Major League Baseball relocating its annual amateur draft in an effort to increase interest in the event. On Wednesday, commissioner Rob Manfred announced the 2020 draft will be held at the site of the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska, rather than at the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey.
The MLB draft typically takes place in the middle of the NCAA postseason each June and, according to Manfred, the three-day draft would now be held in the days leading up to the College World Series. That will presumably allow more prospects to attend the draft and give fans a chance to see their team's newest prospects for the first time.
"We're going to have a much better draft day experience," Manfred said at his Winter Meetings press conference on Wednesday.
In recent years MLB has invited a handful of prospects to the draft to be introduced on the stage as they're selected, though many top players have to skip the event because they're playing in the College World Series. As recently as 2018, five first-round picks were playing in the College World Series, including two top-five picks.
The 2020 MLB draft will begin Wednesday, June 10, and wrap up Friday, June 12. The College World Series is scheduled to begin Saturday, June 13. MLB Network typically broadcasts the first two rounds on Day 1, but, in Omaha, the channel may broadcast additional rounds to get more prospects involved in the show.
Chances are the MLB draft will never be a popular made for television event because the players are typically far away from the big leagues. The NBA and NFL drafts are so popular because those players will be in the league the next season. That is so rarely the case in baseball and it limits draft interest among casual fans.