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Published June 09, 2011, 03:40 PM

Forum sportswriter offers Major League Baseball draftee from Fargo some advice: "Stay in school, son"

David Ernst never asked me, nor would I expect the Fargo South graduate to ask, but here’s my advice to the young man...

By: Jeff Kolpack, INFORUM

David Ernst never asked me, nor would I expect the Fargo South graduate to ask, but here’s my advice to the young man after he was taken in the 47th round of the Major League Baseball draft this week. Stay in school, son.

I give you an example as to why. His name is Ryan Bollinger, from Minot, N.D., who was the 47th round draft pick of the Philadelphia Phillies in 2009. The 18-year-old signed immediately instead of following through on a reported commitment to an Iowa junior college and was designated to the Phillies’ affiliate in the Frontier League, where he had four hits in 23 atbats and was subsequently released. It’s not clear if anybody has signed him, but the message is clear; it can be a tough road for a 47th-rounder.

Ernst has scholarship money waiting for him at North Dakota State. Like Bollinger in 2009, he’s 18 years old and his main competition this spring was North Dakota high school teams who spent a lot of time indoors in dimly-lit batting cages. It sounds tempting when you’re drafted and probably downright exciting. But pro ball does not care about your feelings.

There are hundreds and hundreds of players in the minor league system. If you’re not a bonus baby (early round draft pick), there are no guarantees you’ll make it past 23 atbats.

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