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May 23, 2014

An Agent's Take

Why I Avoid the Draft

by Joshua Kusnick


Joshua Kusnick is an MLBPA-certified agent who periodically writes about his experiences representing professional players. You can reach him via email at JoshuaKusnick@aol.com and on Twitter @JoshuaKusnick.

At one time, I regularly represented players in the amateur draft. I learned the nuances of the process, and I did some special deals, getting J.C. Sulbaran $500k in the 30th round, negotiating a seven-figure deal for Rangers first-round pick Kellen Deglan in 2010, and cracking $100k with a senior sign in Mets prospect Stephen Clyne. I’m proud of those accomplishments, but the stories share a common thread: work, and lots of it.

The draft is a totally different animal than normal recruiting for a number of reasons. First contact with a high-school prospect could occur as soon as his freshman year. Then comes the interview process, during which you and every other agency on earth competes for the prospect to retain you. The same goes for college kids, except that in their case, the NCAA and athletic directors are involved. The NCAA, in my estimation, is beyond unnecessary, and in the case of the baseball draft, more punitive than helpful.

When you get hired by a draft prospect—let’s say a 10th-rounder—you’re going to make $5k, give or take, so long as it’s not a senior sign kid with no leverage. Imagine spending an entire year—maybe even three or four—working for an amateur player and making that small an amount of money. Even if the player beats the odds in pro ball, you have to hold on to him for at least 3-4 years until he hits the Show , and then another three until he reaches arbitration. It literally could take a decade to get paid, and that’s if all goes well: the player pans out and doesn’t decide to switch representation. If it doesn’t go well, you could end up spending more than you make, between travel, food, lodging, and phone bills. I much prefer client referrals and scouting because they cut down on my travel, and even though I lose out on signing bonus dollars, I get to add a known commodity right out of the chute.

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Related Content:  Scouting,  Amateur Draft,  Agent,  Agency,  Recruiting

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Pebble Hunting: A Bill... (05/23)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article An Agent's Take: How a... (04/30)
Next Column >>
Premium Article An Agent's Take: When ... (06/06)
Next Article >>
Premium Article What You Need to Know:... (05/23)

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