Detroit Tigers: The 2020 MLB Draft Shortened to Five Rounds
The 2020 MLB draft will be only five rounds and it will be held on June 10th. The details as they are coming in are not pleasant for scouts, the players projected to be drafted after the fifth round and another possible blow to the minor league teams in short-season ball.
As reported this evening by Jeff Passan and Kiley McDaniel of ESPN.com, the 2020 MLB draft will be only five rounds.
Ernest Dove, who is a freelance writer, reported that teams could use the allotted money as they saw fit. As Passan indicates, all players who go undrafted would be eligible to sign for a max of $20,000.
Compared to last year, that is a rather steep decline. As reported last year in Baseball America, here’s what the Tigers had for slotted value for rounds six through ten.
The Tigers draft board is limited to what scouting reports they have. Factor in the lack of new reports, college games in which players can step up their value even more or underclassman who hit their stride and become high risers on the draft board after a hot conference or College World Series run and all the high school showcases that have been canceled, the potential to earn that value is gone.
The lack of a minor league season appears to be likely, which hurts the teams below the Double-A level. So teams like the West Michigan Whitecaps, the Norwich Sea Unicorns, and Lakeland Flying Tigers, who have the draft picks to fill in the various roster spots when players get called up, will continue to lose a chance have fans go to games and talent working with instructors on the transition to major league ball.
The 2019 draft class is already losing development time. With short-season A ball being on the chopping block for 2021, the layout it appears for development will look radically different. The Tigers had the number one pick in each round so the ability to pick the top talent in each round is gone.
What Detroit will need to do is sell the idea of playing time right away in their system. For underclassman at say, an SEC school in which you are playing on your own TV network, hanging out with your teammates on a Friday night and other factors that make college life great, $20,000 to chase the dream to play professional baseball, may be laughable. To a high school senior or someone perhaps at a small school, it could be a strong aphrodisiac.
Detroit also has to face big market teams like the LA Dodgers, Yankees, and others who have a strong track record of player development or who simply have to say what organization they are from when they approach a player who dreams of playing for the team they rooted for or their hometown team. The Tigers had made strides recently to improve themselves in player development. This is why getting these five picks right can only leave a small room for error. Whoever they can get to sign at the $20,000 max can’t be just minor league roster fodder, the hope is, they can develop and arrive in Detroit sooner than later.