The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft will not be held in New Jersey like it has been for the past several years. Instead it’s being moved to Omaha, just ahead of the College World Series. Kendall Rogers of D1 Baseball was the first that I saw who had more of a detailed breakdown.
— Kendall Rogers (@KendallRogers) December 10, 2019
There’s a bit to unpack here. First, we’ve got the date of the draft. The draft has historically been held Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday – at least for as long as I’ve been doing this. That’s 15 years for those keeping track at home. Now the draft is being moved to Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Not a big deal, but it’s a change.
The bigger part here is the move in venue. It’s being held in Omaha, Nebraska. That of course being the location of The College World Series. The draft being held at the same place as The College World Series could be big for college baseball as a whole. But it could also open up the opportunity for a few players to attend the draft who may not have been able to otherwise.
What this also does for some college baseball players is have the draft on days in which they are not playing games. While the season may not be over by the time that some players are drafted, they won’t be playing in games at the time when their name is called. For those players and their families, that’s a cool gesture that may not have been available to them otherwise.
An interesting thing here is that this is a week later than the draft took place last season. The schedules are already out for the non-complex level rookie league teams. The Billings Mustangs season will begin on June 19th next year (PDF link). In Greeneville the Reds will begin their season on June 22nd (PDF link). This pushes the end of the season into September for Greeneville, and to the 12th for Billings.
Marijuana removed from the banned substance list
Major League Baseball and the players union have agreed to remove marijuana from the banned substance list for minor league players. This was first reported by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Major League players and those on the 40-man roster in the minors have not been tested for marijuana in the past. Minor Leaguers, though, have been. And there have been more than a few suspensions over it. The most notable case was that of Jeremy Jeffress, who was suspended for it twice in the minors. The Brewers added him to the 40-man roster before they needed to, with the speculation being that he would no longer be tested for it and wouldn’t face a possible third suspension which would place him on the ineligible list.