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When we survey NCAA student-athletes about their expectations of moving on to professional athletics careers, the results indicate surprising confidence in that possibility. The reality is that very few go pro.

Estimated probability of competing in college baseball

High School Participants NCAA Participants Overall % HS to NCAA % HS to NCAA Division I % HS to NCAA Division II % HS to NCAA Division III
491,790 34,980 7.1% 2.1% 2.2% 2.8%

Sources: High school figures from the 2016-17 High School Athletics Participation Survey conducted by the National Federation of State High School Associations; data from club teams not included.  College numbers from the NCAA 2016-17 Sports Sponsorship and Participation Rates Report.

Estimated probability of competing in professional baseball

NCAA Participants Approximate # Draft Eligible # Draft Picks # NCAA Drafted % NCAA to Major Pro % NCAA to Total Pro
34,980 7,773 1,215 735 9.5% --
  • MLB draft data from 2017.  There were 1,215 draft picks in that year; 735 of those picked were from NCAA schools (source: MLB Draft Tracker 2017).  Of the 735, Division I student-athletes comprised 650 of those chosen, Division II provided 73 and Division III had 12. 
  • Percent NCAA to Pro calculated as number of NCAA student-athletes taken in the draft (n=735) divided by the approximate number draft eligible.  Not all of the student-athletes drafted go on to play professional baseball and many draftees fail to reach the Major League.

Last updated: April 20, 2018