The Baseball Cube


Draft Data

Draft Data

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Draft Data
TBC is proud to have collected the entire history of the Major League Baseball Amateur entry draft since its inception in 1965.

The draft is the mechanism by which players enter professional baseball. Its intention is to provide a fair way of distributing baseball talent across organizations to maintain as much competitive balance as possible between the wide array of franchises and their financial situations. The draft is also designed to reward lower performing teams as well as smaller market teams through the draft order and the injection of compensation picks. The upside is almost all for the teams though as players cannot create a bidding war for their services nor do they have a choice for their eventual first franchise. A player's power lies in his leverage. A High School talent has more leverage than a college Junior and a college Junior has more leverage than a College Senior. The player is rewarded with a bonus upon signing though it is theoretically limited by govering rules.

Still, the draft is interesting to all connected to the industry and yearly draft rankings and mock drafts provide much content for baseball junkies, allowing them to get familiar with the incoming class of players.

Here is a description of the draft data on the site and its various data elements:

Coverage: All picks are included.

Eligibility: High School seniors (18yrs old at draft time), Junior College Players, Juniors at 4-year schools (or 21-years old) Players must be 18 years old, Junior College players. They must also reside in the US, Canada or Puerto Rico.

Phases: The current draft is a single phase in the middle of the summer in June or July. Prior drafts, 1986 and earlier, had several other phases that aligned with players earning professional eligibility at different times. "Signed" is also sometimes included as a phase even though it is not technically a draft phase. It refers to players signed as Undrafted Free Agents. Either as International Players or North American undrafted players.

Rounds: Each draft is comprised of multiple rounds. The draft order is set based on the prior season's final standings. Teams may not trade picks. Additional compensation and competitive balance picks are injected after the end of the first few rounds. Each round will begin with the same order. The number of rounds as of 2021 was 20 with only 5 rounds in 2020, due to COVID. Prior iterations of the draft have had as many as 100 rounds though more recent seasons have been between 40-50.

Overall: Each pick will have an overall pick# unique to the draft.

Drafting Team: The team that selected the player. The player and team will then negotiate on a signing bonus using the slot value and the player's leverage as guides. A player may elect not to sign and re-enter a subsequent draft which may benefit a player with remaining amateur eligibility but a College Junior electing to return to the draft as a college senior will result in less leverage the following season.

Draft source: Players are mostly selected from a school. Either High School or College. It is considered to be the last school the player played for the prior summer/spring. TBC tracks the school and the school type. (HS vs College). Some players are listed as Free Agents when drafted. These may be players who are unaffiliated with a school. (Luke Hochevar, Kumar Rocker)

Signing status: Indicates whether the player signed with the drafting team or not. Signing players will receive a bonus, which may or not be publically revealed. Unsigned players remain amateurs and can enter a future draft. Every player's situation is unique.

Signing Date: The date the player signed. We can't guarantee the accuracy of this date since it can be the date reported instead of the date signed. If nothing else, it can tell you "around" when the player signed. Did he sign early or late? In the earlier draft years, teams had until the next draft to sign players and would often draft and follow players. If they performed well the next spring, they would sign them. If not, they would not offer a contract. The deadline for signings has now been moved to August.

Position at Draft: The position listed next to the player when drafted. Often does not match the player's current position.

Sequence: The nth time the player was picked. Theoretically, a player can be picked for 5 straight years if they continuously elect not to sign. With multiple phases in earlier drafts, it is common to see players drafted in multiple phases in a year. Once the player signs, however, they can no longer be drafted. From that point, if released, they are free agents and can sign with whichever organization will have them.

Signing Bonus: Skewed towards more recent seasons, this is the agreed upon bonus between player and team. The data is not available for all picks throughout history though recent drafts have published more and more bonuses. In more recent seasons, we could rely on the top 10 rounds displaying bonuses. This data is available for Drafted Players and Undrafted Free Agents (mostly International)

Slot Value: In recent years, MLB has assigned a slot value for each overall pick# for the first 10 rounds. Teams have a "Salary Cap" that they can use to spend in the first 10 rounds and the slow value helps guide them within that cap. Teams are free to spend more or less than the slot value though it can have an effect on the final bonus. Many players simply accept the slot value as their bonus. This data element is available since 2014.

Player Class: Indicates the player's class at University. "HS" indicates the player was drafted out of high school while college players will be listed as Fr/So/Jr/Sr/5S. The player class is intended to be based on athletic eligibility. Players are granted 4 years of eligibility in college with 1 red-shirt season (sitout) allowed. Players in the COVID era were granted an additional year due to the loss of most of the 2020 season.

Scouts: Players may have up to 3 scouts listed with their signing draft record. Most North American players will list 1 scout. Usually the area scout assigned to the area where they player was active. The scout is given credit for the signing.

School Type: Indicates the type of school the draft pick attended. Can be High School, Junior College or 4-year University.

School Division: Within the College System, there are multiple divisions of College Baseball within the NCAA, NAIA and NJCAA. TBC lists them as NCAA-1, NCAA-2, NCAA-3, NAIA and JuniorCollege (NJCAA/CCCAA/NWAACC).

Draft Region: The state/province/country from where the player was drafted. Generally refers to the school for North Americans and the country for International players.

Draft Notes: Indicates whether the player was drafted as a compensation pick, a competitive balance pick or if the pick was voided (rare). Will also indicate whether a player was the 1st player drafted from his school.