Well it's that time of the year again when the dream of being a Major League baseball player begins for a couple thousand lucky amateur baseball players. Years of playing come down to two short days in June and one even shorter phone call. As you read this, these future players are signing contracts and heading to their respective camps.
The experience for me was something that I wont soon forget. It started early in the fall as quick talks with various scouts from different organizations and proceeded like that through the majority of the college season. At about a month until the draft, the phone calls really started to pick up and the talks about where they thought I would fit into their organization began. Up until this point, baseball had always been just a game, but now I was hit with the business side of this game. The last month of the season was way different than anything from the previous three seasons. We had earned a place in a regional, something that we had never done during my first three seasons. The chance to make it to the College World Series was first on our minds and it was tough to not become distracted by all these happenings.
My apartment door seemed to revolve as scouts with written tests, eye test and small talk entered and exited. I happened to live with two draft eligible players, one of who was slated to go in the top few rounds. So it was obvious whom they were there for, but they usually gave me the courtesy round of questions to see where I stood on the whole draft thing. The first day of the draft came and went with no call. This was not a surprise to me because I had an idea where I stood from the conversations I had been having with the scouts before this day. I actually spent the morning of that day on a plane home from the regional and remember standing in the baggage claim when the G.M of the White Sox called to tell my buddy that they had drafted him the second round.
Day two of the draft began with an early morning phone call that I received while sitting in a review session for a class that I had a final in the next day. I left the class to take the call and never made it back in as calls kept coming from different organizations with different offers. When I say offers I'm not talking about anything crazy just more seeing what the organization had in mind for me, what little they could offer, and whether I would sign with them. I finally got the call from my scout to tell me that it was official and I headed back into class just in time to get my book bag before the next class started.
That is pretty much the best picture I can give you about my experience with the draft. It's so different for every player that gets drafted that I don't think one person can really sum it up. Some players expect to get drafted and have huge demands, others are just happy to get the shot to live out a dream, and others fall somewhere in between. Whatever it is, once it's over, the playing field is level and a whole new journey begins as players try to make it to the big leagues.