My name is Eric Sim, a salty Korean-Canadian, washed up ex-minor leaguer for the San Francisco Giants, who spent most of his career in Single-A. If you are not familiar with who I am (most of you are not going to be), that’s completely normal, because I’m a “nobody” who just happened to spend six years in the minors without making it to the big leagues. In fact, I wasn’t close to making it to the big leagues at all. Anyway, I’m on Twitter a lot so if you would like to follow, troll or whatever else your heart desires, you can do so at @esim3400.
I haven’t written much as of late, because I got busy at work (I manage a small bar in a small town in Canada) but with the start of 2019, I’ll do my best to contribute to South Side Sox from time to time.
So, you think it’s easy being a minor league baseball player?
First of all, let me tell you about the process of becoming one.
It starts with dominating your high school competition. If you didn’t get drafted out of high school, you have to be recruited by college coaches. Then, dominate in whatever junior college (JUCO) or four-year school (NCAA, NAIA) you attend. OK, now, dominate summer leagues. Hope by this time you have turned some eyes around and are scouted by a MLB organization, now you need to be healthy enough to be draft eligible. Next, get drafted (keep in mind, some talented players still don’t get chosen, even in a 1,000-plus pick MLB draft). And still, you’re not done yet, because, finally, you need to pass all the physicals the organization provides before signing a contract.
Interesting fact I learned tonight:— Emily Waldon (@EmilyCWaldon) January 12, 2019
Of roughly 455,000 high school baseball players, 5.6% go on to play at the NCAA level.
Of that group, 10.5% will get drafted from the NCAA to a professional club.
Those able to make the leap from high school to the professional level? 0.5%.
So, congratulations, you beat the odds. Before you go pop champagne bottles because you made the elite group of the chosen 0.5%, I’m going to shatter your dream of being rich and famous.
Put that champagne away, because you can’t afford it, meat.
For your first year, you will spend the season (middle of June to end of August) with about $450 after tax and clubbie dues per paycheck. You will earn five checks over two-and-a-half months, so that’s $2,250 for the remainder of the year.
If your family isn’t very wealthy or haven’t signed a big signing bonus in which is in most cases, you’ll need to start an offseason job right after the season. Well, not if you get invited to Instructional camp (which lasts a month, starting in mid-September), and you won’t be paid during the entire month either. Shut up and take your $20 per day meal money, meat.
Damn, that was a long half-year making just more than $2,000. The good news is now you have from November through end of February — four months — to get a job. Next time you go in for a job interview let me know how easy getting a job is when you are only going to be able to work for four months, at the most. Most likely, you won’t be able to find a decent-paying job, so you will have to stick with giving baseball lessons, or very simple (i.e., low-paying) jobs.
Now, while you do whatever it takes to save up a bit of money for the upcoming season, I still need you to work out two hours a day, train for baseball two to three hours a day (pitching or hitting), sleep eight to 10 hours a day for maximum recovery, eat five to six quality meals a day, and other fun activities such as position-based conditioning, meal prepping, and so on.
Still think it’s easy being a broke minor leaguer?