BOSTON—Last year, Andrew Benintendi, Alex Bregman and Dansby Swanson all reached the majors in their first full seasons as professionals. The same was true of 2014 draft picks Michael Conforto and Kyle Schwarber, who opposed one another in the 2015 National League Championship Series.
While high school products like Mookie Betts, Manny Machado, Corey Seager and Mike Trout developed into major league superstars, the odds of finding another player like them in the draft are remote. No matter how promising this year’s high school class looks—headlined by Hunter Greene, Royce Lewis, Austin Beck and MacKenzie Gore—they won’t all turn out to be stars.
Agent Scott Boras has his ideas on the subject of high school players turning pro, and they’re ideas scouting directors and Major League Baseball may not like. Boras has long argued that baseball would be better off and economically more efficient if teams would limit the number of high school players they signed. Let all but the elite preps go to college so that they can mature in a disciplined social setting, further their education and play games where winning actually matters, unlike the minors.
A number of organizations work diligently to find ways to create a maturation and development atmosphere for teenagers. But by the time prep players reach the age where they would have three years of college discipline and maturity, many of them have burned those years on 10-hour bus rides, flea-bag hotels, the health hazards of McBurger Kings, groupies and six packs.
Take the case of Swanson. Would he be starting at shortstop for the Braves had he signed as a 38th-round draft pick out of high school rather than going to Vanderbilt? In college he won a national championship with Tyler Beede, Carson Fulmer, Walker Buehler and Ben Bowden, all of whom are prospects who could be reaching the MLB city limits by the end of this season.
Read the entire article at BaseballAmerica.com.