This year’s MLB draft will feature one-eighth of the picks — but double the national broadcasts.
In addition to its regular home on MLB Network, the draft next month will air live on ESPN and ESPN2, which are dealing with a dearth of live content during sports’ pandemic-induced shutdown. It is the first time that multiple networks will provide live prime-time coverage of the event. Each network will produce their own broadcast.
At 7 p.m. on June 10, the first round and competitive balance round A (37 picks total) will air on ESPN and MLBN.
At 5 p.m. on June 11, the second through fifth rounds will air on ESPN2 and MLBN.
MLB cut the draft to five rounds this year because of teams’ desires to save money amid the COVID-19 crisis. Normally, there are 40 rounds. Teams are allowed to sign an unlimited number of non-drafted free agents, but those players’ signing bonuses are capped at $20,000.
The Mets will have six choices, including the No. 19 overall pick and the No. 69 overall pick (which they received as compensation for losing Zack Wheeler to the Phillies via free agency). The Yankees have three choices — one each in the first, third and fourth rounds.
The draft will be based out of the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, which has been the norm since 2009. MLB had intended to move the draft to Omaha, Nebraska, home of the College World Series, to coincide with college baseball’s signature event, but scrapped that plan because of the pandemic and the cancellation of spring college sports.