Good Morning! Today is the day that the seniors and some of the eligible underclassmen have been looking forward to and dreading....It's the Major League Baseball amateur draft day. Why are the guys dreading it? Well, if they are not drafted, then they find their business suits and button down shirts and stand in line with the rest of America looking for a job that has benefits.
Why are they excited? Huh? I need to tell you? OK, here it goes....
There are four players on Buddy's team who are actual prospects. How do we know that they are prospects? Well, they have had scouts in the stands watching them, had to complete forms and surveys for major league teams, or have had try outs with the pros. Based on what I hear through the grapevine, four or possibly five could be drafted today.
Let's start with California....he is truly a terrific pitcher. I enjoyed watching him play as his fast ball is fast and the curve has great movement. He's a big kid and in great shape. One night, he had dozens of scouts in the stands. This kid is legit.....the only downside is that he is slated to be one of Buddy's room mates next year. He has gone on record as saying: "if the pros call....I'm outahere!" Not that I blame him one bit, but my kid needs one more player to take California's place or the spiders will take over the bedroom, rent free.
Next kid: "Pittsburgh" was drafted in the late rounds last year, offered minimal money and returned to school for his last year. The money was not worth giving up his scholarship to perhaps make it to the big leagues. So, he returned to school, had a great year, and will go higher in the draft.
Three other players have been watched, but they will probably go much lower meaning they will not be given much money and will have to work harder to make it. Two of the players are underclassmen and if they are drafted too low, they will probably return to school, hone their craft, and if healthy, be drafted next year (like Pittsburgh).
On to Buddy's Ohio team....there are two guys who will probably be drafted as pitchers. The one player had a tremendous year at this fourth school in four years. he failed out of the first three....yikes....The second player was on television this year and looked amazing as he threw his fast ball. He's tall, athletic, and is a good prospect.
How do I know these things? I have been hanging out at stadiums for years, kept my mouth shut, and ears open. Occasionally Buddy will share information with me and I put the pieces together. I am going to keep my fingers crossed for these guys. They have played year round, trained, gone to school (except for one of them) and deserve at least an opportunity to prove themselves.
When people look at the players, I don't think that they realize how hard they work. For example, Buddy spends two hours at PT three times a week. he comes home and continues to rehab (as I watched him with the bands last night). Then he goes to the gym 6 days a week for another two hours of cardio and leg/core work. He runs to the bakery four-five times a week and collapses into bed. it's a crazy existence for a young man whose friends do not understand why he not available to sit on the beach and drink beer with them. But he is going to do his very best to make it. I support him 100% of the way. However, there are days when I worry that all of this is for a good physique and he will not get the chance to try out for the pros. it's scary....but big dreams usually are...the real scary part is if you sit back and do not do your best to make it...then you are left with regrets and 'what-ifs'.
And so, tonight, dad and Buddy will hit the turnpike and attend a minor league game. Coach T is scheduled to pitch. This is a moment that the big leftie has waited for since he started working out with him. Coach T is largely responsible for Buddy's success. He has been his mentor and coach. He also has a soft spot in his heart for my son. Coach T is so close to making it to the 'bigs' that he can taste it. I pray that one day soon, he can achieve his ultimate goal...even for one season...the hard work and sacrifice will have been well worth the effort.
Have a great day!