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Thread: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

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    C-A-T-S CATS! CATS! CATS! WVRed's Avatar
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    Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124511558996917441.html

    Judging by his résumé, Craig Breslow is the smartest man in baseball, if not the entire world. A lefty reliever for the Athletics, Mr. Breslow graduated from Yale with a degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry before trying his hand at professional sports.
    [Craig Breslow] Getty Images

    The Count ranked every ballclub by its education. Players who earned college degrees got twice the points as players who just attended. Starting players were weighted more heavily, as were players who attended elite schools. Managers were also included in the formula.*

    HIGHEST GRADES LOWEST GRADES
    Oakland (32 pts.) Atlanta (4)
    Tampa Bay (31) Texas (12)
    Arizona (31) Cincinnati (13)
    Boston (31) Florida (14)
    Toronto (30) KC/LAA (tie, 15)

    * - Includes each player who made at least one appearance through June 1


    Where did those brains get him? He has yet to find a permanent home, playing for five different teams in four seasons. Yet with Mr. Breslow in their bullpen last year, the Twins led the AL Central until the final day of the season. So can smart players actually help propel a team toward success? Is it time for an educational audit?

    By scouring 30 team media guides, The Count investigated how many ballplayers went to four-year U.S. colleges or universities, which of them graduated and whether there is, in fact, a correlation between education and victories. Starting players were weighted more heavily in our rankings, as were players who attended elite schools.

    Shockingly, while many current major leaguers had college experience, we found only 26 (including managers), who have earned degrees. The brainiest team was the A's, with three graduates and seven key members of the lineup having university experience.

    However, three "All-Brains" division leaders -- Oakland, Arizona and Washington -- are in last place in real life, while Texas and the Dodgers were last in their divisions in smarts but first in the standings. So much for baseball being a thinking man's game.

    For what it's worth, though, there's hope for Mr. Breslow yet. He has a 1.86 ERA since joining those brainy A's.
    —Jason Turbow
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  3. #2
    Haunted by walks
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Who are the brainiest Reds players? I like Chris Dickerson and Edinson Volquez, based on their interviews, but they don't have degrees.

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    Member OnBaseMachine's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Quote Originally Posted by BCubb2003 View Post
    Who are the brainiest Reds players? I like Chris Dickerson and Edinson Volquez, based on their interviews, but they don't have degrees.
    I agree, and I'll add Votto to that group.
    I miss Adam Dunn.

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    Member Spitball's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    The Count ranked every ballclub by its education. Players who earned college degrees got twice the points as players who just attended. Starting players were weighted more heavily, as were players who attended elite schools. Managers were also included in the formula.*
    A team's drafting philosophy would play into this formula. If a team tends to draft college players, it would have a higher point total than a team that prefers high school players.
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    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Curtis Granderson, one of the 26 with a degree in MLB had an article up about Bryce Harper a little over a week ago and I find it interesting that despite being one of the few in the majors with a degree, he doesn't think its something that athletes, particularly incredibly skilled ones need.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big...aining-content

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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    Curtis Granderson, one of the 26 with a degree in MLB had an article up about Bryce Harper a little over a week ago and I find it interesting that despite being one of the few in the majors with a degree, he doesn't think its something that athletes, particularly incredibly skilled ones need.

    http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big...aining-content
    Maybe not to play baseball, but it might help after they retire. You can't be shortsighted when you're career might last 8-15 years if you're good.
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    College degrees are more a product of opportunity than ability (and I'm someone with three degrees). I have no idea if I'm smarter than Pedro Martinez or Ichiro, but there's a very good chance I'm not. I'm pretty sure the former didn't finish high school and I'm pretty sure the latter hasn't enrolled in a single college course. But I guarantee you that both have the IQ and the intellectual curiosity to have excelled in academia if they had grown up in different socioeconomic circumstances or just plain old different circumstances.

    Unlike football, so many baseball players are plucked right out of high school (in the case Latin players - who can be signed at 16 - PRIOR to finishing high school).

    I don't buy the argument that intelligence doesn't factor into success at the Major League level. It's just that there are limits to using college degrees as a measure of intelligence. It might tell you something, on a macro level, about GMs. Not about players.
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Isn't doing what's best for you and your family in trying to make a living what its all about? I have a college degree, but if my son has the opportunity to play professional baseball I would encourage him to do so. In today's age of technology, getting a degree online or even during the offseason wouldn't be that hard to do. You can always go back to college... You don't always get the chance to play pro baseball.
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    A college degree is supposed to train you to do something with the caveat that the American model embraces an approach where one's overall intellect is supposed to be developed beyond one's specific discipline.

    If a kid like Bryce Harper can get someone to pay him $5M to agree to be trained to do something, why go to college first?
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Quote Originally Posted by Nasty_Boy View Post
    Isn't doing what's best for you and your family in trying to make a living what its all about? I have a college degree, but if my son has the opportunity to play professional baseball I would encourage him to do so. In today's age of technology, getting a degree online or even during the offseason wouldn't be that hard to do. You can always go back to college... You don't always get the chance to play pro baseball.
    College degrees are like Doritos in the sense that they'll make more. Colleges drool over "non-traditional" students (i.e. returning adults) so if your son had structured his life such that college was doable in terms of obligations after he finished making a run at the bigs, college would still be there waiting.....
    "This isn’t stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Well-educated ballplayers are usually seen as oddities. The Reds had Jim Brosnan, who not only wrote books but read them. But nobody compares to the remarkable Moe Berg.

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    Passion for the game Team Clark's Avatar
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Nearly al the players signed in the first 20 rounds (sometimes beyond) get the Major League Baseball Scholarship. MLB pays full tuition to the college of your choice. Pretty good program to take advantage of in the off season or after you are done playing.
    It's absolutely pathetic that people can't have an opinion from actually watching games and supplementing that with stats. If you voice an opinion that doesn't fit into a black/white box you will get completely misrepresented and basically called a tobacco chewing traditionalist...
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    So I see the Reds are near the bottom, but do we have any players who have college degrees?

    I see they count managers, so LaRussa is one of St. Louis', he has a law degree, as I recall.
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    I wonder what the graduation rates are like for the top college teams.
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    Re: Interesting Stat: Only 26 players on a major league roster have college degrees

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    A college degree is supposed to train you to do something with the caveat that the American model embraces an approach where one's overall intellect is supposed to be developed beyond one's specific discipline.

    If a kid like Bryce Harper can get someone to pay him $5M to agree to be trained to do something, why go to college first?
    Lets look at the Bryce Harper situation. Lets assume that Harper is a top 10 pick next year and gets in the range of an $8-$12M signing bonus. That is a lot of money to someone like me, probably more than I may make in my entire professional career. The problem for many top athletes isn't the amount of money they make, it is the way they handle that money. There was an article posted on RZ about how and why professional athletes go broke. Even the athletes who you thought were the intelligent ones made a ton of stupid investments.

    It is just my opinion but any person who has the ability to pursue a college degree should do so. While extended education doesn't mean you are an intelligent person, it sure doesn't hurt.


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