I have to be honest and admit that I hated the Jackson pick. I didnt think Jackson was or could be a good passer. I am really impressed with his growth as a player. I also thought he was predisposed to running 1st.
I am impressed with where we are as a team and much of that is because of the elite athletic ability of Lamar. I still think he's exposed to a cheap shot by a defensive player too often and think a leg injury will end his career. but I am enjoying where we are and the way the team is playing!
In the 1920s the International League Orioles were probably among the top 10 professional teams in the world. Jack Dunn refused to sign affiliation agreements. He had all stars and Hall of Fame caliber players in their prime. But eventually he was pressured by the rest of the league into caving. The PCL made a little run in the 1950s at going independent and hinting a going major, but expansion and the Dodgers and Giants put an end to that. Besides the relatively low-level indy leagues today there haven't been real minor league pennant races in my lifetime.
It's premature to say that the MLB draft is moving to August. MLB wants to move it after the College World Series. Some have speculated that August makes sense as a date in August would eliminate the need for short-season A teams.
Logically, it makes no sense to mandate which minor league teams will be axed although "leaking" a list may encourage towns on the fence to up their facilities. How up to date are the facilities in Frederick? It location is great.
Organizations such as the Orioles/Astros that are big on machine learning, regression models, and neural networks are more likely to be on board with this plan while organizations such as the Cubs/Yankees that have the resources to have a more balanced approach may have misgivings. During the past season the Cubs had 300 players under control. This new plan would lessen that number by at least 100.
Youngsters that are unable to make the jump from the DSL or HS to full-season ball may stay at their respective complexes and play unofficial games against other organizations throughout the summer as opposed to until the draft as in past years.
One advantage is that it will be easier to evaluate prospects with fewer non-prospects in the mix, although you could argue that 20-year old prospects benefit from playing with 25-year old non-prospects who know the little things but have limited tools.
The great statistics put up by top prospects during their first ML seasons in recent years suggests that top prospects may be spending too much time in the minors. More rapid promotion for a select few is likely with a thinner pool of players.
It is also possible that AAA will be more like AA is today, i.e., the place for top prospects. Independent leagues comprised of released players could fill the role that AAA has today - although this will depend on the details of the next ML agreement.
I've also heard that some teams would prefer a shorter season so that their prospects could spend more time in their respective pitching/hitting labs.