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How to become a major league baseball player?

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What minimum degree, experience, or certification is required to become a major league baseball player?
What steps should you take to achieve this required education/experience?
If you are a major league baseball player or have worked with someone who is, what educational path did you/they take to become one?

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Jeff’s Answer

In a previous life I was a Professional Baseball Player. I played nine years in the Houston Astros organization and my last year was with the California Angels.

Obviously you have to have the talent first and foremost. For me the advice I can give is:

Work hard, be the first on the field and the last off.
Conditioning/training, you have to be at the top of your game to make it to the highest level.
Knowledge, become a student of the game, when your not in the game watch what's going on, learn from your opponents and teammates. Pick the veteran players brain.....most are happy to give you their knowledge. Don't stop learning. You only get so far on talent alone.
Lastly, if you are fortunate enough to become a professional baseball player, enjoy it, you have made it to an elite group/level.

Being a professional BB player means sacrificing a lot. It maybe family time, social/personal time. Once you go from being a high school or college to the professional level, it's now a business, your business. Remember, every year there is a draft and new players are signed, there are only so many roster spots, for everyone signed, someone is let go. Good luck!!

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Dean’s Answer

My cousin, Chris Bootcheck, was a first round draft pick of the Anaheim Angels in 2000. He always mentions sacrifice as one of the main ingredients for being a professional athlete. You will be training while others are out having a good time doing something else. You will be lonely, living out of a hotel while you have a spouse and kids at home waiting for you to get your big break. The ones who make it will be able to handle the both physical and mental aspects of getting to the top.

Dean recommends the following next steps:

Be as smart as you can in school. My cousin was a good student and later made many great connections being in the major leagues. He now has a business that trains people of all ages to improve their baseball/softball skills. Being smart and willing to learn are two of the greatest assets you can have.