The 2020 MLB amateur draft is less than two weeks away. In an effort to cut costs amid the COVID-19 pandemic, MLB has shortened the draft from 40 rounds to five rounds this year. That will save roughly million in bonus money league-wide. It also means only 160 players will be drafted this summer. Last year 1,217 players heard their name called.
- Dates: June 10-11
- Times: 7 p.m. ET on June 10 and 5 p.m. on June 11
- Television: MLB Network (June 10-11), ESPN (June 10), ESPN 2 (June 11)
The first round and Competitive Balance Round A will be held June 10. That covers the first 37 selections. The remaining 123 picks will take place June 11. The signing deadline is Aug. 1 and teams can begin signing undrafted free agents at 9 a.m ET on June 14. Bonuses for undrafted free agents are capped at ,000 this year.
Every team is given a set bonus pool for draft spending each summer, and savings from a below-slot bonus with one pick can be used for an over-slot bonus with another pick. The penalties for excessive spending are harsh enough (tax on overage, forfeiting a future first rounder, etc.) that the bonus pool effectively acts as a salary cap. Here are this year’s five largest bonus pools: R.J. Anderson recently ranked the and the in the 2020 draft class. . This is our third mock draft ( , ), and although no amateur games have been played in weeks, draft boards are still changing. Here is our latest 2020 MLB mock draft based on the latest rumors and reporting.
- Orioles: $13,894,300
- Tigers: $13,325,700
- Royals: $12,521,300
- Marlins: $12,016,900
- Pirates: $11,154,500
The O’s hold the No. 2 pick and the highest competitive balance pick (No. 30), nudging them ahead of the Tigers for the largest bonus pool. The Astros, , have the smallest bonus pool at ,202,600.
Unlike the NBA and NHL, there is no lottery for the MLB draft. The draft order is set at the reverse order of the previous year’s standings, so thee Tigers hold the No. 1 pick in 2020 after losing 114 games in 2019. This is the third time Detroit has held the top pick. They selected Rice closer Matt Anderson with the No. 1 pick in 1997 and Auburn righty Casey Mize with the No. 1 pick in 2018. .