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A Guide to the 2020 MLB Draft

The 2020 MLB draft starts tonight at 7pm. There have been many changes to this years format because of Covid-19. There are 3 main changes or items to know for this year’s draft.

  1. Usually the draft lasts 40 rounds but this year, it will only last 5. That means there are 1,050 players would have gotten drafted this year that will not.
  2. Slot money for signing bonuses will remain the same from last year. That means that the first overall pick will have a projected signing of $8,415,300. Signing bonuses are deferred this year however. Players will receive up to $100,000 of their bonus within 30 days of signing, and the rest will be split up in two equal payments received on July 1, 2021 and July 1, 2022.
  3. Undrafted free agents will only be able to sign for a maximum of $20,000. This new rule will probably send a lot of undrafted seniors to college rather than low-level minor league teams.

These 3 rules play a major role in the future of the sport, especially the first one. This will lead to a lot of tough decisions for some young athletes and their families. There will probably be an influx of new college baseball players that would have usually been drafted and signed out of high school.

Top Prospects for the 2020 MLB Draft

Spencer Torkelson – 1B, Arizona State

A first baseman has not gone first overall since Adrian Gonzalez was drafted by the Marlins in 2000. Spencer Torkelson is likely to change that narrative when the Tigers pick first tonight. It is tough to judge prospects on 2020 alone, but Torkelson has had two very good full seasons under his belt at Arizona State. The Tigers need impact players and Torkelson will be in Detroit sooner rather than later.

Austin Martin – 3B/OF, Vanderbilt

Perennial national title contender Vanderbilt has produced a lot of MLB talent over the year, notable David Price and Dansby Swanson. They will look to continue that trend with Austin Martin. Martin is considered to the be the top pure hitter in the years draft. After the Orioles picked catcher Adley Rutschman with the first pick last year, they will look to continue to fill out their future line up with Austin Martin. He has positional versatility where he can play pretty much any infield position (except first), and has even patrolled center field at a decent level.

Asa Lacy – LHP, Texas A&M

Asa Lacy and Emerson Hancock are seen as the two top pitchers in this years draft. One of the main things that Lacy has going for him is he is a hard throwing lefty. What coach does not love a hard throwing lefty? His fastball consistently sits in the mid-90s and he pairs that with two devastating breaking balls in both a curveball and slider. The Marlins will be looking to add a power arm in this year’s draft. Asa Lacy may be the guy to anchor their rotation for years to come.

Final Thoughts

This year’s draft will certainly be different than year’s past. The length will play a major role in how players will continue to develop over the next few years. The format greatly hurts the draft eligible players, especially those who are catered towards the later rounds. We all know the MLB draft is a dart throw anyway, no matter where you pick. The three guys mentioned above may have great MLB careers, or they may not ever don a Major League jersey. Only time will tell, and their time starts tonight.

-Pete Chatterton (@Pchat12)

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