The 2022 MLB draft is just a few days away. Let’s take a look at some of the rules surrounding the draft and answer some of the FAQ about the event.
The MLB Draft is just days away as the first round is set to begin this Sunday night, July 17 at 7 p.m. EST with the next two days’ coverage beginning at 2 p.m. EST.
Baseball’s most promising young stars are set to land their first shot at professional baseball as over 600 players are to be selected in the draft in just a few days.
As this year’s Major League Baseball Draft begins to get closer and closer, we take a look at some of the rules and procedures surrounding the draft.
2022 MLB Draft: Explaining the rules and procedures
The draft consists of a total of 50 rounds, one pick per team unless they are awarded compensatory picks. A compensatory pick is an additional pick awarded to teams who lost free agents that rejected a Qualifying Offer earlier in the offseason.
The Qualifying Offer can best be defined as a one-year contract worth the average value of the top 120 players’ contracts in the league. Players can either accept the QO or reject it, instead opting to test the free agent market. If a player on an expiring contract is traded during the season, his new team will not be eligible to extend a QO to him or receive any sort of compensation should he be lost in free agency.
Teams that receive a compensatory pick will essentially have another pick in a special round taking place between both the first and second rounds and then later in the third and fourth rounds.
Should a team fail to sign a first round pick in the draft, they will be awarded an automatic first round pick in the next year’s draft one spot above the year before.
In order to be eligible for the MLB Draft, there is a specific criterion that a player must meet. For starters, the player must be a resident of (or attended an educational institution in) the United States, Canada or any other United States territory like Puerto Rico.
Additionally, the player must have never signed a minor or major league contract in professional baseball in the past. High school players are eligible to be drafted only if they have successfully graduated high school. Any player that dropped out of school must have been out of said school for at least one full year.
College players, on the other hand, must have completed three years of schooling (if they are attending four-year schools) or must have already turned 21 years of age. The player will be eligible if they meet either of those at draft time.
The draft order is best defined as the reverse order of last year’s regular season standings. If two clubs finish with the exact same record on the season, there will be a tiebreaker that is decided on the previous year’s standings. Whichever club had the worst record in the year prior will be awarded the highest pick.
This, unfortunately, has led MLB teams to undergo a process called “tanking”, which is essentially losing games and being a bad team on purpose. Teams with low payrolls have attempted tanking in the past as a way to get multiple first-round picks in a row.
However, next year’s draft in 2023 will not support this any longer. The order in the first round will be determined by a lottery consisting of all of the teams that did not make the previous year’s postseason, with the three worst clubs having an equal chance of landing the top pick.
Can teams trade draft picks?
The short answer is no, teams can’t trade draft picks. Not yet, anyway. Only certain types of picks can be traded, like competitive-balance picks. Competitive-balance picks are awarded annually to small-market and low-revenue teams. This includes the Orioles, Diamondbacks, Pirates, Guardians, Rockies, Padres, Marlins, Twins, Athletics, Rays, Tigers, Brewers, Reds, Mariners and Royals.
The Atlanta Braves and Kansas City Royals made a trade recently that saw a competitive-balance pick dealt from Kansas City to Atlanta. The only team that is allowed to trade the pick is the one that was originally awarded it, so in this case, the Braves are unable to flip the pick in a separate trade.