In a five-round draft, things will get interesting after the last pick is made. In a year that is unlike any other, the MLB draft will follow suit.
After the five rounds, teams will be able to coax high school and college prospects into signing with them without much money to offer — an unfortunate result of the late March pact in which MLB players and owners only looked out for themselves. A sixth-round pick who was looking at $250,000 in past years can max out at $20,000 this year. So, recruiting pitches will be crucial if teams want to lure players from their programs.
The Giants, who have committed pay raises to their minor leaguers and might want to lead with that fact, also may have another ace in the hole: their California location, a hotbed for baseball players.
“Who knows? Maybe it’ll be more local kids will get signed in that respect, more the Hunter Bishops or the Brandon Crawfords,” Larry Baer said Thursday, referring to the Serra grad and Mountain View native, respectively. “They grew up here and they want to stay and play for the local team. That could be a good result from it.”
The Giants are keeping their fingers crossed. There will be a bevy of unhappy baseball players after the June 10-11 picks, and while college players have been granted another year of eligibility, they would return to crowded programs.
Scouts have not been able to do in-home visits, and no baseball at any level is being played, so there is still so much unknown about this year’s draft.
“In some ways it requires even better scouting,” Baer said on “Tolbert, Krueger & Brooks” on KNBR. “You have the ability after five rounds to sign a player. You’re not going to be able to sign everyone. Who is the best player after five full rounds of selections? You go after them.”
And you hope everyone will be playing by the same rules.
“It’ll be a little like NCAA recruiting,” Baer said. “You’re just going to have to have it policed so it’s fair.”