Major League Baseball holds a Rookie Career Development Program in Washington DC every year for players who are either on the verge of breaking into the majors, or got a late call-up during the previous season. This year, the Pirates submitted four names for the program, though Keon Broxton was on the list before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers. The other three players are top ten prospects in the system, Elias Diaz, Tyler Glasnow and Josh Bell.

You might expect Jameson Taillon to be there, but he already went through the program in 2014. Last year, Nick Kingham attended and Alen Hanson was scheduled to, but had to cancel at the last minute.

The program is set up to help players deal with everyday life in the majors, from finances to travel to the extra media attention, and anything else they may have questions about. It gives them a chance to ask those questions to executives, media members and even former Major League players. Many players over the years who broke into the majors in September, then attended the program the following January, have said that going through the program before getting called up would have been very beneficial. It’s a four-day event, which begins this Thursday.

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45 COMMENTS

  1. The NFL has Cris Carter tell a group of rookies to make sure they have a fall guy along when they plan to go places where there may be trouble. As Al McGuire used to say, “No one ever got in trouble at the library at 2 am.”

  2. The year leefoo attended I guess he took all the room towels, toilet paper and the TV remote. He never did get the call.

  3. I think this four day program is about so much more than finances, as some have suggested below. Dealing with fans, the public, the press, “hangers on,” and con artists has to be part of it. Dealing with situations that can kill or damage a career. My belief is that professional baseball players and hockey players handle the issues requiring maturity much better than young professional football players. Baseball and hockey players have lived on their own on their way up. Football players are coddled and protected all the way to the NFL, where they suddenly have money, an adoring public, and little experience living independently in real society.

      • yes…I wonder who the speaker is on that topic and what the consulting fee is. I’d love to see the slideshow.

    • Baseball and hockey prospects also have minor leagues to work their way up through. Much different scenario for a 19 year old playing in front of 60-80 people in high A ball where a few dozen “fans” are scouts connected to organizations than being a 20 year old point guard playing for the Lakers next to Kobe Bryant. Or a 20 year old hockey phenom who dominated highest level of amateur Canadian hockey for two years before debuing in the NHL to a 21 year old QB expected to “save” an NFL franchise.

    • The pirates have their own program…it is basically a don’t do what Derek bell did system mixed in with a little mondesi and bonds with a smattering of Dave Parker and a pinch of Jose tabata. Wow, they’ve had some interesting OFs and I didn’t even mention Jose guillen

  4. I do not read about baseball players wasting their money and ending up broke. The NFL has a similar program for their rookies [especially the money part] and at least once a year there is a story about a player going broke.

    • One thing I’ve learned on this site is, unless you are a top pick you really don’t make enough money early in your career to get yourself in that kind of trouble. I’m sure there are exceptions, but apples and oranges brother.

      • This is a great point. Really tough to make a 1-1 comparison of baseball players to football players, and a big reason might be the immediate money a ton of FB players used to make up front.

        18 year old 2nd round MLB pick doesnt really have a ton of money to ruin his life, but a 2nd rounder in football would get a good chunk of bonus money+game checks to think he can splurge and….end up broke.

    • Yeah, but Lenny Dykstra, Rollie Fingers, Jack Clark, Pete Rose, Harmon Killebrew, Tony Gwynn Curt Schilling, Scott Eyre, Bill Buckner, Wally Backman, Denny McLain, Graig Nettles would probably disagree with you. Schilling of all of them kills me. Whenever the guy talks, he knows everything, yet he blew his entire 50Mil on a video game company. Ha! Video games. Diversify, Beeotches!

          • No, I just agree with the notion that baseball players have more common sense when it comes to finances. And the fact they play 8-9 months out of the year, precludes them from having time off to spend. Compared to the other 3.

            I mean Johnny Manziel was in Vegas, Saturday. While I’m sure some baseball players can sneak into casinos, after Rose I doubt you’ll find one you could recognize in there.

      • Schilling also currently gets paid easily four times as much money every year for four months of TV appearances than I do for working 60-70 hours each week, every month of the year. He’s fine.

    • Thing about baseball players they spend a number of years in the minors. The NFL these guys get money for the first time unless they attended an SEC school.

      • Those SEC Schools do win a lot of Football games don’t they? Trashed a lot of teams in bowl games this year and Alabama will play for the National Championship Title. They do well in a lot of sports because the Southeast is rich with talent, and the SEC manages to keep almost all of that talent at home. And, ask Ohio State or Michigan how important it is to pay to get the right coach who can recruit the best talent.

        I still have my Paterno 409 can of Duquesne Lager on my desk, and I wait every year for that return to glory, but something seems to be missing.

    • I’d be wary about relying on anecdotes and personal memory. A quick search there doesn’t seem to be any accepted numbers on financial struggles but the reasons why baseball might have lower numbers make some sense.

    • The average baseball draft pick takes three years to sniff pro ball. The average football draft pick is run out of the league in three years. Baseball has low A, high A, AA and AAA at least, football has college straight to NFL. Not a realistic comparison

    • No idea, but I wouldn’t look too much into it. He was a big part of the winter Care-A-van this year and he will be in Bradenton for the winter mini-camp, so no issues there. Three players going is a lot actually, most years it is 1-2 players going. Not sure I can recall the Pirates sending three players in one year before. Plenty of Major League players didn’t go to the camp, it’s not a list of every possibility, there is limited space available.

      • It seems like Bell coming from the family he comes from and Glasnow too wouldn’t have too much trouble adjusting but who knows what criteria and reasoning goes into the decision. It can’t hurt to go even if you have Derek Jeter’s mentality (Which Bell might) so this is just bonus development for these kids. I’m wondering, did Taillon go to this?

          • Thanks, I thought I remembered him going but it seems so long ago. Taillon is in a weird place as a prospect, no MLB experience like almost all the other top prospects but he is 24 and 2 years removed from the dev program. I’m guessing he will really be a guy the other prospects look up to almost like a vet at Indy because he is 6 years removed from being drafted and already been through so much adversity.

      • I would imagine for Hanson it’s the hassle of the trip. iM assuming he’s at home and going to the DR to DC and back and then to the DR and to Bradenton and back is a bit much, when you only get a certain amount of time at home with family.

      • The Pirates have a lot of time and money invested in Hanson to just fritter it all away. That makes no sense. BTW Jared, that is a statement not a question. He will be in Pittsburgh this year.

        • He may march to the beat of a different drummer, but he can play the game. Selected as Best Defensive 2B in the AAA International League by BA in 2015, and I think he can help the Pirates in 2016.

          How did he do on the Care-A-Van this year?

    • It is strange to exclude him and have Broxton on the list originally. Guess he showed enough the last two years to warrant some trust.

      • The reasons could be numerous, but as mentioned in my other comment, it’s not an issue. They could just say that he’s already been to two Major League Spring Training camps, with a third one coming this year, so he doesn’t need it like the others do. Maybe when he had the cancel last minute last year, they went over things with him anyway. Maybe they didn’t want him doing so much traveling with the Care-A-van, mini-camp and winter ball already. Could be that three years of winter ball, a full year of AAA, and Arizona Fall Lg experience means he has been around a lot of top prospects and MLB players already. As mentioned though, not every single MLB player has been to this program, it’s limited space each year.

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