Talent or hard work?

As the MLB has quickly become more of a freak show with young stars such as Bryce Harper and Mike Trout as well as multiple young pitchers like Yordano Ventura and Aroldis Chapman who are consistently throwing 100 MPH from the mound. These young rising baseball stars bring up the subject of whether the ranking system of the minor and major leagues are fair. Is it fair that ball players are going right from school to the MLB instead of working their way through the farm systems?

With all of these “freaks of nature” rising up to the MLB, how does one’s athletic background compare to the other? Is it fair that one phenom’s background could be potentially greater and could take the spot of a veteran MLB player that worked his way up through the ranks but grew up with a below average family background?

We have Bryce Harper, who hit a 570 foot home run in his Junior College as an eighteen year old. As seen in the Home Run Derby, his father and brother are also very athletic. Harper goes straight to the major leagues while, Chris Getz, a former Michigan baseball player, is a player who had a professional career of 10 years, 4 of those being in the minors. Even when he was in the majors, he was repeatedly sent down because of other players with greater talent that took his spot. Athletically Getz grew up with a below average family background, unlike Harper whose father played himself and practiced with him often, and brother also played baseball for the University of South Carolina.

In regards to equality, you can have all the talent in the world with all the best genes, but only people who work hard get the chance to succeed. If you are one of the underdogs, I say to you, keep working at it, your time will come. For example, Jose Bautista (Or Joey Bats as they call him) was drafted in the 20th round in the 2000 MLB Draft coming out of a below average junior college. For anyone unfamiliar with the draft, the 20th round is not where the top MLB players come from. Bautista went through the minor league system, got traded by five different teams such as the Pirates, Rays, Royals, Orioles before finally finding a home with the Toronto Blue Jays. Considered as one of the hardest working players in the MLB, Bautista become a 2-time home run champion and Silver Slugger in 2010 and 2011 as well as a 4-time All-Star.

So the question is, should there be seniority in Major League Baseball or is the current system doing a fair job of treating all of their players equally?

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/

http://espn.go.com/blog/sportscenter/post/_/id/57766/bryce-harper-can-hit-a-ball-570-feet-but-never-got-to-go-to-the-prom

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3 thoughts on “Talent or hard work?

  1. To your final question I must say no. Sports, and most jobs are a business of “what have you done for me lately”. Why would a organization who is looking to win a championship want to keep an old, run-downed player, instead of a new, healthy and more talented younger player. It simply makes no sense. In addition, it is not as if these senior players are just being tossed to the side of the rode and left to rot. In addition, with the lucrative contracts they earned in their time playing professional sports, they also receive benefit packages from their respective player associations. In other words these senior players, in most cases, will not be severely affected by retiring. Finally, I say no to this idea of seniority in sports because it affects the fans. Fans want to see the best and brightest stars of this favorite team. They will start to become upset if instead of being able to see the much anticipated and hyped up draft pick they have to watch an aging player because of his “seniority”. Overall I see no way that a system of “seniority” will ever work in professional sports

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  2. I would argue that American sports epitomize the concept of seniority. Teams are constantly resigning aging players because of their star status even if their numbers are in a downward trend. The Yankees for example would resign Derek Jeter simply because he is Derek Jeter, while suffering in terms of output from the shortstop position. Jurgen Klinsmann actually criticized what he called the American mindset to reward players for what they did in the past. He pointed out that the Lakers had given Kobe Bryant a two year, 48.5 million dollar extension because of his play in the past. He said Kobe would not be worth that much to the Lakers in the next two years. We like to reward our stars because we assign meaning to them. Guys like Jeter and Kobe played for one team their whole career and have come to be the face of their franchises so their respective teams aways felt it necessary to pay them for it.

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  3. Your article brings up a very important point about sports: Is talent or hard work more important? While many professional athletes are born talented and have parents who were also great athletes, talent can only take one so far. Ultimately, hard work is what takes an athlete to the next level. Yes, someone like Lebron James was born physically gifted but without countless hours in the gym and on the practice court, he would not be the player he is today. The idea of talent vs. hard work really holds true in any aspect of life in general.

    As far as seniority in the MLB and all sports in general, I believe that the spots on the roster should be given to the guys most qualified for the job, whether the players are 20 years old or 40 years old. Just because a guy has “paid his dues” in the minor leagues for 5 years doesn’t mean he has any more of a right to be on the roster than a guy straight out of high school. If the high schooler is thought to be a better player than the veteran, then the high schooler should get his chance a the highest level. With that being said, many teams like to carry seasoned veterans because of intangibles such as experience. A guy like Derek Jeter might not be as talented anymore, but the experience he carries having won 5 world series is something that goes a long way especially with younger players in the locker room.

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