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Thread: High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

  1. #1
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

    My brother-in-law is an athletic trainer, now in private practice in Missouri. At one time, he was an assistant trainer with the Rangers (back when Buddy Bell played for them).

    While home in Missouri over the 4th we were talking baseball he said that studies are showing that high school pitchers who sign professional contracts have an 80% chance of requiring surgery. But if a player waits until at least after his third year in college, that percentage drops to about 20%.

    Has anyone seen any studies on this?

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  3. #2
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

    I think he was making numbers up off the top of his head... there can not be a 60% difference. I highly doubt that colleges have better pitching coaches that can prevent these things in most cases.

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    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I think he was making numbers up off the top of his head... there can not be a 60% difference. I highly doubt that colleges have better pitching coaches that can prevent these things in most cases.
    He may have been, but it also might not necessarily be better pitching coaches but rather more physically mature arms. It also doesn't factor in pitchers in college who blow out there arms and are not subsequently drafted. But that might be a way of weeding out arms that were set to blow as minor league pitchers out of high school.

    But you could be right.

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    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I think he was making numbers up off the top of his head... there can not be a 60% difference. I highly doubt that colleges have better pitching coaches that can prevent these things in most cases.
    I completely agree, but redsmetz has a good point. What are the odds that a pitcher will require arm surgery while they are college age (regardless of where they play)?

  6. #5
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    Re: High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt
    I think he was making numbers up off the top of his head... there can not be a 60% difference. I highly doubt that colleges have better pitching coaches that can prevent these things in most cases.
    I assume he was talking about surgeries AFTER they signed a professional contract. Most guys who have a serious injury while in college never sign a pro contract. I don't think he is implying that college coaches are better at preventing injury. He is implying that college pitchers are good investments because they have already survived their prime (ages 18-21) injury years.

    For example, let's take a hypothetical group of 200 drafted HS pitchers and assume 100 of 'em sign pro contracts while the other 100 go to college. Let's also assume that 60% of the guys in each group (I don't buy the 80% number either) get injured and require surgey over the next three years. That leaves 40 completely healthy guys in each group.

    When the amateur draft rolls around again, MLB teams will likely have taken two-thirds off those injured college guys off their draft lists. The remaining 1/3 are the guys with so much talent pre-injury that the MLB squads are willing to roll the dice on their recovery. That means that 40 of the 100 college guys are not likely to be drafted again. Now we have 60 college guys who sign pro contracts. Let's further assume that, over the next three years, the injury rate is cut in half (30%). Of the remaining 40 pitchers who signed out of HS, we see another 12 go under the knife, while the 18 of the 60 college guys also go down with injuries. How do the percentages look now?
    Code:
    100 HS draftees
    -60 injured from ages 19-21
    -12 injured from ages 22-24
    ---
     28 pitchers escaped the minors injury free (28/100=28%)
    ===
    Code:
    100 college pitchers
    -60 injured from ages 19-21
    +20 injured guys who get drafted in spite of their injuries
    ---
     60 college draftees
    -18 injured from ages 22-24
    ---
     42 pitchers escaped the minors injury free (42/60=70%)
    ===
    Net, from the MLB clubs perspective, the college guys are a much safer investment because the universities have already weeded out guys who were injured from ages 19-21. The MLB clubs have effectively transferred the injury risk of the age 19-21 years to the college programs.
    Last edited by Steve4192; 07-17-2006 at 09:41 AM.

  7. #6
    Redsmetz redsmetz's Avatar
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    Re: High School vs. College Pitchers viz. Surgery

    I hadn't thought of these different variables when posted this question, but I suspect we've arrived at the answer.


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