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High School Pitchers

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Dclyde_medium 

I used to have a very strong aversion to high school pitchers as prospects, thinking that they were excessively risky investments. Over the last five years my thinking has changed on this; they aren't exactly "safe," but I don't think the risk premium is as high as it once was.

Scouting is better than it used to be; youth programs are better; modern showcases and travel teams give scouts a better look now than they got 30, 20, or even 10 years ago. I think pro organizations in general are also more aware of the necessity to keep workloads for their young pitchers at a reasonable level. This is not necessarily true at the college level: North Carolina's Matt Harvey threw an obscene 156 pitches in a recent outing.

Many young pitchers benefit from college, of course: some aren't ready for the rigors of pro ball physically or emotionally and develop better in the incubator of a good program. But what about an elite high school pitcher, with first or second round talent? If your son was a potential high round pick, would you advise him to take the money or go to college? Obviously it would be a case-by-case thing and depend much on what the kid wants, but which way would you lean?