The NCAA has voted to allow high school players to use an agent when negotiating with major league teams, writes Teddy Cahill of Baseball America. Previously, the use of an agent could qualify a player as a professional and invalidate his NCAA eligibility or result in a suspension. For now, the rule applies to five major conferences. Other D-I conferences have the option to opt in. As you may expect, high school players must end their relationship with the agent if they opt to attend college. A few more conditions apply.
The previous rule that banned player-agent relationships was most recently in the news in early 2014 when the Phillies accused fifth-round pick Ben Wetzler of using an agent. Wetzler did not sign with the Phillies and was subsequently banned for 20 percent of his senior season. While the new rule will help high school players in a similar situation, it would not have saved Wetzler. Drafted college juniors are still disallowed from using an agent.
- Shortstop Delvin Perez is the best prospect in Puerto Rico and a legitimate option as the top player in the draft, writes Keith Law of ESPN. The 17-year-old headlines a group of several top Puerto Rican prospect. Law cites 70 grade speed on the 20-80 scouting scale to go with a plus arm, hands, and raw power. He should eventually hit for average too, although he currently has trouble with offspeed stuff. Astros shortstop Carlos Correa is the most recent 17-year-old top prospect out of Puerto Rico. Perez is a faster player with better defensive ability, but he lacks Correa’s polish. Instead, Law compares him to Byron Buxton and Justin Upton, both of whom were considered raw, elite talents when drafted. For those keeping track at home, the Phillies hold the first overall pick.
- Law also has notes on other notable Puerto Ricans. Of those he profiled, he seems most enamored with Jose Miranda, citing great bat speed, some power, and a need for more polish. He’s currently a shortstop with a chance to stick at the position, but Law sees him as a better fit for second or third base.
- Since 2012, the Astros have the best minor league winning percentage, writes J.J. Cooper of Baseball America. Incidentally, that window corresponds with GM Jeff Luhnow’s tenure. The club does well to reward its minor league affiliates, including rings and big team dinners when they win a championship. First base prospect Tyler White offers an interesting anecdote – he’s won a championship in High-A, Double-A, and Triple-A over the last three seasons. The winning culture not only means the club has a talented bunch of minor leaguers, it’s also good for player development.
A very small step to right an awful injustice. The NCAA has an economic interest in keeping unpaid labor (let’s face it, that’s what amateur college athletes are) as powerless as possible, but in what line of work would we prohibit anyone from getting adequate counsel–and children especially.
Jorge Soler Powered
They aren’t unpaid labor. They are getting free education that non-Athletes pay small fortunes or end up in debt for. And they get to play a game!
We are going to have to disagree on this. they are entitled to representation when dealing with the MLB. They are able to get scholarships that are merit-based, just as other kids may also get merit-based scholarships for other talents. I agree that college is insanely expensive, but the mere fact that they get a scholarship should not preclude them from getting professional advice. Others with unusual talents are not prohibited from it.
It’s not FREE. You have to have a skill set to be able get a “FREE” education. That takes hard work over years to earn. Obviously you weren’t an athlete, or you wouldn’t have made such a statement. BTW… Most athletic scholarships are year to year.
Sounds similar to what teachers experience to a certain degree. Years of training followed by year long contracts that are only renewed if they perform up to a particular standard, in exchange for a certain benefit. For teachers, that benefit is money, for college baseball players, it is an expensive education that others pay to get.
You’re right though, their education isn’t free, but it is their pay for being some of the best at playing a game and being an asset to the college.
You might want to check those facts a majority of college baseball players are not getting a free education. With less than 12 scholarships and usually 30-35 kids on a team that doesn’t happen. It not a head count sport.
A few get full rides and depending on the school most of those rides are Juco kids
Mike, I agree with you that they should be allowed to get representation to protect their their interests while deciding whether or not to forgo college and go straight to professional baseball without penalty from the NCAA.
BUT…saying that college athletes are unpaid is just not true, they are paid entirely through benefits, rather than cash. Just like people with jobs get benefits such as insurance in lieu of pay, these athletes are getting paid in education, housing and often meals. And yes, academic scholarship recipients are also being paid. Athletes are being paid because of the value they bring back to the university and brainiacs are being paid because of the prestige they bring to the university.
As for the Astros piece of the article, the Mets have been near the top 2-3 of the minor league winning percentage teams for the last two years. It took them a bunch of mediocre major league seasons to get enough top third draft picks, but that is only setting them up for more years of winning records at the major league level..by contrast, the Yankees have had winning minor league teams which gave them prospects to trade. But winning at the big league level kept getting them lower third draft picks, and trading prospects left their system much dryer and then have nothing left to trade at deadline time.last two years. It’s cyclical. But look at the Cardinals. They win, get lower draft picks, and draft well. Pay for good scouting and you can certainly keep feeding a winnignmajor league team!
This is incorrect…Tyler White could not have won a ring in AA since the Corpus Christi Hooks’ (Astros AA) last (and only) championship was back in 2006.
Too often minor league teams are only seen as pit stops for prospects. Rewarding the team, as a whole, by holding banquets, ceremonies, and parties reminds the players it is a team sport. It helps them bring the focus back to the team and their teammates and heck after a long season why not reward your teams for winning.
As far as what good minor league championships could bring to a franchise, well truly only good can come out of winning, regardless what level of baseball we are talking about. Also, for the Astros, it very well could help the younger prospects experience a winning culture and atmosphere throughout the systen as a whole.
The Astros have a bunch of highly rated prospects that are more than likely already use to winning on their previous teams, but creating a whole pipeline of winning teams can only help, and it gives these youngsters something to hang their collective hats on for their young professional careers.
Overall, I love the fact management is recognizing their individual minor league teams for winning, you don’t hear about it enough, in my opinion.
Why would NCAA care if a HS used an agent to explore turning professional before choosing to go to college? Its not like they signed a contract and played professionally.
Perhaps MLB influencing them?