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MLB Draft Shortened to 5 Rounds

According to Jeff Passan, sources have told ESPN that the 2020 MLB Draft will be reduced from 40 to 5 rounds. This decision is a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the income of each MLB organization.

In addition, all undrafted players will be eligible to sign for a maximum of $20,000. For reference, the slot value for the first pick in the 6th round of the 2019 MLB Draft was $301,600. So if a player decides to sign as a free agent this June for $20,000, they could potentially be losing out on $280,000+ of their signing bonus. On the flip side, there are also hundreds of players that sign for less than $20,000 every year, whether it be a senior, late round pick, or a free agent. So those players may have no issue signing a contract in July because they were never going to get a large signing bonus to begin with.

Because of this temporary change to the draft, we will see many players return to college in an effort to 1) improve their draft stock and 2) not lose out on their signing bonus. With most of the top talent likely headed back to campus, it's safe to say that college baseball is going to be LEGIT in 2021.


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