Major League Baseball has announced they will hold a virtual draft on June 10th and 11th. SI baseball writers Matt Martell and Max Goodman break down what this means for the MLB.
Read the full video transcript below:
Kaitlin O'Toole: Major League Baseball has announced they will plan to hold a virtual draft on June 10th and 11th. Joining me now to discuss this is SI's baseball writer Matt Martell and Yankees team reporter Max Goodman. Matt, as of now, teams are not allowed to have draft rooms and will do all drafting via video conference. What are your thoughts on this?
Matt Martell: I think this is the only course of action for MLB to take right now. They're trying to get everybody back on the field by July 1st with camps opening a little bit sooner than that, a couple weeks earlier than that. But virtual draft, there's no need to do it in person right now. So they might as well follow in the NFL's footsteps with the model that they did with their own draft and kind of, you know, gained some interest that way. I think the bigger developments with the draft are the way that they shortened it. It's going to be 5 rounds this year as opposed to 40 in previous years. That impacts future players and possible teams. There's a nugget in Ken Rosenthal's report from the Athletic, he said that of the1400 players that appeared in a major league game last year, 46% of them were drafted after the fifth round. So that's a sizable amount of future major leaguers that potentially will not be drafted this year.
Kaitlin O'Toole: That's a pretty big statistic. Max, I want to get your thoughts on this. How will the shortening of the draft affect the Yankees specifically?
Max Goodman: When I first heard the news that they were cutting it down to five rounds, I thought that this was going to be completely negative for the Yankees farm system moving forward, because you'll remember when the Yankees signed Gerrit Cole, they forfeited their 2nd and 5th round picks. So you're going from a 2019 draft class of 40 rounds to 3 picks in 2020. You have to figure that's going to be negative, right? But then the more I thought about it, and I got a comment on this on one of the pieces I wrote last week, is that by having the window for undrafted signees that would've been drafted after the fifth round and a maximum cap of $20,000 of salary, that's an even playing field in terms of financial negotiations between all 30 teams. So then, you know, I'll ask you: if you're a prospect and you would have been taken in this draft and you can choose between all 30 teams, why wouldn't you consider the Yankees? All things considered, with the history, the most storied franchise in the sport, star power, the big market, you have to figure a lot of players that would have been taken in, say, the sixth or seventh or eighth rounds will end up in the Yankees farm system. And we'll have to talk about this in a decade from now or maybe five years and see how many of those players end up in the big leagues, like Matt said.
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