I have always been perplexed that a high school player can be drafted at 18 and be ready to play in The Show within 5 years (age 23) but a college draftee comes in at 22 with 4 years of college but still takes 3 years in in minors to be be ready. What gives?
Compare Ke'Bryan Hayes vs Nick Gonzales. Hayes was drafted in 2015 as an 18 year old. He made his debut in 2020 at age 23 after spending 5 years in the minors.
Gonzales was drafted in 2020 at age 21 after 3 years of college ball. His 1st year in the minors in High A at age 22. He probably will play in AA and AAA in 2022 with a possible cup of coffee in Sept of 2022 at 23. He really won't see a starting gig until 2023 at age 24.
Both Hayes and Gonzales are/were top prospects with strong skills. They both have or are moving at what is consider a fast pace thru the minors. However Hayes got to the majors a year ahead of the path Gonzales is on. This is not unusual as high school drafted players tend to reach the majors at a younger age than college players. Why is that? Is there really such a difference in the training and competition level in college vs the minors?
For a team like the Bucs, they are losing valuable years keeping college players so long in the minors. They need every year of a player's career before he departs. Maybe the Bucs need to be more aggressive with their college players?