Baseball's New Era Began in Glory
While the 2015 baseball season is bound to be remembered as the Year of the Rookie, it was probably a lot more than a one-time event. Instead, last season will probably be remembered as the year that rookies, and young players in general, really took over Major League Baseball. It should stay this way for many, many years to come.
While it’s easy to praise the breakthrough successes of players like Kris Bryant, Joc Pederson, Kyle Schwarber and Carlos Correa as a generational grand slam, the deeper reality is that MLB teams are scouting, signing, paying and playing young stars more than ever before.
All of that doesn’t come from some heartfelt, emotional love of youth. It’s just economics. As player salaries have skyrocketed and free agency has made veteran players more expensive and more difficult to control, organizations seeking control over their own fortunes are logically and naturally driven to the youth market.
A rookie good enough to play in MLB can play for his first team for six, seven or even eight years before the team needs to outbid the rest of baseball to retain that player. This means the days of a top prospect riding the bench for years waiting for an opportunity are, for the most part, over. Unless MLB’s financial structure changes dramatically, the new play-the-kids model is here to stay.
All of this means that player scouting and prospecting is more important than ever, and the edge provided by a prospect-laden system is sharper than ever before. Look no further than the earlier-than-expected arrival of the Houston Astros and Chicago Cubs for blueprints on how aggressive prospecting can catapult a team into contention, and quickly.
We’ve never been more excited about the prospect market than we are today at Scouting Book, and we’re looking forward to sharing our expanded prospect coverage and toolbox with our readers.
Stay tuned; it’s going to be a great year!