The Major League Baseball (MLB) draft is a significant event in the world of professional sports. It's the primary mechanism through which amateur baseball players from high schools, colleges, and other clubs are assigned to MLB teams. But do you have to register for the MLB draft? Let's delve into the details.
Understanding the MLB Draft
Unlike other professional sports, players don't have to formally declare their intention to enter the MLB Draft pool. Teams have the freedom to select any player who meets the eligibility requirements. This means that as long as a player fits the criteria, they could potentially be picked up by a team during the draft.
Eligibility Criteria for the MLB Draft
To be eligible for the MLB Draft, a player must meet certain criteria. Firstly, they must be residents of the United States, Canada, or a U.S. territory. Additionally, the player must be at least 18 years old by the draft date or have completed high school at the time of the draft. High school players are eligible only after graduation, and if they have not attended college. Players at four-year colleges and universities are eligible three years after first enrolling in such an institution, or after their 21st birthdays (whichever occurs first).
What Happens If You Don't Get Drafted?
Interestingly, MLB Draft-eligible players who do not get drafted can still return to school if they have eligibility remaining. Along with that, any draft-eligible player who is not drafted can sign a free-agent deal. This provides an opportunity for players to continue their pursuit of a professional career even if they aren't initially selected in the draft.
The Draft Order and Process
Starting in 2023, the draft order is determined based on a lottery where the teams who did not make the postseason in the past year participate in a state-lottery style process to determine the first six picks. The team possessing the worst record receives the best odds of receiving the first pick.
The Significance of the MLB Draft
The MLB Draft plays a crucial role in shaping the future of teams and offering opportunities to young, talented players. It's a platform where top college and amateur players get picked up by professional teams. However, it's important to note that less than eleven in 100, or about 10.5 percent, of NCAA senior male baseball players will get drafted by an MLB team.