While the speculation has long been that the 2021 Major League Baseball draft would be ordered by worst to best record based on the 2020 season, it wasn’t official until now. With a shortened season, and a season that wasn’t certain to be completed when it began, the commissioners office and the Major League Baseball Players Association agreed that the commissioners office would get final say on what the 2021 draft order would be based on. The season, however, was completed and like all of the past drafts, the order will be based on the record from the previous season (regular season – playoff finish does not apply).
The Cincinnati Reds finished at 31-29 in the regular season – their first winning record since the 2013 season. That record had them tied with the Miami Marlins, but in cases where two teams have the same record the “tiebreaker” reverts to the record from the prior season, which goes to the Marlins who went 57-105 and thus get to draft ahead of Cincinnati in 2021. That pushes the Reds to the 17th spot in the draft in both the 1st and 2nd rounds. They will have the 18th pick in each round after that, as the Astros will then join the draft after having their 1st and 2nd round picks taken away from them as punishment for their sign stealing and trash can banging.
Here’s how the draft will line up:
|Astros have no 1st/2nd round pick|
There will be some picks following the first few rounds due to free agency and competitive balance picks that are yet to be determined. Cincinnati, as a small market club, will get one of those picks in the competitive balance area, unless they sign a free agent who got a qualifying offer and have to give up that selection (all 1st picks are protected).