In addition to affecting the Major League Baseball season, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has also greatly affected the upcoming 2020 MLB Draft.
Instead of a usual 40-round draft, the 2020 version will only have five rounds with teams then having the ability to sign undrafted free agents for up to $20,000. Additionally, it will take place virtually on June 10 and 11.
The Los Angeles Dodgers have drafted extremely well in recent years, although it will be interesting to see how the pandemic affects them and other teams. President of baseball operations Andrew Friedman discussed how much he and his staff’s preparation has changed on the Dodgers’ latest Zoom Party.
“It’s been extremely different. It’s interesting,” Friedman said. “Our amateur staff, Bill Gasparino, they’ve done an unbelievable job. It has provided some moments of focusing on stuff that’s fun to focus on whenever I’ve been able to jump on those calls and kind of gone region by region breaking down players.”
With college and high school seasons cut short due to the pandemic, the Dodgers will have to use previous information to evaluate players.
“It’s interesting, because it’s going to be less information than we’ve ever had. Obviously, most seasons got cut really short. For high school seniors, college juniors, it’s obviously a big deal,” Friedman explained.
“There’s a lot of games played that we’re going to miss out on, but the amount of information we do have, we’re going to know way better than we ever have. Where trade off is in terms of how well-positioned we are versus other years, it’s going to be interesting.
“Naturally, at first, it was just going to be a downside of a shortened season. But there’s a chance we’re going to know these things way more than we ever have. We just started going on our twice-a-day, three hours each time, really breaking down college right-handed pitchers. Going to lefties next, then kind of start merging it and setting the board up.
“It’s coming, and our guys have done an unbelievable job of having us really well prepared.”
The draft is a big reason the Dodgers have won seven straight National League West titles while also consistently maintaining one of the best farm systems in all of baseball.
So while this year’s draft may require an adjustment, every indication is Friedman and the Dodgers have continued to be methodical and thorough in their evaluations of eligible players, and will be fully prepared come June 10.
Make sure to follow us on Instagram! It’s the best way to see exclusive coverage from games and events, get your questions answered, and more!