MLB Draft 2017 is now three weeks in the past. The smoke has cleared, the selections have been made, all eyes are again on the pennant races, but what happens to those who were drafted? We all hear about the selections, but does anyone really know what happens after those selections are made?
What happens is the process of assigning signing bonuses based on each team’s limit, called a bonus pool, and the slot recommendations for each round of signings. In other words, a second round draft pick by the Houston Astros may be designated for a lower signing bonus than a second round draft pick by the New York Yankees. These bonus signings will often determine when a player signs a minor league contact or chooses to forego the draft pick and enter a college.
If a player is not signed by July 15th, the team which drafted that player loses the right to sign that player. The player can then enter the draft again the following year. The team which did not sign the player will then gain another draft pick the following year.
80% of first round MLB Draft 2017 draft picks make it to the Major Leagues, but after that first round the odds drop below 50%. History tells us that if a player has not made the Majors in five years, the odds are significantly against him ever making it.
So right now, as we read this article, teams are still trying to sign all of their draftees. Once those contracts are signed, players are distributed throughout the farm systems. Many will go to instructional leagues; a few will enter the actual minor league system in low A ball. Since we are halfway through the season, it is safe to assume none of this year’s draftees will play in a Major League park on an MLB roster in 2017. They will learn the ropes in small towns across America, eating meals from a small meal budget, oftentimes spending nights in cheap hotels or rooms supplied by adoring fans and sponsors. Hopefully, if the baseball gods are smiling down upon them, they will reach the Bigs by 2020.
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