Quantcast

Reduced 2020 MLB Draft will slash dreams, diamonds in the rough

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. (Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports)

As owners and the players squabble over a payment plan for the 2020 season, other aspects surrounding Major League Baseball’s return are being cut, slashed, and eliminated. 

Among the largest cost-cutting measures for a sports league that made $10.7 billion in revenue last season is the reduction of the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft on June 10 from 40 rounds to just five. 

Reducing the draft by 35 rounds will save team owners millions in financial commitments in their coronavirus-era penny-pinching ways that have provided plenty of reminders of just how cruel the business is. 

The Rays, Marlins, and most notably, the Angels, have furloughed a significant number of employees during the pandemic.

But the early-May decision to cut the draft’s rounds by 87.5% will be a dream deferred for an incredibly large number of MLB hopefuls — 1,050 in fact — as that’s how many picks will be wiped away from this year’s selection process. 

Unlike the NFL, NHL, and NBA drafts, Major League Baseball teams aren’t ensured bona fide stars with first or second-round selections in the draft. 

A report by Richard T. Karcher in 2017 determining a drafted baseball player’s chances of making the major leagues from 1996-2011 based upon the round he s drafted only helped prove that:

1st Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 745

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 339

Percentage: 45.5%

2nd Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 496

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 148

Percentage: 29.8%

3rd Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 490

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 99

Percentage: 20.2%

4th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 83

Percentage: 17.2%

5th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 82

Percentage: 17.1%

 

Those average percentages will set the pace for 2020 draft picks, but there is a considerable amount of talent that will be missed out on, history suggests. Though the chances of carving out a lengthy MLB career grow slimmer the further down you go.

 

6th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 47

Percentage: 10.2%

7th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 40

Percentage: 8.3%

8th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 47

Percentage: 10.2%

9th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 34

Percentage: 7.1%

10th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 480

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 35

Percentage: 7.3%

11th-15th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 2,400

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 108

Percentage: 4.5%

12th-20th Round Draft Picks

Players drafted: 2,400

Played 3+ seasons in MLB: 86

Percentage: 3.5%

That being said, some of baseball’s very best have been taken outside of the first five rounds of the draft, eliminating all hope in 2020 that teams can find a diamond in the rough. 

  • The Mets selected Nolan Ryan, MLB’s strikeout king with seven no-hitters, in the 12th round of the 1965 draft.
  • The White Sox nabbed Goose Gossage in the 9th round of the 1970 draft.
  • The Montreal Expos found Andre Dawson, arguably the best outfielder of the 1980s, in the 11th round.
  • One of the top second basemen of the 1980s, Ryne Sandberg, was taken in the 20th round of the 1978 draft by the Phillies.
  • The Boston Red Sox took Wade Boggs in the seventh round in 1976. He went on to collect over 3,000 hits.
  • Before his 213 wins and 154 saves, John Smoltz was drafted by the Tigers in the 22nd round in 1985.
  • Mike Piazza, arguably the greatest offensive catcher in baseball history, was taken in the 62nd round by the Dodgers at the 1988 draft.

All of those players are in the Hall of Fame. 

AMNY Newsletter

Eat it. Drink it. Do it. Tackle the city, with our help.