On the eve of the start of my eighth MLB draft, I’m reflecting on my first significant baseball writing, my Master’s thesis. My research was entitled Decision-Making Factors Governing High School Players’ Choice of a College or Professional Baseball Opportunity. I wanted to know what factors were most important to high school seniors who were drafted and had to choose between signing or going to school as I had known many players who regretted their choices years after they made them. Three years ago, I posted each chapter of my thesis and all my statistics and data, but I never aggregated the posts to make them easier to navigate. You’ll find each chapter link listed below.
I’ve always found the most fascinating part of this work the free form answers I got from the players I surveyed. In short, I looked at two different populations, college players who had been drafted, but turned down their bonus offers in favor of college and professional players who had been offered scholarships, but chose to sign and go directly to pro ball. I created a multiple choice survey to be answered, but also left space for participants to write in anything else they wanted on each subject. I’ve highlighted those pages at the bottom of the post in the MUST READ section.
It’s been fifteen years since I finished this research (how is that possible??). The dollar figures have most definitely changed. My involvement in the game has changed as well. I’m now in a position to help young men make the most of their opportunities, to understand the choices they have made and will make, and to move forward in those choices rather than look back with regret. Much of the information I gathered remains true today and I still access it (from the far reaches of my brain rather than my blog, mostly) as I’m sitting down with 18-year olds who have just graduated from high school, some of whom have just received more money than their parents have ever or will ever earn in their lifetimes. In just 8 days, many lives will be changed forever, many will demand that their lives be changed forever, and some will be faced with life-changing money and have to decide whether going to college really is the smartest choice to make. As we tweet and comment and watch and speculate, let’s remember how important each decision is and how each young man and his family must decide for themselves what they think is best for his future as a baseball player, a student, a son, a brother, and sometimes even as a father.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.