Jesse Pierce is transferring

Pierce was a pretty good recruit from Nevada last year. There are going to be a lot more transfers to come.


Is the coaching staff counseling some guys out due to the particularly good incoming talent? Was Pierce looking at waiting awhile to play? It is so hard to get to the field at Arkansas.

I don’t know what the coaches said to Pierce, but I have heard Van Horn in the past say that he is transparent and honest in his end-of-year meetings about what the prospects look like for playing time.

He didn’t want to mention names, but Van Horn told me the other day that there are some position players who could start right away if they make it to campus, and with a shortened draft it would appear that most of the signing class - or at least the top players in it - are going to make it to school.

Assuming he comes to school, I tend to think one of those who might be able to play right away is third baseman Cayden Wallace, and third base was probably the position that Pierce worked out at the most at Arkansas.

More than just Wallace will be able to compete right away. Also, draft rankings are deceiving because they include college seniors in those reports and many teams value a high end HS prospect over a college senior. That is why they get high 6 figure bonus offers and college seniors get $1,000 to $20,000. Now more kids that would have gotten $500k plus in rounds 6-15 will be picked in first 5 rounds since teams cannot play the pool money game with only 5 rounds.

We are going to have to wait this out on each of those top players like Wallace, Winn (likely gone), Brooks, Hence, Calabrese and Griffin. They all will have a few teams that like them specifically and would want them in the system early and all of them have elite skills and are young for this class, except Wallace. MLB teams like the younger HS player since there is more growth potential.

That’s true to an extent. But it is also true that college seniors have almost no bargaining power. Teams can take them late in the draft and offer them little. The player must either accept or forget about playing pro ball.

True, college seniors always have no leverage. The issue is that more college juniors thinking they have leverage coming back for a 4th year but now being 22 years old. MLB teams are drifting toward younger talent. Whether it is a college junior who they believe can move quickly thorough the system at age 21 or a top HS talent at 17/18/19 years old. More juniors who come back will now have certain MLB teams taking HS players in the 3rd, 4th and 5th rounds. Example is last year. 5 HS players drafted in 4th round and bonuses for them were $350k, $850k, $900k, $955k and $1 million. The slot was from $535k to $405k for that round. HS players get more slot on average so you can bet that some teams will take a chance on a top talent that they thought might go to school and now offer more because they low ball a college junior who wants slot money. The extra year of eligibility in most cases isn’t going to help juniors coming back for 4th year. The stigma of being one year older can hurt leverage. Age is more of a factor than class.

I’m sure that you are correct about age being a factor. I have seen changes since the CBA was changed a few years ago. Because of the penalties for giving over-slot signing bonuses, more of the good players have gone to school. MLB has seen how much more advanced the players are after 2 or 3 years in school and the trend has begun to change towards drafting more college players. The college kids have learned discipline and are nourished and trained in a way that high school kids are not.

I’m sure that there are some over-slot bonuses for high school kids, but I also think that many high school kids are learning about the advantages of going to school.

College players are drafted at 75% rate in top 10 rounds. But HS players get over slot and there is no penalty for that. Teams would just draft college seniors in rounds 5-10 to account for staying within the pool money allotted. Won’t happen this year or next year. College players are more polished overall but top HS talent is just as skilled. This class for us is as stacked as there is and the top 6-7 guys could all command $1 million and maybe get it because of their skill level.


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