MLB Draft Notebook
NEW YORK (AP) — A few things to know about this year’s Major League Baseball draft:
WHEN: Starts Wednesday at 7 p.m. EDT with 37 selections, encompassing first round and eight competitive balance round picks with teams participating via video conference calls. MLB Network and ESPN will air live coverage that will include video interviews with several top picks and team representatives. Shortened from 40 rounds because of coronavirus pandemic, draft will conclude Thursday night with Rounds 2 through 5 for total of 160 players selected.
FIRST PICK: Detroit Tigers have No. 1 overall selection for third time, and second in three years. Picked Auburn right-hander Casey Mize in 2018 and Rice righty Matt Anderson in 1997.
ORDER: Determined by reverse order of finish in overall standings from last season.
TOP PROSPECTS: Arizona State first baseman Spencer Torkelson, Vanderbilt third baseman Austin Martin, Texas A&M left-hander Asa Lacy, Georgia right-hander Emerson Hancock, New Mexico State second baseman Nick Gonzales, Minnesota right-hander Max Meyer and Florida high school outfielder Zac Veen.
COMPETITIVE BALANCE ROUNDS: Give teams with lowest revenues and smallest markets an opportunity to get additional picks. Eight teams awarded picks for competitive balance round A following first round through formula that considers winning percentage and revenue. Six additional teams received picks for competitive balance round B following second round. Competitive balance picks can be traded up until a few hours before draft begins, but teams not permitted to deal any other picks in draft.
LOST PICKS: Houston was stripped of its first- and second-round picks by baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred as part of the Astros’ punishment for breaking rules against using electronics to steal signs during games. The Astros have one selection among the top 100, No. 72, received as compensation for the loss of pitcher Gerrit Cole, who signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees. Boston lost its second-round pick for violating rules against in-game use of video to identify pitch signals and has one pick among the first 88.
SIGNING DEADLINE: Teams must sign drafted players by Aug. 1.
UNDRAFTED PLAYERS: Players not selected in draft can sign with major league teams beginning on June 14 at 9 a.m. EDT but are limited to signing bonuses of $20,000 or less.
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