Major League Baseball announced president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman will be representing the Los Angeles Dodgers organization on the broadcast of the 2020 MLB Draft, which will be on MLB Network and ESPN on June 10 and 11.
The MLB Draft will be done completely virtually due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, marking a first in its history. Baseball is seemingly following the NFL’s lead after they held a successful virtual draft in April.
In addition to one representative for each team, 23 of the top draft-eligible players will also be involved on the broadcast.
“We’re still working through the remote logistics and what they’re going to allow us to do. It feels like we get a little more clarity every day without being officially final yet,” Dodgers director of amateur scouting Bill Gasparino said of the uncharted territory with this year’s Draft.
“The remote logistics is one, and they still haven’t sent out the protocol on how we’re going to actually make the selections. I think it’s going to be some kind of Zoom slash Slack, so they’re going to have a couple measures in place and multiple ways to make the selections so there aren’t mistakes.”
The NFL held multiple mock drafts before the actual event so that team executives could see how everything is going to be run. While they may be pressed for time at this juncture, would be in MLB’s best interest to do the same so there aren’t any issues during the actual draft.
What the NFL Draft also delivered on was entertaining views of the setups head coaches, general managers and team presidents had. “All the pressure is turned to him there,” Gasparino joked about Friedman. “We’re expecting big things out of Andrew.”
In addition to the virtual aspect, this year’s draft will also be different than previous years as it has been shortened from 40 rounds all the way down to five. The reason for that is financial issues that were brought on by the pandemic.
The one positive of that for the Dodgers is that all undrafted free agents will have the ability to sign with whoever they want for a maximum signing bonus of $20,000.
It’s no secret the Dodgers have drafted well in the past, and despite the challenges that this year’s draft will bring on, Friedman remains confident that he and his staff are prepared and ready to bring some new talented players to the organization.
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