Opinion: MLB needs to start granting special statuses in the draft.
Major League Baseball’s pathway to the majors needs to be easier for generational talents, graduating college seniors, and special players.
It’s time to reformulate the MLB draft and quit wasting players time in the minors. It’s time to allow for generational or immediate superstar talent to bypass the lower leagues and come up to the league quicker.
Fans understand that it does take time to mold a superstar player but sometimes, there are players that just don’t need the minors, are major league ready, and can attain superstar status in just a matter of a season or season-in-a-half. I believe Major League Baseball needs to fix their draft system to allow for the invoking of generational and major league ready talents to skip at least low and high-A and start right in AA, AAA, or the MLB.
I feel like Major League Baseball and teams are wasting player’s talents in the minors sometimes.
Sumo wrestling for example, it takes time to get to the division 1 level rank (Division 2 gets you a salary). However, sumo wrestling does have some caveats. If you are the grand champion of your high school team, you are placed into Division 4 and no lower than a 15th ranked wrestler at that division. Better yet, if you are the grand champion of your college team and at or under age 23, you are placed into Division 3 and no lower than a 15th ranked wrestler which is a big first step towards moving towards Division 2 which gets you your first salary. However, Sumo does grant a college senior a waiver to graduate from school before coming on board.
Whereas with the MLB, there’s nothing like that. There’s no special generational talent status or designated player status. Nothing. Major League Baseball has always been very strict on how drafted and amateur players start their careers. To me, it’s outdated and they need to fix that.
Here’s what the MLB needs to do.
1. Bring back Major League Contracts which forces a team’s hand to bring the player up to the Majors after X amount of years (The standard should be at least 4 years for those in high school, 3 or less for graduating college seniors). If the team doesn’t bring them up when the contract clause says they should, teams should be granted a one-time one-year waiver saying: They are not ready yet, we’re keeping them down for a short time and then we are bringing them up. If they are not ready then? They should be traded or released (automatic DFA).
2. If a player is graduating college senior or is 22 or 23 years of age at the time of the draft, MLB should make a rule that the draftee should begin no lower than Double-A or Triple-A level following an assessment in rookie ball as they have experience behind them in college. Allow him to play a few games in rookie ball just to get a bit of seasoning, to get assessed, and settled in. After the assessment is complete, the determination should be made in tandem with the scouting director and player development coach as to where the player would start in either Double-A or Triple-A or better yet, the Majors.
3. Move the draft to the start of the winter meetings. There is no reason for the MLB draft to be conducted during the season.
4. End draft pools and start rookie scale contracts with a cap of how much a team can spend.
5. Allow teams to invoke a “Designated Player” or “Generational Status” on a maximum 3 drafted players if the scouting department and player development coordinator agree that they should star no lower than Double-A or Triple-A. Major League Soccer teams does this during the SuperDrafts (they allow 3 players to become designated draftees) to prevent generational talents from going to the lower levels of the pyramid feeling as though they are seasoned enough to play in the top tier of the pyramid.
6. Expand rosters to 29 with 3 spots strictly for the designated players.
Why am I writing about this again?
Major League Baseball just needs to fix their system and now. Why waste a generational player’s talent and time in the minors when the team knows they can do some damage in the Major Leagues.
Come on MLB, let’s fix this, you want the best of the best coming to the majors? Then let’s fix this and do it right.