SAN FRANCISCO—The 2020 Major League Baseball (MLB) Draft began on Wednesday. In this annual event, all 30 MLB franchises draft amateur talent from the high school or college ranks.
Normally, the MLB draft lasts 40 rounds, the longest draft of all the American professional sports leagues. However, due to the significant financial impact that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on professional baseball, this year’s draft was reduced to 5 rounds over two days and was conducted virtually.
The Detroit Tigers, which had the worst record last season, received the first pick and selected infielder Spencer Torkelson from Arizona State.
Later that day, in the first round, the San Francisco Giants selected Patrick Bailey, a catcher from North Carolina State University. They also drafted Kyle Harrison, a left-handed pitcher from Concord’s De la Salle High School in the third round.
On the Giants twitter feed, Giants amateur scouting director Michael Homes said, “I’ve seen Patrick grow into a real leader; a very confident player who believes in himself and his teammates. And leads on the field not only with his actions, but also with his words…I’ve seen his skill set really, really take off.”
Across the Bay, the Oakland A’s chose Tyler Soderstrum, a high school catcher from Turlock, CA, as their first round pick. Tyler’s father, Steve Soderstrum, was drafted by the Giants in 1993, but only spent ten days with the franchise’s major league team in 1996.
Unlike past years when players would get their full signing bonus immediately, this year all draftees will only receive $100,000 of their signing bonus. Any remaining bonus money will be split up and paid out in halves over the next two years, according to sports news site, theScore. Players not selected in the five rounds will be eligible to sign as undrafted free agents with any team for a maximum of $20,000.