Geoff Miller

High School Draft Picks: Professional Player Answers

In First Year Player Draft Pick Research on July 27, 2010 at 11:40 am

In addition to the multiple choice questions, I asked each player to provide any additional information that he considered when making his decision to sign or to go to college. The answers that players wrote down were absolutely fascinating and I found compiling these lists to be the most rewarding part of the entire study.

Item: What are your career goals upon retiring from baseball?

  • Getting my degree and having a family.
  • Finishing school if I already haven’t at the time.
  • College.
  • Business management position.
  • None.
  • Going to school and starting another career.
  • Maybe someday be a coach.
  • Possibly being a college coach.
  • I would like to be a sports agent.
  • Finishing four years plus as many as it takes for my major in architectural engineering.
  • Some type of business.
  • None.
  • Having fun.
  • My goals are having a family and coaching.
  • Get a degree in business.
  • Going to school and being a marine biologist.
  • Get into business management.  Help run the family business.
  • Being well off.
  • Get a degree and go from there.
  • Coaching.
  • Owning a business.
  • I want to be a lawyer/agent for upcoming players.
  • Physical therapist.
  • Getting into the business world and making money wisely.
  • Sports management.
  • To be a physical therapist.
  • Coaching and getting my degree.

Item: Write in the space provided any other factors associated with the draft that influenced your decision:

  • I would have gotten more exposure.
  • I was ready to go pro.
  • Age, round, money, and the chance to get started.
  • I basically couldn’t go any higher.
  • I might have gotten drafted higher(if I had attended college), but the chance of going to college and getting hurt and having nothing, moneywise, to show for it was too much of a risk for me to take.  The guy whose position I was going to take (on a college team) got drafted one slot behind me.  This was a big influence.
  • I could only go 8 spots higher.
  • Going to college, I could have thrown out my arm and not have gotten drafted at all.
  • It (college) probably would have (improved my draft status) because I would have had more experience and I would have been better.
  • You never know when injuries can occur.
  • I might have gotten hurt.
  • I was drafted in the 3rd round, not much room for improvement.  College seniors receive smaller bonuses.
  • I was signed as a non-drafted free agent.
  • (I could have improved my draft status) because I felt that I had enough potential to be an impact player, and become a number 1 pick.  It is not a fact that you will be drafted out of college though.
  • Maturing physically over those three years would have put me higher in the draft.

Item: Write in the space provided any other factors associated with money that influenced your decision:

  • I just wanted to make sure that I could at least have my college paid for.
  • Mother single and living alone; wanted to be able to help out.
  • When I signed, I got more money for school than most schools were able to give me.
  • It wasn’t necessarily the money, I just wanted to play.
  • I became a millionaire at the age of 18.
  • I was offered a $1.85 million signing bonus.  Also, I got my college paid for.  I was offered what I thought was fair.
  • Money didn’t matter; I was ready to play.
  • I got college added into my contract and got enough money to last me a couple years until I get to the “Big Show”.

Item: Write in the space provided any other thoughts you shared with scouts concerning your plans before the draft:

  • I said that if I got offered a good amount of money for the round I was drafted in, I would strongly consider signing.
  • I told scouts I would go to the University of Washington and play baseball and football, and receive a degree.
  • I told them if I was drafted high enough with fair money that I would sign.
  • I was a football player.  I had a football scholarship.  So they knew I was serious about going to school to play both sports.
  • I told them that I had a full scholarship and that I was weighing my options between college and professional (baseball).
  • I just wanted to be doing God’s will.
  • I told them I would be fairly easy to sign, but the college route was what I preferred if the money wasn’t good enough.
  • I told them I wanted college and a certain amount of bonus money or I was not signing.
  • I was only going to sign if money for college was involved.
  • I told them that college was there if I needed it, meaning I didn’t really have to sign unless I got some things.

Item: Write in the space provided any other factors associated with academics that influenced your decision:

  • I just like school.
  • I really wasn’t a school person.  I made good grades, but just to get a scholarship.
  • I was only 17 once in my life and I wasn’t getting any younger, so I took the chance because I will always have my brain, so baseball overrode my academic choice.
  • I felt that because I got school included in my deal that I should shoot for the professionals.
  • I was never school oriented.
  • I would not have been able to handle a university work load.
  • The fact that I can go to college and still play professional baseball.

Item: Write in the space provided any other factors associated with family and friends that influenced your decision:

  • My uncle could’ve played in the Dodgers organization or could’ve taken a full ride to Stanford to play, but he did neither.
  • I didn’t really factor in my friends or family when I signed.
  • I wanted to be away from home, but close enough that I could go back 4-5 times a year.  My father wanted me to sign; he put a lot of pressure on me.
  • They told me to do what I wanted to do.  That’s all the support I needed.
  • I was going to be far away from home anyway, so I might as well get paid to do it.
  • They supported me in whatever I decided which made it easier.
  • My friends smoke a lot of marijuana and drink a lot.
  • I wanted to see the other side of life.

Item: Write in the space provided any other factors associated with the colleges you considered that influenced your decision:

  • Fullerton was close to home and has a great program.
  • The coaches were great, the school was small, good education and baseball.
  • I could have played as a freshman.
  • My role on the team as a freshman.
  • Nolan Ryan was the assistant pitching coach at TCU.
  • Besides academics, I wanted college to help me prepare for professional baseball.

Item: Write in the space provided as many reasons as you wish to explain why you are playing professional and not college baseball:

  • Being a pro has been a lifelong dream.  There is always a chance of getting hurt during school.
  • Playing pro ball is a chance of a lifetime.  If you play college ball you might get a career-ending injury and never play again.  It’s a chance you have to take.
  • I was not a pitcher in high school and was afraid that the college coaches would not wait around for me.
  • To serve God through being a light and a positive role model.
  • Get major league instruction from coaches who have big league experience.
  • It was a chance of a lifetime.
  • I wanted to get a college degree as well as fulfill a lifelong dream.  I am doing both and getting paid to play and college is free.
  • Professional baseball is at a higher level than college baseball, and if you are given the opportunity to play at a higher level and are offered money for college and a signing bonus, it seems to be a good idea.
  • Pro baseball is always what I dreamed about.  It was my first goal and you can’t learn to play pro ball unless you play it.
  • I play professional baseball because I love the game and because I have been doing this all my life.  From the family I come from, if I had to have played college baseball, I would have.
  • Quicker to the majors.  You get better attention from your instructors.  You can develop into the player they want.  First, I didn’t want to go to college to be a pitcher.  I didn’t want to go to college and not improve causing me to be a low draft pick, and last of all, I felt I was ready for the competition and didn’t want to pass up this chance!
  • Basically, I just wanted to play professional baseball no matter what the money was or anybody said.
  • To say that I had my chance in pro ball.
  • The risk of injury and not being able to fulfill my dream.
  • I could progress in the organization instead of spending 3 years at college.  Maybe I wouldn’t get drafted again or maybe in a lower round.  I could’ve blown out my arm in college and never gotten the chance.
  • You can develop as an athlete better in professional baseball.
  • Not being able to handle university immediately after high school.  Better baseball professionally than college.  Money.
  • That’s what I want my career to be so I’m getting started early.
  • Professional baseball is much different from college ball.  I’d rather learn the game at the age of 18 than 21.  I chose professional baseball because I love the game.  I got paid a lot of money to sign my name.  I’m making money playing a kids game and have a chance to make more.
  • I am playing professional baseball because my goal is to be a major league star so the quickest way to do that is to start at 17 and not at 20 or 21.  When you are younger, you have a little more of an edge in time than college guys.  As I said, you are only young once!!  Take advantage of your opportunity.
  • So I can get to the majors as quickly as possible.
  • I didn’t want to risk an injury by playing college for 3 years.  It would have been too hard an adjustment swinging aluminum bats for 3 more years.  I have always wanted to play pro ball and wanted to make it to the big leagues as soon as possible.
  • The money and going to new places.
  • If I went to college and got hurt, I may have never gotten the chance to play in the pros.  I wanted to chase my dream.
  • Competition is better in pro ball than in college.
  • I wasn’t really looking forward to college.  All I wanted to do was play baseball.

Item: Write in the space provided any regrets you have about not playing college baseball before signing a professional contract:

  • I have absolutely no regrets about not going to college!
  • No regrets, yet.
  • I would have matured more as a person both mentally and physically.  2.  I would have been drafted in a higher round.  3.  More money.  4.  Enjoyed a normal life, not some kid who everyone looks at like I shouldn’t have been there.
  • I missed out on the college life.  I talk to my friends and they tell me how much fun they’re having.  It’s like you have to become a man earlier than if you went to school.
  • NOTHING!!!  I have seen those guys work and I would rather get paid to do it.
  • Didn’t get to live the college life with my friends.  No college world series.
  • Living the college life and being around my high school friends.
  • Getting a college education right away.  The social aspect of college.  Being away from home a lot more.
  • The social aspect of university.
  • None at all.
  • I don’t have any regrets.
  • Hanging with my friends and the social life.
  • The school pride that college players play for.  It’s a job in the professional ranks.
  • Well, now I think that I could have come out a higher pick and received more money, but other than that I have no regrets!

Back to Statistics and Data Page

Geoff Miller’s book, Intangibles: Big-League Stories and Strategies for Winning the Mental Game — in Baseball and in Life, was released in August, 2012. For more information and free sample chapters, please visit:

For more information, please contact Geoff Miller at miller@thewinningmind.com.

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