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How Can I Become a Professional Baseball Player?

Research what it takes to become a professional baseball player. Learn about the required skills, potential job growth and salary to find out if this is the career for you.

What Is a Professional Baseball Player?

Professional baseball players are athletes who are paid to play baseball. In the United States, they may play on major or minor league teams. Often, they have significant experience, which can include play at the high school and college levels. They may be recruited from the NCAA, or they may land a position on a team by demonstrating their skills at a tryout camp. A job as a professional baseball player includes practices, fitness training sessions and games, as well as promotional activities like giving interviews and signing autographs.

Additional information about this career can be found below:

Training Required Several years of playing experience
Key Skills Eye-hand coordination, physical stamina, agility
Job Growth (2020-2030) 38% (for all athletes and sports competitors)*
Median Salary (2020) $50,850 (for all athletes and sports competitors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Kind of Education Do I Need to be a Professional Baseball Player?

Becoming a professional athlete does not require any formal education, and professional baseball players do not need any post-secondary credentials. For many players, the pursuit of a career in baseball begins at an early age with little league experience. On a little league team, you will learn the fundamental rules and skills of baseball, including batting, pitching and playing the field.

Most aspiring players eventually take up positions with their high school team. These programs continue to foster skill development and provide a greater degree of competition. Students are expected to demonstrate a strong capability to bat, pitch and play the field, as well as employ strategy, such as stealing bases.

How Can I Be Recruited?

Players begin to achieve exposure from MLB franchises in secondary school programs. You may attend tryout camps where you will be judged on a variety of physical traits as well as overall performance. Following the conclusion of camp, you may be taken by a team in the MLB draft in June.

Those who are not drafted by an MLB franchise after high school move on to play collegiate baseball. Collegiate baseball offers opportunities for more extensive training and the possibility of gaining more exposure. Players who are drafted often begin their professional career with a minor league team. Minor league franchises exist all over the country and provide opportunities for aspiring athletes to compete and further develop their skills, as well as gain exposure with the parent club.

What Kind of Skills Do I Need?

Professional athletics demands a high level of general and sport-specific physical capability. You should have strong hand-eye coordination and physical strength for batting or pitching. In addition, you should be a strong sprinter and have the agility to move quickly from base to base. Professional baseball is highly competitive. While many young people play baseball in little league and at the secondary or post-secondary levels, very few go on to play professionally.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

If you are looking for a job related to baseball, you could also consider working as an umpire, where you would make calls and enforce rules. A high school diploma is the minimum educational requirement for most sports officials, but some leagues will also require you to complete additional training programs. Another option is to become a fitness instructor, where you would teach individuals and groups of clients general exercise practices, like weightlifting or aerobics, to help them improve their health and wellness. Fitness instructors need a high school diploma, and professional certifications can boost job prospects.