We are exactly two weeks away from the MLB Rule 4 Draft. Many college baseball players and high school baseball players are having their seasons come to a close while others are still playing. Many talented players have already chosen their advisors, but there are also quite a few who have held out until now to make the important decision on who will be helping them decide whether to go pro or go to school, and if they will go pro, how they should be negotiating their draft bonus. There are others who believe an advisor is not necessary – some will sign for less money than they should have, while others will make prudent decisions.
The players who are going to commit to an advisor within the next couple of weeks should be well prepared in the “selection process”. Just as there are a variety of choices in any isle of your local supermarket, there are many different types of advisors. Things that an athlete should consider include the advisor’s knowledge base, connectivity to baseball decision makers, negotiating style, track record, and fee structure. From a biased standpoint, the perfect book for an athlete and his family to read prior to making the important advisor selection is An Athlete’s Guide to Agents, Fifth Edition. I am biased, because I am a Contributing Writer on the book.
The publisher has been nice enough to share a chapter from the book, free of charge, for your enjoyment. Chapter 7 is titled, Making the Selection, and it provides some excellent tips about what an athlete and his family should be looking for in an advisor. I especially like this tip:
Ask a prospective agent for proof of educational background, training, and work experience – particularly in the sports field. The agent’s experience and record is particularly crucial if he is going to manage money.
Another very important entry for high school and college baseball players to read comes sandwiched between Chapters 8 and 9, and is titled, A Perspective on a Talented High School Baseball Player’s Dilemma. The first sentence reads: “Should a graduating high school senior sign a professional baseball contract or attend college first?” Talk about a loaded question! But this is a decision that many athletes must confront, and without the aid provided by a competent advisor, this decision (which is probably the biggest one thus far in the athlete’s life) could be made in error.
I have embedded the aforementioned Chapter 7, below.