Monday, while writing about Trevor Plouffe, I made a little digression ...
On the other hand, I don't know if anyone's ever gotten rich trying to predict the performance of single players. It's fun to think about, and it seems a shame that Randy Newsom's scheme to sell shares in his future baseball career didn't work out. Well, except that investors would have lost everything, since he pitched only 9⅔ innings after attempting to sell those shares (an enterprise that was quashed by Organized Baseball).
I didn't have my facts straight, though. Fortunately, Randy Newsom graciously checked in. For the real story, keep reading ...
Rob, this is Randy Newsom, big fan and excited to see where this new job with Baseball Nation takes you.
Just wanted to make a quick comment on the Plouffe article. First off, while Trevor didn't always put it together in his first few years in the minors, some of the physical skills were evident (quick wrists, fluid actions, etc.) of a potential Major Leaguer. On the other hand, absolutely nothing would have suggested this guy could drive the ball like this.
Secondly, I actually sold the shares in January of 2008, and threw over 70 innings and picked up more than 30 saves after the shares went public. I had terrible peripherals (WHIP and BB/K), mostly based on the amount of pitching around lefties they asked me to do (as a sidearm RH who was decent at getting guys like Plouffe out).
But the fans were amazing and humbling in their support in both 2008 and 2009, and I really enjoyed getting to know them on a deeper level.
Anyway, the end result of the shares idea was that we shut ourselves down because while I could have made it through and kept the money I received for my offering, we needed MLB's help to get more players involved. They were quite open to the concept but the MLBPA wasn't as much so and then the markets for all investments started to crash and SEC rules got significantly tighter.
So I returned all the money to the investors, thanked them for their support, and worked on some other business ideas for some of my teammates before I headed off to law school.
Sorry for being verbose, I just wanted to set the record straight a bit, as I think the idea has merit, and my bigger point was how MLB clubs, and the MLBPA for that matter, treated minor league players within the entire system.
Lastly, just because I think you might have liked to hear this stat, we discussed and took preliminary steps with 8 players, 2 of us started the company, the other 6 have all hit the big leagues. Good luck with SB Nation and hopefully our paths will cross somewhere down the line.
My thanks to Randy, and best of luck to him as he embarks on his law career. Oh, and I agree absolutely that minor-league players are treated like chattel, and something should be done about it.