Detroit Tigers: Newly announced MLB Draft League means more opportunities

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Major League Baseball announced a new MLB Draft league for draft-eligible prospects, an idea that will be great for the Detroit Tigers in the future.

In a time where Minor League Baseball (MiLB) is getting decimated, Major League Baseball (MLB) announces a new summer league for draft-eligible prospects. The Detroit Tigers and plenty of other big-league teams should be jumping all over opportunities that come from this new league.

There are currently five teams that will be a part of this league; they will play a 68-game schedule in the summer that features an all-star break and coincides with the MLB Draft. All five of the teams in this league are in cities that lost a minor league affiliate in the cuts that have taken place as Major League Baseball has started to decimate the minor leagues.

This league will be incredibly valuable for prospects, both high school and college players that are looking to showcase their stuff in front of big-league scouts. The MLB Draft League will allow players who go undrafted also to showcase their stuff, really just leading to a plethora of opportunities.

Here are ways the MLB Draft League will bring new concepts to the draft process:

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  • Season from May-August with two halves
    • The first half being for draft-eligible high school, college, and junior college players
    • The second half being for undrafted players still interested in signing passed on to teams.
  • State-of-the-art scouting technology installed in the ballparks
  • College World Series participants can join after that concludes.
  • Scouts can attend games live, on top of the heightened technology.

The Tigers have the third overall pick in the upcoming 2021 MLB Draft in which they will likely come away with starting pitcher Jack Leiter or a high school bat.

Any of their 2021 Draft selections could be kept in this league if they are already playing there.

This allows the organization to avoid clogging the short-season affiliates or jamming prospects in rookie-ball where they may struggle to advance for whatever reason. Hopefully, they can use this league to help streamline their draft process on the backend when it comes to placing their players.

However, for the acquisition process of the draft, this league also offers upside to the Tigers. It allows them to send scouts to these games to watch players competing against the best of the best from high schools, colleges, and junior colleges in live-game format.

Beyond the draft itself, the Tigers can send out scouts to watch the undrafted free agents with hopes to pick up a few more of them who may be diamonds in the rough. The undrafted free agent period can only add to a “draft-class” in COVID-19 times where the draft has been shortened from its former 40-round status.

This new MLB Draft League will be incredibly fun to watch as it takes shape and gets underway, and for the Tigers, it will only mean more opportunities for scouting, which in turn should lead to a better draft class.

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In the past two years, the Detroit Tigers have pieced together exceptional draft classes; hopefully, this helps them continue this trend.