SARASOTA - Parents pick baseball for their sons for different reasons. They also pick certain teams for different reasons. Some reasons they may pick a team are friends being on the team, skill level of the team, religious affiliation, or maybe even who the coach is and his reputation. Parents who put their kids on travel teams and help them get to college ball are hoping that their kid makes it to the big leagues. But, do they really know what their son is getting into?
Many people wonder sometimes if the way Major League Baseball organizations draft and recruit is right. As always, some kids come straight from high school graduation one day and walking onto a field with a 20 million dollar contract the next. Is that necessarily the right way to go?
Some people feel as though MLB companies are going overseas to recruit their players and not seeing the raw talent they have developed here at home. If these companies are watering down the value of these players then how can they continue on in their career?
Having the opportunity to talk to ex- big leaguers around the tournament, they gave insight into what they believe about these organizations. Some of these big leaguers are coaching while others were in the stands cheering on their sons. Chet Lemon, Midre Cummings, Jimmy Osting, and Brad Radke all have differing views on MLB.
Lemon is a firm believer that these organizations are drafting the best way they can. “Don’t fix what isn’t broken,” is a motto that Lemon says truly applies to this situation. To go along with that, Osting likes the new rules that have been implemented for drafting. These rules help the current players and push the flow of incoming players through a basic pattern of high school to college and college to the major leagues.
One person disagreeing with those views is Cummings. Cummings says the process is completely different from when he went through it 16 years ago. Being a firm believer that these organizations are souring the skill level of the kids here at home, Cummings appreciates watching his players while he still can.
“The MLB is beginning to go overseas and are watering down the kids that offer great skills here at home,” Cummings said.
A parent who was at the Florida State Finals cheering on his son was Brad Radke. Being an ex-big leaguer himself he was able to add to the insight that was found. His perspective was one the others had failed to mention.
“The draft has changed a lot,” Radke said. “We won’t really know how the new arrangement is going to work out but they’re trying to make it so small market teams get better draft picks with their smaller budget. We’ll just have to see how everything pans out in a couple years.”
All together those making decisions for the MLB draft are trying to do what’s best for each organization involved. Each decision may negatively impact incoming players in ways like making it more difficult to get into an organization or not acknowledging their full potential while positively affecting players already in the major league organizations. The decisions in the draft have positively affected current players in that they now have the ability to stay with an organization for a longer period of time.