The Detroit Tigers have the first pick in the upcoming 2020 MLB Draft, but shrinking the draft class to five players will wreak havoc for the future.
A shortened 2020 MLB First-Year Amateur Player Draft means that the Detroit Tigers draft class is going to shrink from forty to five, just like that. A non-existent draft class is going to decimate the minor league system, even only being one season.
The Tigers possess the first overall draft choice and first selection each round. In an ideal world, they would walk away from the 2020 MLB Draft with the best entire draft class, but with only five players being selected, this is not the case.
With the new proposition from Major League Baseball, all signs point that the midsummer draft is going to be reduced to these five rounds. A team experiencing a rebuild like the Tigers is going to struggle with this minute draft class greatly.
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All teams across the league will struggle, but the shrunken draft class could wreak havoc as the rebuild plugs on, and the draft class that usually supplies minor league teams with good talent, simply provides five players.
The rumor is that organizations are going to be able to sign an unlimited amount of undrafted free agents for $20,000. Frankly, this seems like a long shot to bring in many of these undrafted free agents.
Since the NCAA announced that baseball players are gaining an extra year of eligibility, it means that some of these players are going to return to their programs. If they return, they get the chance to further their draft stock and come back next year for a “normal” draft when they can earn better draft slot money.
The minor leagues are already in danger from having teams get cut out left and right as Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred has been rumored to be making changes. This shortening of the draft is not going to help some of these minor league affiliates.
For the Tigers specifically, they will get five top talents in this summer’s draft but are going to struggle when the talent pool becomes thin during this rebuild. Building a team through the draft is helpful during a rebuild, bringing in players to develop and take chances is a vital part of this.
The Tigers rebuild is not close to being over, with only five players coming in, it is going to leave the Tigers scrambling next year to make sure the organization has a fantastic draft. Besides that, they are going to rely heavily on the performance of the talent currently within the organization.
By shortening the draft, the development of the players in the minor leagues is going to be even more crucial than it was initially thought. The five drafted players and any undrafted signees better are legit talents that will be able to develop into future big-league assets of some sort.
The changes by Major League Baseball due to COVID-19 and the announcement made by the NCAA regarding eligibility is going to affect the Detroit Tigers and other teams significantly.