Minor league players being released

Hundreds of them. Plus cutting the draft down to five rounds. That seems to mean two things: One, there will be no minor league baseball at all in 2020, and in 2021, there will be a lot less of it; we already know MLB wanted to get rid of about 40 minor league teams, and this gives them the chance to grease the wheels for contraction by knocking players off the payroll. Plus they don’t have to pay them for this season that won’t happen.

https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-teams-are-releasing-hundreds-of-minor-leaguers-here-are-three-factors-that-led-to-massive-cuts/

I would be looking hard at this if I were Casey Opitz. Even if he’s drafted, will he have anywhere to play in 2021?

Anyone who gets drafted in a 5-round draft is going to sign. I’d be stunned if Casey is drafted and comes back. Stunned. Hope springs eternal and most college players are tired of student loans. Reality, most college players are paying to play.

I wonder how many of those being released have “will pay for college education/degree” in their contracts? Or is that benefit primarily just for 1st or 2nd round draft picks, who probably wouldn’t be released?

I assume they couldn’t play baseball but there might be a few good football or basketball walk-ons.

Fayetteville?

That’s what I was thinking. Clay feels if he’s drafted he’ll sign and he probably will. But in a five-round draft he may not be drafted at all.

I have thought about how this will impact this year’s college juniors, aside from the obvious fact that much fewer of them will be drafted because of the rounds taken away. While it has to affect many of them, I agree with Clay that anyone drafted in the top 5 rounds will probably get enough bonus money to make that decision for them. $324K (bonus pool $ for the last pick of 5th round this year) is life-changing money and takes care of school loans, etc. Especially when most of these draft picks will never make it to the Majors anyway.

But the bigger impact, IMO, is on HS kids coming out who are not yet as polished as most of the college players entering the draft. The HS players usually develop in the minors instead of college, and while there is a debate about which path (High D1 college ball vs. MLB minor leagues) gets a good player prepared for the Big Leagues sooner/better, there is no doubt that playing in the SEC, ACC, PAC, etc. is much, much better than not playing baseball at all, even if you do have a nice signing bonus in the bank.

Of course, a kid who would have been drafted in - say - the 8th or 13th round no longer will have that option because those rounds won’t be part of this draft. Traditionally, we’ve had to sweat such picks until the very last minute they can sign. MLB can still pitch free-agent offers at those players, but I don’t think the same guarantees will come with FA arrangements.

But even a HS player drafted in the 3rd round and offered $7-800,000 has to really think about it…“do I want to accept this check and then sit around (not play in the minors) for a year? Or, does it make sense to go Arkansas, LSU, Texas, Vandy, FSU, etc. where (a) I’ll be getting to at least scrimmage and take advantage of state-of-the-art facilities and coaching to hone my game, and in 3 years maybe I can go in the first round or two instead of round 3?”

It will be interesting to see how it plays out.

The Royals approach is awesome. This statement is from Royals GM Dayton Moore:

“Understand this: The minor-league players, the players you’ll never know about, the players that never get out of rookie ball or High A, those players have as much impact on the growth of our game (as) 10-year or 15-year veteran players,” Moore said Friday in a conference call with local media members. “They have as much opportunity to influence the growth of our game as those individuals who played for a long time because those individuals go back into their communities and teach the game, work in academies, are JUCO coaches, college coaches, scouts, coaches in pro baseball. They’re growing the game constantly because they’re so passionate about it. So we felt it was really, really important not to release one minor-league player during this time, a time we needed to stand behind them.”

“It’s special,” Moore said of Friday’s news. “This thing is so much bigger than us. We have a very small window of opportunity in this game. We take nothing for granted. We are stewards of this game. I think John Sherman said that from the very beginning. David Glass always talked about being a steward of the game. And that’s what we’ve always tried to do. We want to make the game better than we found it. That’s all. That’s all we’re trying to do.

“And we don’t deserve credit for that. That’s what we’re supposed to do.”

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He’s going to be drafted. Here are the latest mock drafts:

https://www.fangraphs.com/prospects/the-board/2020-mlb-draft/summary?sort=-1,1&type=0

  1. Heston Kjerstad, RF, Arkansas
  2. Masyn Winn, RHP/SS, Kingwood HS (TX) - Arkansas signee
  3. Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
  4. Cayden Wallace, 3B, Greenbrier HS (AR) - Arkansas signee
  5. Markevian Hence, RHP, Watson Chapel HS (AR) - Arkansas signee
  6. Nick Griffin, LHP/RF, Monticello HS (AR) - Arkansas signee
  7. Nate Wohlgemuth, RHP, Owasso HS (OK) - Arkansas signee
  8. David Calabrese, CF, St. Elizabeth Catholic HS (CANADA) - Arkansas signee
  9. Casey Opitz, C, Arkansas
  1. San Diego - Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
  2. Pittsburgh - Masyn Winn, SS/RHP, Kingwood HS (TX)
  3. Detroit - Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
  4. New York Mets - Casey Opitz, C, Arkansas
  1. Heston Kjerstad, OF, Arkansas
  2. Casey Martin, SS, Arkansas
  3. Masyn Winn, RHP/SS, Kingwood HS (TX)
  4. Markevian Hence, RHP, Watson Chapel HS (AR)
  5. David Calabrese, CF, St. Elizabeth Catholic HS (ON, CANADA)
  6. Cayden Wallace, 3B, Greenbrier HS (AR)
  7. Nick Griffin, LHP, Monticello HS (AR)
  8. Casey Opitz, C, Arkansas
  9. Nate Wohlgemuth, RHP, Owasso HS (OK)