It’s the ultimate question that high school seniors who are fortunate enough to be selected in the draft have to ask: Do I turn down hundreds of thousands of dollars -- or more -- to spend the next two to three years playing college baseball, hoping my stock increases and gaining a collegiate education in the process? Or do I turn down a free education to accept a signing bonus and give up my amateur eligibility, spending four to five years traveling on minor league buses and hoping I can play in the big leagues someday?
Both options have risks and rewards, but which is the better choice overall? To better answer that, I decided to take a look at the players who made the decision to attend college rather than sign in 2011, and where their current draft stock is headed. I looked at Keith Law’s top 100 prospects from the 2011 class, and of those 100, seven chose to attend college rather than sign with the clubs that drafted them.
Note that Kevin Moriarty was 98th on the list, but left college after one year and gave up baseball, so there’s really no stock to judge. These players were drafted anywhere from 21st overall to the 14th round, and the trend of their stocks thereafter (in both directions) was surprising.
Some of these players can -- and likely will -- drop or rise in their respective positions. A lot can happen in four months. But for now, with the college baseball season set to begin on Friday, this is where they stand.
30. Tyler Beede, RHP | Vanderbilt
2011 draft status: No. 21 overall, Toronto Blue Jays
Despite being the 21st pick in the 2011 draft, Beede and his camp had a disagreement with the Blue Jays that resulted in his enrollment at Vanderbilt.