Cranks My Tractor

Published: Thursday, July 18, 2013 at 09:52 AM.

Loving sports and mathematics, I have looked at the numbers and probabilities for years, in terms of a boy getting to play big league baseball.   After looking at the numbers, I realize there will always be a lot of folks who will still spend thousands on the dream of their son or daughter being a professional athlete. 

Dreaming is a good thing, but let’s take a look at it from a numbers perspective.  I’m relatively confident in my calculations.

We first have to start with 1000 high school seniors playing baseball.  So this is not the general public, you have to have played at least at the high school level.  Of those 1000 high school seniors, roughly 5.6% will go on to play college baseball.  Fair enough, that means we have 56 boys playing college baseball.

Before you get your hopes up for a “full ride” baseball scholarship, understand that a typical college baseball team has about 11 scholarships to divide among 35 or more baseball players.  A typical baseball scholarship is around 30%.

Back to the 56 fellows who make it to a college roster; roughly 10.5% of those will be drafted to play in the minor league system of a professional baseball team.  To make it easy, let’s round it up to 6 guys who get paid to play baseball out of the original 1000.

A 10% chance of making it from the minor leagues to a big league ball club is very generous.  10% of 6 fellows is of course six-tenths of one player.  Not meaning he is short, just that his chances are quite small.  You could add in those high school players who get drafted to play minor league baseball right of high school and maybe get up to almost a “full person” out of the original 1000 boys playing high school baseball.

Fewer than half of the rookies in professional baseball make it to five years.  The big money (free agency) starts at 6 years.  Note here that this is the same way the warranty on your car or washing machine works.

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