MLB cuts costs by shrinking draft, but prospects, college baseball facing uncertainty

Jeff Wilson, Fort Worth Star-Telegram on

Published in Baseball

Major League Baseball is now playing a waiting game.

The owners and the MLB Players Association have mapped a plan for the 2020 MLB season, and, most importantly to them, how everyone in their circle is going to make the most money possible.

The owners didn't get rich by hemorrhaging money, which they are doing without games being played amid the coronavirus pandemic. No games equals no gate revenues and no TV contracts.

Part of the grand scheme to help owners minimize losses and costs is shortening the June amateur draft. It might seem as if they aren't having a draft at all.

MLB was given the right to cut the draft from 40 rounds, the longest draft in professional sports, to only five. There's a chance it will be longer, though most agree it won't be longer than 10 rounds.

The results will be millions saved for each team, but millions lost for prospective draftees and a potential headache for them and for college coaches.


"College baseball is going to be played at a higher level maybe than it has in a long time because more good players are going to stay in college and more good players are going to come to college," TCU baseball coach Jim Schlossnagle said. "Now ... fitting them all in 11.7 scholarships and a roster size of 35, that's going to be the challenge."

For players like Baylor shortstop Nick Loftin, a junior who is considered a top 50 prospect, there's not a lot of stress involved. Yes, the college season was wiped out, but he has been heavily scouted the past few seasons.

The Texas Rangers have seen him. They drafted Loftin's former Bears teammate Davis Wendzel last year with the 41st overall pick and nabbed left-hander Cody Bradford in the sixth round.

There's no way Rangers area scout Josh Simpson, or the North Texas scout for any other team, didn't seen Loftin. He knows that, and that has left him feeling confident amid the uncertainty surrounding the draft.


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