Staying home for college
Quick … tell me what all of the following players have in common.
- Matt Adams
- Todd Frazier
- Craig Biggio
- Mo Vaughn
- Ryan Vogelsong
- Tommy Herr
- Dave Winfield
- Bobby Higginson
- Charles Nagy
- George Springer
- Jamie Moyer
- Doug Glanville
- Mark DeRosa
- Joe Nathan
- Jeff Bagwell
- John Franco
Answer: They all were players who stayed up North to attend college.
I had an interesting conversation with a scout friend of mine the other day. We were discussing how the Philadelphia area (high school and college) had very few players who were draft worthy this year. After lamenting about this he talked about something that should be very informative to younger players who have aspirations of playing in college and/or the professional level.
He said that many players in the North think that going South for college will get them more exposure and therefore improve their chances of getting drafted.
Not necessarily true.
Think of it from a scout’s point of view. If a southern scout goes to a school like the University of Florida and watches them play another school like an LSU, there may be 25-30 players on the teams that may be draft worthy now and/or in the future. Several of them may not even play in the game and may not get much playing time until their junior or senior year because of all the other studs they have recruited. There may be a lot of scouts but you’ll be one of 30 players they are looking at.
Now let’s compare this to staying up North to go to college. Your facilities are not as good, the competition generally is not as good, and the weather certainly isn’t going to be better. However, if a very good player stays up North and goes to school, where do you think all the area scouts are going to be each weekend? They are going to be where that kid is playing because he may be the ONLY kid in the whole area that is draft worthy. Chances are also good that those scouts will see this kid play all four years of his college career since he will probably be a starter rather quickly at most Northern schools.
My scout friend was dying to go see ANY player this season that had draft worthy talent. If there was one, he would have been there every weekend.
Going South to play ball is very tempting for a lot of good Northern players. However, a lot can be said for the benefits of staying close to home.
The list of great players above proves it can’t hurt too much.
Tomorrow’s post: Derek Jeter says he wasn’t great. So what was he?