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2022 MLB Draft Prep: Draft and follow

What is “draft and follow”? The explanation is within.

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Major League Baseball draft-and-follow is returning. What is "draft-and-follow"? An MLB team can select a player this July and not sign him, and still have a chance to retain his rights. (This is mildly similar to what the Boston Celtics did with regards to Larry Bird in the late-1970's. Boston drafted the Indiana State player, who returned to school, then had a breakout season. The Celtics signed him before the draft, and the rest became history.) I’m going to take a look today at how this could play out.

Cole Phillips won't be hurting for college offers. It's very possible he "settles" for Arkansas, expecting to redshirt as a recuperating freshman. However, two other viable options exist. A team with a decent spending limit on signing bonuses could gamble on Phillips, as the Cubs did with Dylan Cease. Or, Phillips could instead, enroll at a junior college.

If he ends up at a junior college, the team that drafts him would (presumably) have access to his medical and workouts. If Phillips is good to go, and ready to charge into his first actual college season with vigor, he rolls to whichever school takes him for the 2024-25 campaign, unless his draft status skyrockets. If he has a bit of a setback, the team that did the "draft-and-follow" can sign him (with no blowback) in the range of a $240,000 bonus. The player gets a measure of safety. The MLB organization can have first choice, if it works both ways. And draft fans can pay attention to junior college ball for a valid reason.

Poll

Would you monitor a junior college player if the Cubs might have the "draft-and-follow" option on him?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    No
    (9 votes)
  • 52%
    Of course
    (23 votes)
  • 27%
    I guess it depends
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    Junior Cleves? Play baseball?
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Other.
    (0 votes)
44 votes total Vote Now

Here’s one update of a draft leaderboard for college players:

One possible pick for the Cubs

In a Baseball America Mock Draft, Daniel Susac, a catcher from Arizona, gets mocked to the Cubs. While I have no serious qualms about Susac, drafting on positional need in baseball in the first round isn't usually a wise idea. Susac’s bat is the draw so far. A power-over-average guy, his height (6-5) could be problematic to him staying behind the plate.

I think they'll grab another bat with a degree of defensive clarity.

Second chances

Afterburn (3rd round or later possibles)

Your daily dose of Ben Joyce:

And a few others:

Class of 2024: