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2020 MLB draft will be only 5 rounds, take place in late July

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I haven’t read the article yet, but the obvious question is, “what happens to all those guys who would’ve been taken in the sixth round?”

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25 minutes ago, Philip said:

I haven’t read the article yet, but the obvious question is, “what happens to all those guys who would’ve been taken in the sixth round?”

Presumably they would become non-drafted free agents and might be able to sign for more money than they would have gotten as a fifth round pick--unless MLB puts some restriction on how much teams can spend to sign non-drafted free agents.   

Maybe there is a restriction on such spending already in place, but we never think about it because with 40 rounds it's not like there are many high-quality non-drafted players.   If there is no restriction then I would think that the teams with deep pockets could have a field day signing good prospects.  

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Just now, Three Run Homer said:

Presumably they would become non-drafted free agents and might be able to sign for more money than they would have gotten as a fifth round pick--unless MLB puts some restriction on how much teams can spend to sign non-drafted free agents.   

Maybe there is a restriction on such spending already in place, but we never think about it because with 40 rounds it's not like there are many high-quality non-drafted players.   If there is no restriction then I would think that the teams with deep pockets could have a field day signing good prospects.  

From what I read before they reached the accord they were talking about only giving undrafted guys a max of 10K.  That would pretty much force kids to college.

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5 minutes ago, Three Run Homer said:

Presumably they would become non-drafted free agents and might be able to sign for more money than they would have gotten as a fifth round pick--unless MLB puts some restriction on how much teams can spend to sign non-drafted free agents.   

Maybe there is a restriction on such spending already in place, but we never think about it because with 40 rounds it's not like there are many high-quality non-drafted players.   If there is no restriction then I would think that the teams with deep pockets could have a field day signing good prospects.  

I’ve read most of the article, and it seems that there’s a desire to contract the minor league teams and remove the total number of players a team has in the system. The team likes it because it’s cheaper, and the players like it because older guys won’t be pressured by up-and-coming prospects, and can last an extra year or two in the majors. That implies overall quality will go down because there just won’t be as many prospects pushing for spots.

I dislike all of this.

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Contraction is a good model for MLB, but bad for baseball. 90%+ of all players drafted are fillers to help develop the true prospects. The harshest critics here tear these guys down from the day of the draft on. Doesn't throw hard enough, no movement on pitches, not enough power, has no position, etc. Most of these players love the game, want to extend their youth, are not making a livable wage, getting lousy meal money, supported by parents, etc. These "kids" have been playing ball for nearly two decades and want it to last. This pandemic, I suspect, will cause some of these players to "retire" early, reducing the number MiLB teams needed. MLB would much rather have the luxury that football and basketball has, college as the incubators, not "expensive" minors. There are certainly other ways to develop players, using ST facilities as academies, teams working together, less travel, more instruction, professional staff reduction, not an excess of filler fodder. MiLB (I like it), is a relic of a time when travel for the population was limited, no or little TV existed to see professional baseball, you needed minor leagues. Now, people can travel relatively cheaply and efficiently via interstates coast to coast, cheap flights, see all games, all teams on cable. MiLB will still exist in some form, at least two levels AA, AAA others, non affiliated, self supporting teams will evolve.  The pandemic of 2020 (likely into 2021) is likely to alter the framework.

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Thanks for posting, that’s a good synopsis. Presumably this is bad for the O’s, right? In that our draft position meant that we had a large and flexible bonus pool that we could’ve deployed creatively across a typical 40 round draft to maximize talent acquisition in various points of the draft? And that now, with just five rounds, the whole strategy has to change substantially.

I think this also puts us at a comparative disadvantage in non-drafted signees; if there is just a cap (20k per player) on what a player can sign for, but ultimately no regulation on how many players a team can sign (though perhaps that’s still to come), why would a player sign with, say, the Orioles or the Tigers when he could sign with the Yankees or the Dodgers? I think most kids, in a heartbeat, would go to the most prestigious franchises with a better player development track record.

I’d be interested in takes from folks that are a little better versed in all that than I am. Ultimately, doubt this is good for us or, as is noted in the article and by some posters above, the game.

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1 minute ago, ReclaimTheCrown said:

 

I think this also puts us at a comparative disadvantage in non-drafted signees; if there is just a cap (20k per player) on what a player can sign for, but ultimately no regulation on how many players a team can sign (though perhaps that’s still to come), why would a player sign with, say, the Orioles or the Tigers when he could sign with the Yankees or the Dodgers? I think most kids, in a heartbeat, would go to the most prestigious franchises with a better player development track record.

Brooks had a nice take on why.

 

Also the 2021 draft looks like it will be stacked.

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There aren't nearly enough college baseball scholarships to take care of all the kids who will be pushed there by the decline in minor-league opportunities. Some talented high school baseball players may opt to play other sports in college.

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22 minutes ago, mdbdotcom said:

There aren't nearly enough college baseball scholarships to take care of all the kids who will be pushed there by the decline in minor-league opportunities. Some talented high school baseball players may opt to play other sports in college.

Community college so they can re-enter the draft.

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35 minutes ago, mdbdotcom said:

There aren't nearly enough college baseball scholarships to take care of all the kids who will be pushed there by the decline in minor-league opportunities. Some talented high school baseball players may opt to play other sports in college.

There will be a mixture of results.  Some will play in indy leagues for $1000 a month.  Some will go elsewhere, to other sports, to careers outside of sports altogether. 

But I do wonder what the long-term implications of this are.  Teams have to realize they're getting very little value beyond the 5th round.  The 2010 draft has seen no one drafted and signed in the 6th round worth more than 3.1 WAR.  Mark Canah and Michael Lorenzen are the best players from the 7th.  Bud Norris is very close to being the best player taken in the 6th round in '06.  Yes, there are players with 20 or 30 win seasons taken beyond the 5th, but 90+% of picks in these rounds end up either never appearing in the majors or just briefly or ineffectively.  Most 8th-rounders are like Jedidiah Stephen.

MLB could just decide to cap the draft at 5 rounds forever and there would be a fairly minimal impact.  Players like Justin Turner or Mike Leake or Dellin Betances would just not get drafted and they'd have to figure out their own way to becoming a prospect, or going to do something else.

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46 minutes ago, Spider44 said:

Probably not good for the O’s overall, however, much better than having no draft at all.

I don't understand why, in a world with capped expenditures on amateur signings, you need a draft at all.  The Yanks, Dodgers, and Sox can't offer any more money than the Orioles.  And the Orioles have a lot more job openings.  It's plausible that the Orioles would be better off in a world without a draft.

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1 minute ago, DrungoHazewood said:

There will be a mixture of results.  Some will play in indy leagues for $1000 a month.  Some will go elsewhere, to other sports, to careers outside of sports altogether. 

But I do wonder what the long-term implications of this are.  Teams have to realize they're getting very little value beyond the 5th round.  The 2010 draft has seen no one drafted and signed in the 6th round worth more than 3.1 WAR.  Mark Canah and Michael Lorenzen are the best players from the 7th.  Bud Norris is very close to being the best player taken in the 6th round in '06.  Yes, there are players with 20 or 30 win seasons taken beyond the 5th, but 90+% of picks in these rounds end up either never appearing in the majors or just briefly or ineffectively.  Most 8th-rounders are like Jedidiah Stephen.

MLB could just decide to cap the draft at 5 rounds forever and there would be a fairly minimal impact.  Players like Justin Turner or Mike Leake or Dellin Betances would just not get drafted and they'd have to figure out their own way to becoming a prospect, or going to do something else.

Additionally, if the draft is reduced to five rounds you won't see teams spend draft picks on college seniors in an attempt to create more spending flexibility.

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I think this could actually help teams that aren't "stacked" at the MLB level. Easier to get your foot in the door as they say.

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