MLB Draft 2011: Should Pirates Draftee Josh Bell Turn Down Millions To Go To College?

In the second round of the 2011 MLB Draft on Tuesday, the Pirates selected high school outfielder Josh Bell. Bell was one of the top talents in the draft, but he fell to the Pirates in the second round after making it clear that he wanted to go to the University of Texas and didn't want to be drafted. He did, however, enlist Scott Boras to help him through the draft, which is a bit of a mixed message. 

Either way, the Pirates are sure to offer Bell a multimillion-dollar bonus. He would probably be wise to take it. Tim Williams from Pirates Prospects has a good point about this:

You ultimately go to college to get a good job. We often hear from the signability players the line "college is important". That’s one of the biggest myths there is. College is important to most, but to a certain few it has no value. Bill Gates dropped out of college. Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of college after inventing Facebook. These are extremely rare cases of people who obviously didn’t need college to go on and be successful. Bell is in that same position.

If he "only" gets $3 M, that’s enough to set him up for life. According to a report by the US Census Bureau, published in 2010, a bachelor’s degree is worth $2.1 M over the average adult’s working life. You don’t need a college degree to know that $3 M today is worth more than $2.1 M from now until the age of 65.

Well, right. There's also the fact that once Bell gets his multimillion-dollar bonus, he can pay for whatever school will admit him once he's done playing. These notions about the importance of college are adorable and all - as someone with three weird degrees, Bell's stance warms my little heart - but unless you don't care about money, they probably should go out the window when someone's offering you $3 million or $4 million to sign.

For more on the Pirates' draft, check out Bucs Dugout.

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