Mt. Vernon Register-News

Sports

April 12, 2013

College baseball benefiting from MLB draft changes

(Continued)

Miami Marlins scouting director Stan Meek said the draft’s rule changes are more restrictive, but can be a positive for pro organizations because it streamlines the negotiating process.

“It makes for a more honest discussion and it certainly makes us do our homework with prospects,” Meek said. “We have to get a good understanding of how much it’s going to take for a player to sign because we don’t have as much wiggle room. It’s brought a little more realism to everything.”

Meek said he expects the new rules will help the college game because good prospects who aren’t considered elite — ones that might be slotted from the sixth to 10th round — would be more likely to go to school because the hope for a large signing bonus isn’t as feasible.

Major League Baseball’s slot value for a sixth-round pick in the 2012 draft ranged from about $200,000 to $250,000. That’s not necessarily an enticing amount for a player who has a scholarship on the table and could potentially improve his draft position after a good college career.

Still, LSU’s Mainieri pointed out the rules also can work to college baseball’s detriment.

Mainieri signed outfielder Hayden Jennings last year and didn’t expect him to get drafted in the first 20 rounds. Jennings instead went to the Washington Nationals in the sixth round and never played for LSU. Mainieri said Jennings signed with the Nationals for $100,000, well below slot value.

“Basically what was happening was Washington was drafting a player they knew they could sign for under slot to save them money they could probably put into one of their higher picks,” Mainieri said. “We ended up losing a player there that we did not expect to lose. It happens in both directions.”

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