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MLB eyeing major changes to 2020 amateur draft
Pickswise writer, full-time digital marketer. When not writing, Ben is probably watching Celtics highlights while eating Taco Bell.

MLB eyeing major changes to 2020 amateur draft

By Ben Levine levineb04@gmail.com
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Pickswise writer, full-time digital marketer. When not writing, Ben is probably watching Celtics highlights while eating Taco Bell.

The 2020 MLB Amateur Draft could look a whole lot different, and these changes could lead to some major repercussions across the sport.

With the league eyeing an indefinite hiatus, ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel reported this morning that both the league and the Players Association have agreed to a revised iteration of the upcoming draft. Most notably, the proposed deal would see the 2020 draft reduced from the standard 40 rounds to an awe-inspiring five to 10 rounds. The date of the draft would also be pushed back from June to July.

If you’re confused, so are we. The date-change makes plenty of sense – we get that. However, MLB teams will be looking at an inferior draft pool.

In the most extreme version of this proposed change, MLB would be removing 35 rounds from the draft. I’m not a mathematician, but by my estimates, that means approximately 1,000 players who would normally be selected will instead go undrafted. Of course, that’s assuming that the impending prospect pool would be equal to normal years, which surely won’t be the case.

After all, there are rumblings that teams would only be allowed to offer these undrafted players a maximum signing bonus of $10K. While this is the standard going rate for undrafted collegiate seniors, this is a significant decrease from the six-figure bonuses that some later-round high schoolers or collegiate underclassmen demand.

As a result, high school prospects would likely opt to attend a university or junior college for a year, and collegiate players would likely stick around for another campaign. This means a much more competitive NCAA season, but it also means that MLB teams will presumably see a massive falloff in talent during the draft.

Furthermore, this would mean the 2021 draft pool could see an unprecedented level of talent, as players who held off from entering in 2020 will be joining the players who were ineligible/not ready to enter in 2020. This would have a vicarious impact on the future drafts as well, as fringe draftees will surely hold off in fear of a deeper player pool.

McDaniel passes along a handful of additional changes, including an organization’s ability to defer bonuses into the future (which is especially relevant when considering the uncertainty of the upcoming campaign).

McDaniel was careful to note that MLB and the MLB Players Association have agreed to the “framework of an agreement,” meaning there might be some wiggle room to change. However, based on today’s report, we can easily surmise that the 2020 MLB Amateur Draft will look much different than previous (and future) years.

Fortunately, maybe this bit of news can distract us from this fact:

Sigh…

Last updated: Thu 26th March 2020
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