“Acknowledging the flaws in the system, at least it’s not the system baseball operates under. I like college baseball and follow the Diamond Heels, as much as I can. College baseball is no where near as exciting as it’s basketball and football counterparts. A big reason for that (aside from the complete lack of coverage which puzzles me) is that many of the top high school players enter the draft and head to the minor leagues instead of going to college. Major league baseball doesn’t have a rule against an 18 year old hitting the field fresh out of high school. Imagine Brice Harper and Manny Machado in college baseball right now. By at least blocking high school players from entering the league for a minimum of one year, at least college basketball gets a glimpse of the best players before they take off to the pro.”
College basketball and baseball are vastly different when it comes to the pace of the game, player development, and the number of spaces available for players to play professionally in America. First obviously Matt has not been in Chapel Hill during the runs to the College World series, and must not have been watching the night Chad Flack shocked the crimson tide with his two run homer in the ninth inning. Yes college basketball gives March Madness and a multitude of great moments, but college baseball is not suffering because Donovan Tate is playing minor league baseball. Wait he no longer is.
Dustin Ackley, JD Drew, Roger Clemons, Rafael Palmero, Will Clark, Robin Ventura, B.J. Surhoff were fun players to watch in college. Major league baseball may be even worse about evaluating talent than the NBA because projecting how kids will do with professionals is a crap shoot. How many MLB first round draft picks last year made rosters in the show? Without Googling can you name the last 5 overall number one picks in major league baseball? Like me the answer for most of us would be a resounding no, but according to Matt the top players left before high school. The last three overall number one picks in MLB were college players completing their junior year, and the last four out of five were college players. Drafting college prospects allow MLB executives to see a player develop against better competition for three years without putting any money into the player. Are there players who make the jump right away and are successful, but the fact that the past five years4/5 overall number one picks have been college players shows that college baseball has not suffered because of a three year rule.
Comparing the NBA and the MLB draft is also comparing apples to oranges. The NBA draft has two rounds and many of the second round picks are not even signed to a contract. Even if every player left who could make in the NBA straight out of high school we are looking at a handful of players. Major league baseball has so many rounds that i might even get drafted this year. With each team having multiple minor league teams there are far more opportunities to play than basketball. In basketball the rosters are limited to half the players a MLB team carries.
Matt also believe the one and done rule in college basketball lets us see a glimpse of the great players without impacting college basketball. This is where I think Matt is using his Carolina Blue goggles to form this opinion. North Carolina is a school where it may be down, and I use the word down loosely, for a year, but it reloads it’s roster with more great players. The same would be true without the one and done rule. Matt is thinking about the players that may be at UNC for one year and possibly taking them to the promise land. However Roy lost JR Smith to the league because he left out of high school, and I think that turned out just fine. North Carolina would continue to get top recruits because of the tradition, and who wouldn’t want to be in Chapel Hill as a college kid. College basketball fans would get to see players develop, and the phrase student athlete could be taken a little more seriously than it is now with kids who skip classes or stop all together and leave for the NBA after year one.
I believe college athletics should be for kids who are serious about getting a degree and bettering themselves for life. I will never be for paying college players because i have seen how they can work the system to get the funds they need, but that is for a different column for a different day. Matt and I will probably never see eye to eye on this, but one day he may come over to the good side of the force.