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Friday, April 02, 2021

MLB Informs Teams 2021 Draft Will Be 20 Rounds

Major League Baseball has settled on a 20-round draft for the 2021 season, J.J. Cooper of Baseball America reports. That outcome has long seemed likely, as it is the minimum number of rounds required in the 2020 agreement between MLB and the MLBPA. While it’s obviously a step up from last year’s five-round event, the 20-round length still clocks in at half the length of the standard 40-round draft.

This year’s draft was already set to look quite a bit different. For starters, it’s been known for months that the event will be moved back to July. Major League Baseball also announced back in November the formation of the MLB Draft League — a six-team showcase league that will offer some of the country’s top amateurs the opportunity to compete against one another in the weeks leading up to the draft. There’s also been talk of an NFL-style combine of sorts, which would give clubs more up to date medical information on potential draftees. Pushing the draft back until after the College World Series and state high school tournament completions also avoids injury risk for top talent after the draft.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 02, 2021 at 03:13 PM | 14 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: draft

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   1. depletion Posted: April 03, 2021 at 05:12 AM (#6011374)
MLB Draft: the beer that keeps on giving.
   2. John Northey Posted: April 03, 2021 at 05:43 PM (#6011446)
Really, do we need more than 20 rounds? With only 4 minor league teams per club now you need a LOT less filler than in the past. And rounds 21 and beyond are mostly filler.

For example - 2010, only 1 player with positive WAR and he is at 1.0 from round 21
2005:Chris Martin 2.9 but didn't sign
2000: none made the majors
1990: Eddie Guardado got 13.2 WAR lifetime

Using 10 years ago and guys who signed only...
No positive WAR guys: 22, 28, 36, 39, 41,
None reached at all: 33, 34, 37, 40, 42, 43, 44, 45, 48 (all had DNS's reach via later drafts); 38, 47, 49, 50 (not even later drafted guys made it)
Under 5 WAR: 24: Erik Goeddel, Tim Adleman, Conor Mullee; 25: A.J. Schugel; 26: Scott Schebler; 29: Red Patterson, 30: Shawn Tolleson, Josh Edgin; 32: Jason Rogers; 35: Danny Barnes; 46: A.J. Achter;
5.0-9.9 WAR: 23: Evan Gattis; 27: Alex Claudio;
10+ WAR: 31: Kevin Kiermaier (27.3) (Aaron Judge also but didn't sign with the A's, Hunter Renfroe with Red Sox DNS)

I see under 5 WAR as cup of coffee, maybe a back end reliever or utility guy.
You get the idea. Successful players in round 21 and beyond are rare. Basically 3 guys of any real value from rounds 21 to 50 from 2010 (I figure if you ain't reached yet you ain't gonna from that draft). One player who was star quality who didn't sign as well. Now think of how many millions MLB teams spent on those rounds and in trying to develop those players. Was that a good investment to get a batch of 'meh' guys and Kevin Kiermaier? Probably not. Full marks to Tampa for finding him and signing him for $75k.

Mike Piazza, the infamous 63rd round pick taken only because Tommy Lasorda was friends with his dad iirc is the massive exception and he'd have signed with the Dodgers anyways if there was only 5 rounds that year as an undrafted FA I'm certain. I just can't see why MLB would want more than 20 rounds, heck more than 10. The vast, vast majority of guys who are star quality who are eligible for the draft are taken in the first few rounds as is and it is getting more extreme as time goes by I'm sure with advanced scouting and video and the internet making it harder for a kid to fall through the cracks.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: April 04, 2021 at 08:14 PM (#6011593)
I don't necessarily disagree on draft rounds but the idea that <5 WAR is a "cup of coffee" is not right.

Since 1970 (to make sure early draftees had a shot to make it), there have been 566 players with 0-5 WAR and at least 1000 PA. This includes starters like Alfredo Griffin, Neifi Perez and Keith Moreland (guys who maybe were a bit better than WAR thinks ... certainly teams thought so). But also guys like Warren Morris, JP Arencibia, Ben Davis, Jeremy Giambi, Randall Simon, Mihael A. Taylor, Tony Eusebio, Eric Thames, Josh Bell, Steve Ontiveros, Chris Carter ...

(There are some pitchers in that count plus guys who debuted before 1970 and probably passed 5 career WAR.)

We can add over 1000 pitchers with 150+ IP and 0-5 WAR. This includes Jason Marquis (nearly 2000 IP), Andy Hawkins, Julian Tavarez but also Blake Stein, Warren Brusstar.

On the flipside of this, only 866 batters and 657 pitchers debuted 1970 or later have reached 8 WAR. We're talking (give or take) 40 full drafts (plus the rest) so about 40 players per draft will make it to 8 WAR ... a total which includes lots of international signings obviously so it might be more like 30. (I wish stathead would add some draft search options.) We're now using over 1000 different players per year, those 0-5 WAR players are getting plenty of PT.

Pretty much by definition, "not great" players won't get heaps of PT ... if they were that good, they'd get more PT and cruise past 5 WAR. 2000 PA is pretty much 6 WAR of replacement value so they have to be below-average at that point. But plenty of guys get 1+ seasons as a starter to prove themselves then it's haphazard after that (and before).

There are guys like Mike Fontenot. He played parts of 8 seasons. His best season was 2008 when he eventually won something of a platoon job and posted a 131 OPS+; his top PA season was 2009 with over 400 when the bat unfortunately tanked. Across those seasons he totaled just under 1600 PA. But that's 2.5 full seasons worth of PAs. He put up 4.2 WAR and just -0.5 WAA. It's obviously much more than a cup of coffee. Do we really put that in the "maybe utility guy" category? He was nearly league average for 1600 PA. That's a very good bench player not a guy lucky to get a PA per week.
   4. base ball chick Posted: April 04, 2021 at 10:56 PM (#6011629)
roy oswalt was 23rd round in 97 and he ended up with something like 50 WAR. jd martinez was 20th round

i know i have seen a lot more major leaguers who were undrafted (dan wheeler) or drafted after the 20th round besides piazza who made it

i don't care how many cameras/video they got. astros with all their numbers/cameras/video BADLY messed up on 2 number 1 draft picks in a row. youneverknow. it is not that they think they now know it all and only need a few filler type guys. they are gonna get even with the players by making them play for nothing for the new "indy" leagues and picking them out of there so they don't have to pay for a draft pick
   5. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 11, 2021 at 10:15 PM (#6012869)

Baseball America: MLB Opening Day Rosters Included 45 Players From Draft Rounds That No Longer Exist

Looking at active Opening Day rosters, 5.7% of all MLB players came from rounds 21 and beyond. Rays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier, a 31st-round pick in 2010, remains the star of the late-round finds. Other notable late-round picks include Indians catcher Roberto Perez (33rd round, 2011) and Athletics righthander Sergio Romo (28th round, 2005).

The draft was cut from 50 rounds to 40 rounds in 2012, but Royals outfielder Jarrod Dyson continues to represent those later rounds. The 50th-round pick from 2008 is the lone player left on an active roster who was drafted after the 40th round.
   6. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2021 at 08:09 AM (#6012896)
With less rounds I'm guessing there will be more pressure to go to college and perform and if you don't you'll have to go get a job.
   7. DL from MN Posted: April 12, 2021 at 10:03 AM (#6012904)
I don't necessarily disagree on draft rounds but the idea that <5 WAR is a "cup of coffee" is not right.

Considering the going rate for a "win" on the free agent market is $6-8M a 4 WAR career player is worth at least $24M.

Is it really going to be a problem that players are "undrafted" instead of being a "42nd rounder"? I know there is a cap on bonuses but I don't see any restrictions on how many undrafted free agents a franchise can sign.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 10:15 AM (#6012906)
I would think a Rd 21-40 guy has a better chance as a FA than a 27th rd pick. He can go to a team where he sees opportunity.
   9. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2021 at 10:30 AM (#6012910)
A 27th round pick has been selected by a team and presumably they will offer him a contract.

A FA has to get somebody in the room or on the field with him and then be interested in him and have room for him. I'm sure it will be like the NFL where teams know that player X is unlikely to be drafted but that they have communicated to them they'd like to see them in camp.

The difference being of course MLB has 20 rounds to pick players so the FA theoretically should be pretty bad. Relatively speaking.
   10. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:00 AM (#6012921)
I don’t think it is a big deal if the players who would have been drafted in rounds 21-40 are instead free agents. However, capping those signing bonuses at $20k seems like an issue. Previously, those guys could get up $100k as later round draftees.
   11. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:34 AM (#6012923)
A 27th round pick has been selected by a team and presumably they will offer him a contract.

Would they with the smaller minor leagues?
   12. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2021 at 11:44 AM (#6012927)
If they're drafting the player I would say yes.
   13. DL from MN Posted: April 12, 2021 at 04:17 PM (#6013044)
A lot of the late draft picks were just drafting high school players they didn't intend to sign to make sure nobody else would sign them.
   14. McCoy Posted: April 12, 2021 at 05:32 PM (#6013056)
Virtually no late round HS draftees sign. Why would they when they can go to college? But also if everyone is drafting players to block others then what is the point? What team was going to actually sign a HS player in the 55th round?

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