MLB Draft: Being a high-profile, first-round pick has its pros and cons

Being a first-round pick in the Major League Baseball Draft usually means a substantial signing bonus and plenty of opportunities to make it to the big leagues. But it also comes with high expectations.
by Michael Baldwin Published: July 29, 2012

There are two advantages to being a Major League Baseball first-round draft pick:

* There's a substantial signing bonus.

* Players often are given more opportunities to reach the majors because of money the organization has invested.

Huge signing bonuses, though, also can become a burden.

Owasso's Dylan Bundy received a $6.2 million signing bonus last year, while Broken Arrow's Archie Bradley earned $5 million. Deer Creek's Michael Fulmer, a sandwich pick a year ago, received $937,500.

This year Oklahoma State left-hander Andrew Heaney, from Putnam North, received a $2.6 million signing bonus; Edmond Santa Fe's Ty Hensley got a $1.2 million bonus.

“Being a high-profile player, the hardest part is not worrying about what other people are saying about you,” said White Sox left-hander John Danks. “I remember I so wanted to impress everybody, show them why I was drafted high. That just put extra pressure on myself.”

Roughly two thirds of first-round picks reach the majors, but the percentages drop to under 60 percent for high school players, and the numbers are even lower for pitchers.

“Everybody has talent,” said Kansas City third baseman Mike Moustakas. “Talent isn't enough. It's about how hard you work and how much you improve.

“Guys drafted in the 10th, 15th or 20th rounds make to the big leagues. A lot of it is determination, sticking with it, working hard, how much you want it.”

by Michael Baldwin
Mike Baldwin has been a sports reporter for The Oklahoman since 1982. Mike graduated from Okmulgee High School in 1974 and attended Oklahoma Christian University, graduating with a journalism degree in 1978. Mike's first job was sports editor...
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