On this week's episode of "Rob Manfred Hates Baseball" he's messing with the future of the game! Yesterday Major League Baseball announced that the upcoming 2020 amateur draft will be shrunk from it's usual 40 rounds to just 5. That means 1,000 high school/college baseball players who were hoping to get drafted will not hear their name called. ONE THOUSAND. Even worse? The slot money from rounds 6-10 vanish into thin air. Anyone drafted after the fifth round can only sign for a maximum of $20k. YIKES.
Just to give you a better grasp on how much these top prospects are getting screwed let's look at slot money. The Tigers projected slot for the first pick in the 6th round was expected to be $321,100. There's an alternate timeline here where there is no COVID pandemic and some dude makes $300k going to the Tigers with that pick. My heart breaks for that guy right now. He'll likely have to wait a whole year to have his dream come true and even then who knows what happens in a year.
The last pick in the 10th round which was going to be made by Houston? $142,500. These kids are getting absolutely FUCKED by this new draft. Some of these guys are losing out on HUNDREDS of THOUSANDS of dollars. Are MLB owners really that broke right now that they had to do this? I know if it was up to the Pirates owner they'd never make a pick ever again in an effort to conserve money.
So who does this benefit the most? The rich. Teams like the Yankees and Dodgers, who can afford to buy up a ton of these draft picks for $20k each, are going to find some real gems after Round 5. The Yankees are going to be without their 2nd and 5th round picks because of the Gerrit Cole signing. To make up for that I imagine they'll be all over these $20k contracts. No one likes a good bargain like Brian Cashman. That dude is salivating at the thought of grabbing a top end arm or bat who should have gone top 10. From my understanding there is no limit on the amount of contracts a team can offer. If you give a player the choice of a team he's going to choose LA or New York over Tampa or Pittsburgh 10 times out of 10 based. That's just a fact.
Now understand these players are still allowed the option to go back to school for a free 5th year if their eligibility was up. That being said what about colleges that were already recruiting high schoolers to take the spot of departing seniors? There's going to be a log-jam of people on these rosters and it's going to fuck up the amateur seen for years. That tells me JUCO is about to be as popular as ever. The talent pool is going to be flooded with players who want to get paid in the draft next year.
I feel like if you're any good it's not worth signing a contract after the 5th round. You're better off playing overseas, going back to school, or taking the JUCO route. Yeah it's cool you get to pick your team, but the amount of money you're giving up is stupid. Just because Rob Manfred and some of these owners prefer money over the sport doesn't mean you should have to take a 90% pay cut.
I don't usually pay too much attention to draft prospects in comparison to other sports. Usually more a read and react kinda deal after they're taken. Before the draft means a whole lot less to me than other sports unless there's a Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg type player going at the top. That being said I need to know where Luke Little goes. He throws 105 MPH...