Major League Baseball announced the league would be shortening both the 2020 and 2021 drafts, take a look at how it will affect the Detroit Tigers organization.
The Detroit Tigers were the worst baseball team in the country last season. In the process of being the worst team, they earned the first overall draft choice in the 2020 MLB Amateur First-Year Player Draft.
This sounds all fine and dandy, the Tigers still have the first selection, but some things have changed. With the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States and worldwide, the NCAA Baseball season has been canceled, raising question after question.
Clarity from the NCAA regarding eligibility has not come yet, but it has been rumored that the athletes will get a year of eligibility back. Players will then have to decide to return to their teams, which for prospects, this should be a no brainer.
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The interesting thing will be to see if some fringe guys choose to forgo the extra year of eligibility with their college team.
The league, however, announced that the 2020 MLB draft would be shortened from forty rounds down to only five rounds, and the 2021 MLB draft will also be shortened, down to twenty rounds.
Without question, this is going to have severe ramifications to all the MLB organizations, but also the Tigers organization.
Now, the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA baseball season was unprecedented and unexpected, so this is uncharted territory, but the Tigers are going to see negative outcomes because of this.
Firstly, the selection of players is going to tighten up, with players who may or may not want to stay for their final year of eligibility rather than try to get drafted. Also, the race for the first overall pick between Austin Martin, Spencer Torkelson, and Nick Gonzales just got quite confusing, not being able to see a full Spring from any of them.
On top of the first round, the Tigers draft class just decreased from forty to five due to the cancellation of the 2020 MLB Draft. Not all of the forty players would have signed, but sometimes those late-round selections that sign for a dime can pan out to be somebody after time in the minor leagues.
Now, undrafted free agents can also sign with teams for $20,000, which is ludicrous for a prospect who would regularly be taken beyond round five. Some kids simply wanting to chase their dreams in professional baseball might just sign and go, but the $20,000 is insanely low.
The entirety of this situation is hard to grasp, the draft just decimated the farm systems around minor league baseball, the NCAA has quite the situation on its hands. The Detroit Tigers are going to be left to their best judgment with that first overall selection.