That night, FSU beat Illinois State 7-3 for its third straight win in what would be the Seminoles’ last game of the season. The only things happening in college baseball and all spring athletics in the last couple of weeks, are questions and uncertain answers from head coaches and others. No one knows what’s going to happen, or how things’ll be handled going forward.
No one has a full grasp, but after a handful of reports out of the MLB and college baseball worlds last night, we’re starting to find some clarity.
After some reports of the MLB Draft being shortened and moved back, ESPN’s Jeff Passan confirmed MLB and MLBPA came to a deal giving the league the option to shorten the 2020 draft to five rounds:
In the deal, MLB has the right to shorten the 2020 draft to five rounds, sources tell ESPN. Additionally, it can delay the start of the international signing period to as late as January 2021.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 27, 2020
MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reported that undrafted players can sign for a max of $20,000. The draft will also likely be moved back until at least July:
There will still be a draft, though shortened. League will have right to keep it to 5 rounds. Undrafted players can sign for 20K.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) March 27, 2020
A college player becomes draft-eligible 45 days before his 21st birthday. A source told me players that weren’t already eligible at the original eligibility, won’t become eligible if the draft is moved back. But if the eligibility point was moved back, Robby Martin would become eligible on July 5th.
Kendall Rogers of D1Baseball also broke some surprising news late last night. There’s a good chance spring athletes won’t receive an extra year of eligibility after this season, including seniors. With the D1 Council vote next Monday, two power five conferences have already voted against anyone getting a year:
Playing the hypothetical game based on intel.— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) March 27, 2020
1) There’s a legitimate chance no one gets a year back. Two Power Fives want no one to get a year back, and anyone familiar with the D1 Council knows that ‘could’ spell trouble.
Much of this has to do with lost money from March Madness, and the chance of having a shortened football season or no season at all. For more on that story:
First, what does this mean for college baseball?
College baseball is going to be loaded with talent the next few years. More juniors and high school seniors will be staying or adding onto rosters. The product of college baseball will be better than ever before, but many coaching jobs just got much harder. However, the coaches will likely welcome it, and this is what they’re paid to do.
The effect on players, high school and college
Players are going to take the biggest hit from all of this.
Let me give you one example. Last year, Drew Parrish was taken in the eighth round of the draft and was given a $187,400 signing bonus. If the draft had been five rounds, he wouldn’t have been drafted and could’ve signed for a max of $20,000, or decided to return for his senior year, and maybe get $10,000. The slotted bonuses from the 6th-10th rounds are from $100,000-$300,000. Almost all college juniors/sophomores and high school seniors are paid the slot, if not much more.
High school seniors and college juniors will lose the most money, likely losing five digits worth. Underclassmen and incoming freshmen could also feel some of the after-effects. Many will lose roster spots, even if the roster numbers do expand. College seniors could actually benefit as most don’t sign for more than $10,000 after the first five rounds. With less money used in the drafts, teams will likely be willing to spend all $20K on seniors.
The effect on Florida State baseball in 2020 and beyond
Florida State could be loaded next year, but so could many other schools. The ’Noles likely only have one guaranteed draft pick now with CJ Van Eyk a projected 1st-2nd rounder. Some slow starts in 2020 could actually help FSU, but will likely hurt a few players. After their slow starts, Reese Albert, Mat Nelson, and Nander De Sedas will likely fall outside the top five rounds.
Shane Drohan and Elijah Cabell will likely be toss-ups on whether they go within the first five rounds. Both are highly-talented, but haven’t consistently put their talents on display. They each showed their high potential in big games in front of scouts early in the season. If either or both of them come back, FSU will be a top ten team next season.
FSU’s top commit Carson Montgomery is likely still headed to pro-ball, but FSU’s second-tier prospects are very likely to end up on campus. Anthony Shaver, Najer Victor, and Trey Carter will still be looked at on a lot of draft boards, but I’d think FSU keeps at least two of three. If any of these aforementioned players (current FSU players and recruits) go undrafted, they won’t sign as an UDFA, as they’ll have opportunities to make more money by returning.
This is a tough situation for everyone. There aren’t right answers or wrong answers. No matter what, someone’s going to feel the pain. We’ll continue to keep you apprised as more clarity follows, especially after the council vote on Monday.