Braves: 2021 MLB Draft is coming to Atlanta 

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Next year’s MLB All-Star weekend in the ATL just got a bit more exciting. According to ESPN‘s MLB Insider Kiley McDaniel, the 2021 MLB Draft will move to Atlanta as part of the All-Star festivities, which will also feature the annual Futures Game. 

In what should be a promotional heaven for baseball — given the league won’t have to compete with college baseball — teams should be able to gain much more information regarding potential prospects, while even holding things like showcases and medical combines (as noted by McDaniel in his piece on Tuesday). 

The memo sent to MLB clubs referring to the changes above also touched on a possible length for next season’s draft, stating that it expects the event to be 20-30 rounds, which lines up with what was discussed back in March this year when the minimum length for the 2021 draft was initially set at 20 rounds. The 2020 draft was only a fraction of that (just five rounds), so thankfully, Major League Baseball has determined to improve upon that aspect of the event. 

In his report, McDaniel also relayed some changes to the minor leagues for next season. With the assumption that MiLB will operate as usual in 2021, there will be no short-season leagues operating outside of the “complex leagues” level (those based at spring training facilities or in the Dominican Republic). For the Braves, that means the Danville Braves — a rookie-advanced level team in the Appy League, that was already on the chopping block because of the upcoming contraction — will for sure be cut going forward. 

Lastly, the 2021 MLB Draft will also remain the same as this year’s when it comes to undrafted talent. The maximum signing bonus for undrafted players this year was set at just $20,000, compared to bonuses sometimes surpassing $100,000 in previous seasons. Despite the Braves faring rather well with their pool of undrafted players (at least in terms of talent), the team only signed six altogether, and with such a low signing bonus, there will once again be numerous players who choose college ball in 2021. Also, in Tuesday’s memo from the league was an August 1st signing deadline for next year’s draft. Teams will still only be required to pay drafted players up to $100,000 within 30 days of the contract being approved, with the rest due in two installments over the next two years. 

All-in-all, it’s probably wise to assume that the 2021 MLB Draft will at least be somewhat of an improvement compared to the draft we just had a few months ago; having more rounds alone will make for a much better event. The Braves, and all 29 other MLB teams, should also enjoy a draft that doesn’t interfere with college baseball’s season. Pushing the event back a month will allow organizations to fully prepare for the upcoming class.

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