College baseball coaches, players facing uncertain times with draft moved to July

UCLA coach John Savage is dealing with roster uncertainty because the amateur draft is taking place July 17-19 this year.
(Shotgun Spratling / For The Times)

UCLA baseball coach John Savage is like many college baseball coaches these days in trying to figure out a roster for next season while having to wait until the middle of July just to see who might be leaving because the amateur draft doesn’t take place until July 17-19.

“The timing is terrible,” Savage said.

Adding to the uncertainty, there is a Thursday deadline when coaches must let returning players know whether scholarships will be renewed. Savage has 11.7 scholarships to give out, including for incoming freshmen. It’s a yearly balancing act, and this year is even more uncertain because there are many more players draft eligible due to COVID-19 redshirt seasons. How many will choose to leave? How many will be taken during a 23-round amateur draft?

Auburn became the first team in SEC history to score 50-plus runs in its first three NCAA tournament games with its 11-4 victory over UCLA.

June 6, 2022


Of course, the rising number of players in the transfer portal gives additional options for coaches if players suddenly decide to leave.

But coaches are definitely going to be earning their salaries trying to piece together the puzzle of their rosters and how much scholarship money is available.

“You’re guessing,” Savage said. “Everything is mistimed.”

The draft had previously been in June, giving coaches more time to make scholarship decisions by the July 1 NCAA deadline that lets returning players know their status.

Savage said he expects lots of players to enter the transfer portal by Thursday to increase their options during what could be a wild July seeing who’s coming back and who’s going after the draft.