Around draft time in baseball, there’s a lot written about how fast a pitcher’s fastball is or how many tools a position player has, but not often do we hear about the off the field stories after the players are drafted.
In other American professional sports leagues that have drafts, the players are selected in the offseason and have months to settle in to their new lifestyle. They get to settle in with their signing bonus, move to their new city and take time to find a suitable home. In addition, they get preparation for their sport in the form of offseason camps and workouts and preseason games before the season starts. They get eased in across the board.
However, that is far from the case in baseball.
For example, let’s take the last couple weeks for White Sox ninth round draft pick Ryan Hinchley. I got to talk to Hinchley on Friday due to the pleasant coincidence of him being from a town in the coverage area of the newspaper I work for. The story is already online.
Here is the excerpt which makes the point at hand:
A self-described whirlwind started when Hinchley was drafted by the Chicago White Sox in the ninth round of the 2015 MLB Draft on June 9. After signing his contract Hinchley traveled to the White Sox spring training site in Arizona on June 11, reported to the Great Falls, Mont., affiliate of the White Sox on June 16, took a three-hour bus ride to the season opener on June 18 and pitched in that game.
Two days after being drafted a busy eight days started for Hinchley. He took two flights totaling well over 2,000 miles, a three-hour bus ride to the season opener in Billings and still doesn’t have a host family. He’s bouncing from hotel to hotel wherever the team is playing.
Of course, this hectic period is well worth being able to play pro ball for Hinchley or any of his new teammates on the Voyagers. It’s just worth considering the life of a minor league baseball player (as we’ve done here and here and here) and the sacrifices they make for their chance to live out a dream.
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