BYU Baseball: Cougars Nine-Year Draft Streak Ends, Lessar signs with Yankees
Though no BYU Baseball players were drafted in the 2020 MLB Draft – ending a nine-year streak of Cougar draftees – senior pitcher Jarod Lessar signed a free agent contract the New York Yankees following the Draft.
Lessar, a right handed pitcher from Price, UT played his final two years of collegiate baseball as a Cougar after transferring from USU Eastern in 2018. Over the course of his two years in blue and white, Lessar had a total of 59 strikeouts and an average 4.43 ERA over 64.3 innings. Lessar, who was on track to have a great senior season, had his days of collegiate baseball cut short as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“I couldn’t be happier for Jarod,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “He is such a great example of how hard work and dedication to your craft pays off. Jarod earned this opportunity and I’m glad the Yankees recognize his talent. We will miss him, but we wish him the best of luck as he begins his professional career.”(Daily Herald)
Major League Baseball decided to cut the draft down to just five rounds instead of its usual 40. “The league was given the ability to reduce this summer’s draft to as few as five rounds in an agreement between the [league and the player’s union] earlier this year.” (NBC Sports)
MLB franchises are allowed to sign as many draft-eligible players as they would like during the assigned free agent period. “This year, due to the shortened Draft, all 30 teams may sign an unlimited number of high school and college players who went undrafted for a maximum of $20,000 each.” (MLB)
Lessar will report to Tampa, Florida to begin his career with the Yankees when the MLB allows training to resume later this year.