(Tyler Badamo is a 2014 graduate of Dowling College. He was selected by the New York Mets in the 24th round of the MLB Draft. He was named All-American for his tremendous season in which he compiled a stretch of 72.1 consecutive innings in which he did not allow an earned run. The following words are his own.)
The biggest thing I think everyone needs to realize before I go into what I tried to focus on personally, is that the MLB draft is one of the biggest crap shoots in the world. There are thousands of potential prospects eligible for the draft each year and now only 40 rounds. You can do everything right 99% of the time and still not get drafted. There are plenty of outstanding college seniors every single year that don’t get the call to postpone the real world for a little while.
The biggest thing I tried to do my senior year was to treat every single start, every chance I had on the mound as if it was a do or die situation for the scouts. To make sure that I left it all on the field that way if I didn’t get drafted I could say it wasn’t because I didn’t put everything into it.
Another important factor to make sure of is the fact that your emotions are in check. No emotional responses on the mound shows that you are locked in and focused on the job at hand. This was a lesson I learned the hard way in the beginning of my college career, but in my opinion one of the best lessons I learned. Show your emotion after the last out in the 9th after dominating your opponent for however long your manager leaves you out there. There are two times I can recall my senior year that I showed emotion. The last out in the 9th inning against Franklin Pierce in regionals and when I lost my 72 1/3 unearned run streak against St. Thomas Aquinas. (Stanley Susana hit a double I believe and my emotions weren’t in anger. I believe I laughed/smiled and shook my head)
Another important thing that you need to realize is that you must act as professional as possible. You can be the greatest player on your team but if the scouts don’t like your makeup and how you carry yourself on the field and if they hear things off the field there’s a very small chance a team is going to take a chance on you…. unless you throw 100 mph but if that’s the case your probably not worried about not getting drafted.
Just remember that you can only control what your actions dictate. If you throw well, put up good numbers, and have the right tools with the right makeup there is a stronger chance to getting drafted. Leave it all out on the field and let the rest of it unfold on its own. Sitting at home on day three of the draft was one of the most stressful days of my life. Even though I was fortunate enough to get a call that’s only the beginning of what’s to come. The work doesn’t end it only becomes more difficult after that. It takes up more of your time and your life as crazy as that sounds for the college athletes reading this. All of your focus is on your craft whatever that might be. Just remember that there are only 750 Major League players and 1200 or so draft picks every single year. If you get the opportunity to be drafted don’t by any means think the road becomes easier. 10 hour bus trips after a night game with maybe 2 off days a month, making less money than if you were working at McDonalds. It’s not an easy lifestyle…. the reward however I can only imagine to be the greatest feeling on the planet. Best of luck to all high school and college athletes that have the chance to be drafted this year. To those who do not get the opportunity, I wish you best of luck in whatever life brings you next.