Just like the NFL the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft will happen, but it may be modified this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The 56th MLB Draft was originally scheduled to be held in Omaha, Nebraska from June 10-12, right before the 2020 College World Series was scheduled to begin there, but those plans changed.
With the college and high school seasons wiped out, scouting departments would have been unable to prepare properly for the massive exercise as well.
On March 26, an agreement was reached between owners and the Players Association on various financial issues stemming from the season’s delayed opening. MLB now had the right to reduce that year’s draft to five rounds instead of the usual 40, and to 20 rounds in 2021.
That could be the difference on whether or not Marshall’s Tyler Chadwick will be selected.
“Before all this I felt pretty confident that I was going to be drafted,” said Chadwick, who still feels like it’s a possibility that his name will be one of the 147 names called when the draft does actually happen this summer. “After talking to my agent and some teams, it still seems pretty realistic.”
Chadwick, a 6-foot-6, 210-pound right-hander, has drastically improved his status as a prep pitcher over the last two years. He committed to West Virginia University about a month before his junior year and is right in the middle of this year’s MLB draft attention.
Professional scouts project Chadwick as a possible draft pick in this year’s draft, depending on the length of the draft. In a typical 40-round draft, Chadwick more than likely would be selected somewhere between the fourth and seventh rounds.
But with the draft potentially only being five rounds this year and Chadwick being a prep right-handed pitcher, his draft chances are unknown.
If he does get drafted, he’ll have a tough choice to make — go to college or become a professional baseball player.
“It really depends on what the team is offering; say I get drafted and they want me to go to college and develop more, then that’s what I’ll do because they’ll be paying for it. But say I get drafted and it’s not the right money that I want, then I’ll go to college and take my chances after three years,” Chadwick said. “If it is the right money and they think I’m ready, then I’ll go to the minors and start working from there.”
If Chadwick does not get drafted and/or does attend WVU, he would not be eligible for the draft again until 2023.
A first-team Capitol South Conference selection both his sophomore and junior year, Chadwick, one of the state’s top pitching, chose to forgo his senior season of high school baseball to play in the Perfect Game League based out of Iowa.
He only pitched two innings this spring in a for PGL due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Chadwick’s fastball clocked as high as 96 miles per hour and consistently throws in the low 90s.
The coronavirus pandemic played havoc with plans for the draft, as holding it as scheduled would mean that major league teams would be liable for paying some $400 million in signing bonuses at a time when there were no revenues. In addition, signing bonuses for those still signing as undrafted free agents would be capped at $20,000. Concern was expressed that these new rules would be particularly hard on minority players and those from underprivileged backgrounds, as the rules made it impossible for players outside of big programs — high school or college — to get noticed.
“It’s pretty frustrating,” Chadwick told The Courier in April. “I was actually really looking forward to baseball this year, so this whole shutdown really pushed back everything I was excited for; this is definitely not what I had planned on doing.”
The Detroit Tigers have the No. 1 selection, followed by the Baltimore Orioles, Miami Marlins, Kansas City Royals and rounding out the Top 5, the Toronto Blue Jays. The Milwaukee Brewers have the 20th pick.
The Houston Astros were originally supposed to have pick No. 30 (the final one in the first-round proper) but were forced to surrender it, as well as their second-round pick, as punishment for a sign-stealing scheme implemented during the 2017 season. The Boston Red Sox also lost a pick because of their participation in a similar scheme in 2018, albeit a more limited one; in their case, the punishment was the loss of their second-round selection.
2020 MLB Draft Order
1 Detroit Tigers
2 Baltimore Orioles
3 Miami Marlins
4 Kansas City Royals
5 Toronto Blue Jays
6 Seattle Mariners
7 Pittsburgh Pirates
8 San Diego Padres
9 Colorado Rockies
10 Los Angeles Angels
11 Chicago White Sox
12 Cincinnati Reds
13 San Francisco Giants
14 Texas Rangers
15 Philadelphia Phillies
16 Chicago Cubs
17 Boston Red Sox
18 Arizona Diamondbacks
19 New York Mets
20 Milwaukee Brewers
21 St. Louis Cardinals
22 Washington Nationals
23 Cleveland Indians
24 Tampa Bay Rays
25 Atlanta Braves
26 Oakland Athletics
27 Minnesota Twins
28 New York Yankees
29 Los Angeles Dodgers