Mid February has always been a special time for me as players report to spring training and college baseball gets rolling.
Yet the story of the Phillies turning in two players into the NCAA for hiring an agent has hit the news in a big way.
It is common knowledge that agents or in legal terms “advisors” reach out to top players around the country and basically get into a bidding war by visiting a players home or have the player and family come to their office to become representation for a player. You need go no further than Jupiter, Florida for the Perfect Game WWBA World Championships to see hundreds of advisors roaming around the complex.
In high school these advisors try and guide them towards the draft if they feel the player can get ample money to sign. On the other end you have the college coach that is trying to tell the player how he will benefit from attending school and receive more money by his junior year if he attends college.
Then you have the player who is in college who is now draft eligible either by his age or has reached is junior year that in most cases is hoping to get drafted because if he does not majority of the time will have little bargaining power in next year’s draft school for his senior year. However there are players that are at the top tier level that can get as much if not more if they stay for their senior year in college. Most college coaches recruit with the understanding that they will lose a top player in their junior year and recruit accordingly.
Most parents are now experiencing this scenario at a very young age with “travel baseball.” The travel baseball scene is has multiplied by fifty in the past ten years. The practice of recruiting is to be honest mind boggling to me and I use to get caught up in this the first two or three years with Baseball U.
We have changed in that my beliefs have changed in that we want to win but at what expense. I sleep better at night in knowing that we will never stop a player from doing what they need or want to do. I tell every parent that Baseball U does not want to be that deciding factor in a player’s life when they look back years from now and have that player or family say what if? We tell a player that if they want to play for us this is what is required and if they want to do something else they are more than welcome but this is what we need from a player.
I tell every parent that nobody is going to look after your son more than you as a parent. We will never tell a player where to go to school or what to do in the draft. That decision is a player’s and only a player’s.
I have seen some parents in the past tell the player that he needs to go to a certain school so they can see him play? Everyone wants to see their son play but at what expense to a player’s dream?
Baseball U is here for a player that wants to develop and get exposed not for us to make a decision for a player and their family. If someone else promises you more than buyer beware!
While everyone might not believe what the Phillies did is correct I am sure that there is more to this story and was more aimed at the agents than an individual player(s).
Make no mistake about it a warning shot has been fired and it will be interesting in seeing where this developing news of the Phillies will take baseball in the future.
One positive thing for sure that will come out of this is that is the player and parents will become more educated on what this whole process brings and the rules and consequences that come with the territory.