As the 2017 1st Year Player Draft approaches. Many young boys & families throughout the country are excited. To date, I personally have had 96 MLB Draft Picks come out of my program. Twenty-Six made it to the Big Leagues, and I've seen and heard a lot along the way. Been through it all. Nine 1st Rounders, and I watched every inch of Harper and Bryant's journey. I'm here today to fill you in on some truths about the upcoming MLB Draft.
First of all, don't expect anything! Your goal all along should've been to secure your college and then see what happens in the Draft. Many players base their expectations about where they will be taken in the draft on what their local area scout says. Well I have news for ya, he has no idea when you will taken. NONE! He may really like you, and he may have you shoved way at the top of his preference list. However, that doesn't mean much. The guys that make the calls are in the Draft room.
Let me explain how it works. Let's just say you're a west coast kid. Your area scout really likes you. So he heads to his draft meeting starting end of May, 1st of June. This area scout goes in and talks about all his guys. Every other west coast scout in the organization also comes with their own list. So heading into this meeting, your area scout had you #2 on his list (Top 5 Rounder.) Well each scout on the west coast for that club (could be 10-15 other scouts) has a preference list as well. So everyone puts up their guys and a "Top 20" or "Top 30" list is created.
So the west coast scouts had their meetings, and the top 30 list is done. You are #12 on that top 30 list. Good job right? Your scout comes home and calls you all fired up. You and your family are starting to really get pumped up. DON'T!!
Now the club has its Mid West Scout Draft meetings. Same protocol. Once they finish up, the club now has a Top 30 list from the Mid-West. They mesh the two lists together. Now you went from #12 out of 30 on the west coast to #36 out of 60. Then they add in East Coast list as well. Now you might be #77 out of 90. The Scouting Director and executive staff cross-check everyone and choose their favorite 10 players because they have seen all the players. Unlike the area scout who has only seen his 4 or 5 states.
A lot of guys get missed in my mind. Because scouts are lazy. They don't go grind and really hunt! Now we have a few good ones and they do it right, but for the most part It's the same scout, In the same area, same tan pants, Tommy Bahama shirt or polo. Probably wearing a baseball hat or visor they got free somewhere. Radar gun, stop watch, and scout bag. Maybe a towel, chew, and some water.
What I'm getting at is this: 100% politics are involved at every level. Kids get missed. Kids get drafted that shouldn't. Some players don't have money to go travel and do all the exposure events. But something parents need to understand loud and clear, If your kids good. They will come. Period. As much as you think you HAVE to be at this event or that event ! You are wrong. As much as those experiences can help your son or daughter; it can also hurt them. It's easy to have a good player and get colleges and pro scouts see them. BUT, when they do, and if they don't like what they see
they'll mark them ( NP ) Non Prospect. That's hard to remove. How about you spend that time and money actually mastering your craft and improving your product on the field?
The Draft is near. If you haven't filled out any player questionnaires from any clubs or MLB you are not being drafted.
By the way, once the "Top 90 List" was put together and you became #77 you ended up getting drafted in the 23rd round. You are mad. Depressed. You wanna cry. Dad starts in "The Scout Lied" yells at The "Advisor" etc and so on. No ones fault. You should have simply worked harder. Gotten better. Played better. It's 100% out of everyone's hands.
So my advice to everyone is to wish each other good luck. If drafted, be happy. Be excited. Be Grateful because 9000 other players never heard their name called. It's not about signing for a trillion dollars. It's about an opportunity to play professional baseball. Then the goal becomes to get to the Bigs. That's where you get paid. If you're that good then get drafted, Sign, and let's go see.
Many of you may not be ready. And college is the right path. Harper went straight to Pro Ball; he is fine. Bryant went to college he is also fine. Why? Because both were good players, and it was just a matter of time. They Trusted The Process! They weren't ever scared. They Raked. They out worked everyone. Most of all, they played the game everyday and played with ferocious intensity.
Don't sit at the computer this year during the draft and be upset because you get drafted later than planned. Be excited that you were drafted at all. And if you don't get drafted, and you think you should have been. Work harder. Keep grinding. Find an instructor to help you. Find an honest evaluation of your complete game. That's what we do here at The Hitting Guy. Nothing but the truth and the finest player development in the country.
I hope this helps some of you. The Draft can be the greatest thing in the world to a family. Remember though, once you sign the contract, the celebration is over. You become a number in an organization, and if ya don't play well, if you don't get along with everyone, and if you don't do exactly as your told. They send ya home. It's really that simple. And by the way, you make $1100 bucks a month before taxes. So unless mom and dad have money or you get a nice bonus, the road is about to get really bumpy.
Living in hotels for 6 months. Hotel or club house food. Little rest. No one to really talk to. Everyone now is competing for their life. You have guys on your team and that you live with you don't like. Guys from all over the world. Old coaches and new coaches. You may not like a coach, or a coach may not like you. Here we say, "Play Better". Because if you don't like something and you play better, then you advance.
The season ends, and now you have 4 1/2 to 5 months to rest, heal any nagging injuries you had, and grind to better your skills in every way possible. It's a complete and 100% life change, and if you don't make the proper adjustments you won't be around long.
This is just some truths about the draft. I hope this helps you prepare for what is sure to be a big day. I wish all of you luck and hope to see you on TV someday.
All The Best,