MLB’s June amateur draft reduced from 40 rounds to five in 2020

Harvard-Westlake outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong bats against Birmingham during a game Feb. 19, 2019.
Harvard-Westlake outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong is considered the top prospect for this year’s MLB draft among Southland players.
(Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times)

Major League Baseball will hold a five-round draft in June, a steep reduction from the 40-round draft held in 2019, according to a person with knowledge of the decision. MLB proposed a 10-round draft to the players’ union, but the two sides couldn’t reach an agreement.

The draft will be shortened for two primary reasons: The high school and college seasons ended in March because of the novel coronavirus outbreak, meaning teams were unable to evaluate prospects through the spring; and the minor leagues are not expected to play in 2020, leaving newly signed players with nowhere to go except major league spring training sites.

In the first round, the Angels have the 10th pick and the Dodgers have the 29th pick. The Detroit Tigers hold the first pick, followed by the Baltimore Orioles and Miami Marlins. Scouts say the strength of this year’s crop is college pitchers.


The Dodgers’ Justin Turner and his wife Kourtney have delivered more than 500,000 meals to the needy since March. He’ll be a free agent this winter.

The Dodgers, who boast perhaps the strongest farm system in baseball, also will pick in slots Nos. 60, 66, 100, 130 and 159. The Angels will have only four picks. Their second one isn’t until No. 82; their third is No. 111 and fourth is No. 149. A total of 160 players will be drafted.

Outfielder Pete Crow-Armstrong of Studio City Harvard-Westlake High is considered the top prospect among Southland high school players. Baseball America ranks him the No. 17 prospect in the nation. Outfielder Garrett Mitchell of UCLA is projected as a top-10 overall pick.

Pitcher Jared Jones of La Mirada High, catcher Kevin Parada of Loyola High and outfielder Isaiah Greene of Corona High are projected as second-round picks. Jones has committed to Texas, Parada to Georgia Tech and Greene to Missouri.

Nick Garcia, a right-handed pitcher from Chapman, is projected as the first area college player taken. Garcia’s stock was rising when the season ended in March, and he could be the highest Division III player selected since the Washington Nationals drafted Jordan Zimmermann in the second round in 2007.

Letters to the Los Angeles Times sports department.

Another player rapidly rising among scouts is left-handed pitcher Ricky Tiedemann of Lakewood High. Tiedemann and Harvard-Westlake shortstop Drew Bowser are projected to be taken in the third round.

Other Southland high school players who could be selected include outfielders Petey Halpin of Mira Costa and Jake Vogel of Huntington Beach; shortstops Milan Tolentino of Santa Margarita and D'Andre Smith of San Dimas; and pitcher Max Rajcic of Orange Lutheran.

Other prospects from area colleges include pitcher Holden Powell of UCLA, pitcher Nick Frasso of Loyola Marymount, pitcher Trenton Denholm of UC Irvine, and third baseman Jamal O'Guinn of USC.

Times staff writer Bill Shaikin contributed to this story.