The first MLB draft draw took place tonight at the Winter Meetings. The Pirates were awarded the first overall pick, followed by the National Teams and the Tigers. Here is the first round:
- the rangers
- Royal family
- rocky mountains
- red socks
- White socks
- Blue Jays
- the brave
In previous years, the draft order was determined by the reverse of regular season standings. As part of the Players Association’s efforts to reduce the incentive for non-competitive teams to lose games, the latest collective bargaining agreement initiated a sweepstakes to determine the top six overall picks. The odds of a team making a higher selection are weighted in favor of the clubs with the worst records, but all three worst teams had an equal chance of getting the best selection. All 18 non-playoff teams were technically vying for any of the top six picks, despite steadily declining odds for clubs with better records. The 12 playoff teams were ranked by their postseason finishes, with one team splitting the teams eliminated in the same round with revenue-sharing status.
This year the Nationals, A’s and Pirates had the best chance of being #1 in the general election. Each club had a 16.5% probability. The Reds (13.25%) and the Royals (10%) rounded out the top five as the only other teams with 10% or more chance to secure the top pick. Outside of Pittsburgh, the Gemini were the team to benefit the most from the new system, placing in the top five despite having the 13th worst record. The Royals were out of the top ten despite finishing fifth from bottom, while Oakland dropped from second-worst to sixth place.
The draw only kicks in for the first round of the draft. From the second round, the selection order is determined by the reverse order of the previous season, as well as the compensatory and competitive balance selections.
While the draft rankings are official, there is a lot of uncertainty about which players will be at the top of the class. Baseball America updates top 100 draft nominees in October, placing LSU right fielder Dylan TeamsTennessee right-handed Chasing Dolander and Ole Miss short back Jacob Gonzalez among the most talented candidates. There will be a lot of action when the amateur baseball field restarts next spring.