseball scholarship and free education in order to sign with the Red Sox.
Baseball needs to work with colleges, instead of against them, when dealing with high school talent.
One solution would be to have the drafting team pay for the education of a high school pick.
Instead of signing kids out of high school and paying them to go play minor league baseball somewhere, teams would pay for them to go to college, and keep their drafting rights.
The odds of being drafted out of high school and turning into Jon Lester are not good. He is the only current Red Sox player that was drafted by Boston out of high school.
If the NCAA allowed MLB to pay the scholarships of each player that is drafted, more players would have a college education, and that would have to be a good thing in life.
More college teams would have more talent, and that would make for a better sport.
Maybe if the two sides work together, MLB could also showcase the College World Series, and then hold the draft the day after the last game is played.