This year’s MLB Draft is going to be different from any other that’s gone before. It could have as few as five rounds and happen more than a month after originally scheduled. In addition, teams can pay undrafted players no more than $20,000 each, even if they don’t use their full allotted bonus pools.
To help some of these players facing an uncertain future, the NCAA announced earlier this month they would allow baseball players to return for a fifth year of eligibility. They will also expand baseball rosters to help fit the incoming class.
With all of those changes and the overall uncertainty facing the game right now, potential MLB Draft prospects have a difficult decision to make. The most important choice: Should they even enter the draft?
A clear majority of fans, according to SB Nation’s FanPulse, say they would hold off on entering this year’s draft if they were facing the choice to go pro or not.
The survey shows 60 percent of fans think changes to the NCAA eligibility rules will have a noticeable impact on this year’s draft.
An even bigger majority says the changes will influence high school seniors who are deciding between college and professional baseball.
Making things more complicated is a rule in place that states any baseball player who doesn’t sign with a pro team out of high school and plays Division I baseball instead must wait three years before entering the draft again. Normally that would mean a top prospect would either begin his career immediately after high school or no earlier than after their junior season.
It’s possible this rule could be changed, and FanPulse members say that should happen, allowing players to go pro after only one year of DI baseball.
This is one of many hard decisions Major League Baseball needs to make in the coming weeks and months. Next week’s FanPulse will turn its focus on what the league should do with those involved in the sign-stealing scandal and how things may have changed in the last two months.
To sign up for FanPulse and have your voice heard each week, sign up here.