Risky Business? Plutko turns down more than a million, opting for UCLA over signing with Astros

Glendora pitcher and area player of the year Adam Plutko, a sixth-round draft choice by the Houston Astros, has rejected the Astros’ offer to sign and will enroll at UCLA after receiving a full scholarship. According to the Times, Plutko was offered a signing bonus of more than $1 million, quite an offer for a sixth rounder.

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  • kh

    only time and baseball gods will know ,
    if he made the right choice.
    in life,thats what its about,
    the starting 4 guys ucla will have next season could start in any 2aa org.there was another big guy who turned down big bucks from glendora,choice to attend usc,
    now hes working and pitching on sundats with us.
    still throws 92 to 94 with ease.
    yheres a million should of could of storys out there,
    if my aunt had balls,
    she would of been my uncle.
    talk with a scout yesterday he said going to major college is like stepping straight into 2aa with the plane trip all the contracts big time college has with sponsors,if you go to the minors out of h.s. brother the road trips could bury you.living out of a fast food suit case,in college your learn what the road has in front of you,the fork turn in easier to deal with.great job coach henley again,but way ucla,not your old school.usc

  • just askin’

    kh – was the kid from GHS one of the Clark twins?

  • JFR

    Thanks Plutko, long suffering UCLA fan here.

  • TeachDgame

    WOW, this is very interesting. Now again, I am a HUGE proponent of going to college. HOWEVER, if what is being reported here is in FACT true and not just idle chatter, what Plutko turned down is mid FIRST ROUND MONEY. From a financial standpoint, that makes NO SENSE. Now, from his development, wants to get an education, the joy of college, going to OMAHA, ok, those are all great reasons.

    However, hoping to improve his draft stock in 3 years is NOT one of them. Barring Injuries, to either, Plutko will NOT overtake Dylan Covey and probably not overtake Frazier out of Upland. There were also a number of other prep Pitchers taken ahead (although I am quite certain that “signability” pushed Plutko down a few rounds for sure – as were discussions about first 3 rounds on the street). Additionally in 3 years Austin Wilson is back in the mix as well and will most likely go ahead of all these guy’s. Most of the top prep position kids signed so they are out of the loop. Then figuring in current Soph’s in HS who develop (some we know about, many we don’t). So from a Financial perspective, this says he and his ADVISORS project him to be a Top 15 pick in 3 years to break even with today. Top 10 pick nets him an additional $500-700k (ok, so now we’re talking smart investment), top 8 or so picks get him into the BINGO BLINGAGE range and makes all the difference. Will he get there, could be, has the tools and Savage is a good developer of talent.

    Interesting for sure. If amount is correct, then Houston was definitely looking to invest in young arms as there were 2 prep RHP taken ahead of Plutko that Houston had already invested over $2.2 MILLION in , so this report indicates that Houston was considering investing $3.2 to $4.0 Million in 3 high school arms….. all RHP’s… hmmmm interesting…..

  • UCLA

    Teach – the article is correct. He turned down $1mm+.


    Good for him an education will last him a life time and a million bucks only buy a limited amount of things. Having a million dollars in the bank does not make you rich. Forbes magazine has reported that to truly feel rich you need to have liquid assest of about 12 million in your savings account, 12 million! After taxes that 1 million plus doesnt look so appetizing.

    Plutko get an education and you will make it to the bigs sooner than later but at least you have something to fall back on.

    Unless you name is Bryce Harper I don’t condon kids going pro after high school.

  • Don

    We all wish Adam well. I’m sure his choice was made after a lot of discussion and deliberation with his folks and advisors.

    Good luck, we’ll see you in Westwood next year playing with Jeff and Cody.

  • jcaz

    Wow, let me see if I got this one right…..

    A kid who probably never had a job outside of flipping burgers at Micky-D’s, turns down a million dollars so he can experience college life.


    BTW, did anyone ever tell this kid that a large percentage of people who try to become professional atheletes never even get to the big dance ?

    Now, i’m not saying the kid don’t have tallent, he may have because I’ve never seen him play and I am sure that no one offers someone a million if they’re not any good, but…….if you ever sit at home and watch thoes TV show’s where a guy is offerd $30-50,000 dollars to walk away right now, or to take a chance at EVEN more money, if he goes for door number three, then you can certainly understand just how foolish a decision such as this really is.

    Look, it would take a person who earns an average of 50,000 a year, something like 20 years to even earn that amount of money ever again……And that’s before taxes !

    The fact is that if he ever becomes a bust, and it’s always that possibility because for every position player out there, there’s at least 5 guys who believe the very same thing, and they all play that very same position, then he may never ever get a chance to look at another cool million like that ever again for the rest of his life !

    Oh and BTW, lets not forget the most important reason why this decision is so darn foolish and that is that HE CAN ALWAYS GO BACK TO SCHOOL RIGHT ??????

    I mean it isn’t as if someone’s holding the door shut right ??

  • Don

    No question the kid has talent, that comes from the evaluators and cross checkers paid for that kind work. Most guys signing a big league contract out of HS also are usually given some type of provision for paying off college tuition if there is scholarship money all ready on the table; one reason it’s so important for kids who are real prospects to be D1 ready scholastically their Jr and Sr years.

    Adam’s choice reminds me of Robert Stock who made a similar decision in 2006. Stock was a Pitcher-Catcher from Agoura High, Baseball America’s 2005 Youth POY, and a HS All-American. He chose to skip his Senior year at Agoura and moved on to USC early passing also on the MLB draft where he was a sure first rounder if not a top ten guy. The money range that year started at about $2 Million for the #10 guy and ran to about $1.35 Million at #20. I think the #1 guy got over $5 Million.

    Stock and his Dad apparently couldn’t decide whether Robert was a Pitcher or a Catcher but USC’s retiring Head Coach Mike Gillespie and his hand picked successor, son in law Chad Kreuter had a suggestion: become a Trojan, we’ll let you do both, something big league organizations don’t do on their own dime. He did, and discovered he is a Catcher although he was 8-7 with a 3.38 era at USC, and was drafted by St Louis in the second round (#67) of the 2009 draft.

    Robert’s signing bonus last year was $525,000; he’s in Davenport, Iowa right now playing Rookie ball for the Cardinal affiliate there.


    Adam – I wish him all the luck in the world at UCLA and I hope he does well. The problem is he should have signed with Houston. If you want to see the 2010 draft signing bonus breakdown you can see the top 25 rounds only on perfectgame.com. This will give an idea of what these kids really get. If the Astros offered him 1M that is late first round money. You will see kids in lower rounds signing for more but they are pitchers coming out of high school who dropped in the draft because of signability. He is gambling that he will be drafted in the top 15 when he is a junior now but think about this – Cole and Bauer are both back at UCLA next year so Adam will be lucky if he ends up throwing 50 innings next year how does he develop that way – yes he can be the man his last two years but Cole & Bauer where studs as freshmen when talking first round kids normally they don’t come off the bench to dominate. Also, Cole 6’3 – 215 lbs, 95mph, Bauer 6’1″ – 195 lbs, 95mph, that is first round stuff. Adam 6′ – 180 lbs, 88-90mph, big difference. Right now Adam will be compared to other high school kids who still have to grow so the scouts have to project how big and strong they will become, in college they can see how big you really are and project you against other bigger college kids. Big difference. Moral of this story – if someone offers a million dollars you take it and run baby! Remember this all you college rah rah guys – after taxes and paying his agent and this and that that million is really $550,000.00. Other than Doctors and Lawyers how many people do you know that have $550K cash in the bank right now. How many years will it take you to have that!! You can always go back to school – why to do go to school in the first place – TO MAKE MONEY. He would have been way a head of the game. TOO much risk for pitchers – one pitch and he could be done.

  • socalbaseball fan

    As a pitcher I would have taken the 1 million and signed with the Astros. Trying to play college baseball and mixing in academics is not easy and the graduation rates for D1 baseball are not good. In addition college coaches can overuse arms especially during the playoffs. Most college teams do not have dependable relief pitching and not unusual to have a pitch count in the 120-140 range. Plutko at UCLA may be the sunday starter or the midweek starter.

  • kh

    man 1 million dollars
    if he brought 4 rentals, heres my plan.
    thats 4 houses in pomona.
    morgage,4000 a month.
    rental income 1500 a month times 4 #6000
    profit 2000 a month times 12 # 24k
    10 years 240k just on rent.
    morgage 4000 times 10# 400k
    400k +240k #640k
    now owes 160k in 10 years on 4 homes.
    inflations homes go up 100k over 10 years $400k
    400k-160k # 240 profit
    owes homes out right made 240k profit.
    still get 24k rently money a year total profit 248k in 10 year with all homes pay off.
    total investment in ten years worth ?
    4 homes 300k time 4 # 1.2k plus 248k #1.48k,now minus investment 800ki profit 680k
    theres is exart money he held out for. i should of been his agent we would of got the job done.he could start his life dream playing baseball and getting paid.

  • King Stud

    Foolish foolish foolish. Did I say this was foolish?? I believe he is going to regret not taking the money. The Bonita kid Mier had the same situation and he took the money. As jcaz said he could always go back to college if baseball doesn’t pan out. So many things can happen that can ruin a career (injures) that taking this offer from Houston is a no brainer.

    I would be curious as to why he turned their offer down. Did he not like the Astros organization? Did his parents influence his decision? This is like hitting a winning lottery ticket and tearing it up and saying “no thanks”. Not smart at all.

  • Frank

    I think its risky turning down that much money, hopefully he will prove us wrong. This is a real gamble, 1 million is not big money anymore when you consider the price of things, such as houses, in a nice area a decent house is still gonna run you 600k +. but when you look at what kind of money people make most are making under 100k a year even with degrees. so it would still take over 10 years to make that much money with a degree. keep in mind, also a degree doesnt gaurantee you a job or high paying job. I think its a big risk, but hopefully it works out.

  • kh

    remember the kid who came on here and said
    he was partying the night before the big game with adam,maybe you think that kid was really his agent.
    you dont need agent to turn dont a million dollars,you need a srink.
    one million dollars,one million dollars ,one million dollars,he will be thinking about that # for 3 1/2 years,or maybe,that kid was right,party time bro with fellow glendora ucla partiers,word on the st the glendora baseball players can party pretty hard,come on coach,get that crap together.it seams like history will always repeat itself.maybe thats why b.j. wallace left the program,they say glendoras one of the meth city listed with a hugh problem,so maybe theres more to this whole thing then us baseball people really know,i will talk to his scout and find what the real reason is,i seen the kid pitch,good athlete,but come on hes no hugh monster,dosnt throw 96+, so for one million hes a hell of a pitcher,we will just have to wait and see game,hope he goes st to the bigs out of ucla,that what show all of us ,hes right and we are just seeing one million dollars signs.

  • socalbaseball fan

    Worse case in baseball history was Palmdale’s RHP Matt Harrington who was drafted #7 by the Colorado Rockies and offered 4.9 million dollars. He passed on this offer and chose to play in the independent leagues. He was later drafted 4 more times and never did sign a contract. Today he is working in the tire department at Costco making 11.50/hour. I saw him pitch in the area code games.

  • wow

    KH, you are a misinformed idiot.

  • kh

    hey am the idiot.
    the worlds at one of the lowest point of income ever,and some 18 turns away one million dollars to play baseball,and in 3 years he will again dream of getting one million dollars plus he wont have his degree,not in three years so why not take the money and go be the big leaguer there playing you 1 million dollars.with that kind of money invested,you have to prove you cant play not like the lower draft picks,they have to prove they can play,
    so whos the idiot?
    my blog must of hit home…sorry …not

  • foolish children

    The wealth of experience and wisdom in College is very important to most anyone’s development. For reference, how much college did you complete during your time Mr. Huth? Additionally, what a sad ommentary it is these days to think that a kid might want to go get an education at one of the top Universities in the Nation instead of making an immature, rash decision based on the amount of money that will make him happy. Yes, money secures one’s comfort. Does it make a person happy? I’d say not, at least not soley. For the young man to make the wise decision of attending College instead of “fulfilling his MLB dreams”… Unless ofcourse that dream is not his to begin with. You know, it might even be his dream one day. And if so, that makes it further more impresive that he was able to make a mature decision. Talking about graduation kids, you show no understanding of the kid in question at all. The young man does very well in school and is the son of a distinguished Principal and someone who has been around schooling his whole life. Saying that he might not graduate is simply an irrational fear that you have, not him.

    To think, what an awful world it might be… When a kid pursues College and education, as opposed to immediate, albeit short-lived, gratification….

    That, KH, is why you are an idiot.

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  • Jackboy

    Adam Plutko probably thought he was going to be drafted higher than the 6th round. The money he was offered is typically 3rd round money. Adam is a plus Athlete with a high GPA which makes some, not a lot of sense about the whole UCLA thing,
    Dylan Covey a different case all together. He played in a Div.10 school, Typical big fish in a little pond. Allot of times these kids Dads just get in the way of their kids success! Covey is a plus athlete with marginal grades at best. I asked his father, what happens if Dylan gets hurt? His father replied, he was going to take out an insurance policy at Lloyds of London. Thats crazy and arrogant! I dont think this guy has any idea how expensive these policies are!
    Major league scouts ask kids and their parents about their Draftability ex; (What kind of money are you looking for to sign?) otherwise these clubs wont bother to draft a kid in a high round. Its a huge waste of a high draft choice.
    Someday Pro baseball will assign a dollar amount to a particular to the drafted position and round.
    Anyone calling kh an idiot in this matter is just not very well informed themselves, it helps considerably to have some real Baseball background before you can call the man an idiot in this case!
    I sincerely wish both of these kids good luck. There both good kids! But, most of the times it doesnt work out the way it could have.

  • Behind the lines

    The decision has been made and we’ll see how it turns out in three years.

    The Astro’s really liked this kid and tried to throw bigger monwy than the round calls for and it didnt work. This dollar amount was a big gift for this kid to walk away from. Does his projected potential really worth that kind of money? Unfortunately this kids fast ball at the next level(s) is in question with me. 88/90 and sometimes 92 isn’t all that! In HS yes, but D1 and minors no! His best improvement has been his curve but that FB is straight.

    Pluko will have to have a SUPER college carreer to get that offer again or be drafter much higher. His size isn’t the type A proto and his body development better be a key focus at the next level.

    I would agree with KH on this one! 1M doesnt come around to often and anything could happen moving forward.

    A UCLA degree in this economy doesn’t gaurantee you employment, but 1M+ invested right goes a long way!

  • kh

    wheres my anwser to this college dats ahead.

  • reality

    Does anyone know what a full 4 year ride to UCLA is worth? There are many more losers who pinned their hopes on a pro career than losers who graduate from UCLA.This kid and his family examined all the angles. 1 million to a pro will be eaten up fast. Even pros who make the show blow millions and somehow end up broke peddling autographs at those sad card shows. My dough is on this kid.

  • BHS fan

    About thirty grand a year to answer your idiotic question. No guarantee a college grad will make it in this world no matter where the diplomas from!
    If youre the kind of fool who will blow a million dollars youll also piss away a good education.
    I saw on another blog, our Bonita Quarterback broke his arm, I am sorry to hear this.
    Maybe we can recruit one of khs fast Baseball players to fill a spot?

  • kh

    what do you think bonita going to do….bhs.
    hey felix whats in your magic bag of tricks,
    the haters are going to come out now,,,,
    g.p was on fire to have some big numbers my friend,hopefully little man will carry the tourch
    tell g.p. is healthy.god bless you g.p.

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