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With a class booming with high school bats, the Draft is coming to the town that feeds on young star power. For three days beginning Sunday, the Major League Baseball Draft hits Los Angeles.
Here’s everything you need to know.
Broadcast and logistical details
For the second straight year, the Draft will be part of All-Star Week. Sunday’s action begins at 7 p.m. ET, with Round 1 (including two compensation picks), Competitive Balance Round A (seven picks), Round 2 and Competitive Balance Round B (eight picks) and six second-round compensation picks.
MLB Network will provide complete coverage of Sunday’s picks, and the first round will be broadcast on ESPN. The remaining picks will stream on MLB.com.
Day 2 gets underway at 2 p.m., with Rounds 3-10 on the slate. The final day, featuring Rounds 11-20, begins at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Although they finished last season tied with the D-backs for the worst record in baseball, the Orioles are riding high midseason and poised to add to a strong well of young talent via the No. 1 overall pick Sunday. This will be the third time Baltimore has picked first, getting right-hander Ben McDonald in 1989 and catcher Adley Rutschman in 2019.
The O’s are in the catbird seat in a couple of other ways. They’ll have four picks on the first day of the Draft, and their bonus pool of $16,924,000 is not only the highest of any club this year, but the second highest total since the bonus pool era began in 2012. More on that below.
Here are how the first 10 picks will go:
1. Orioles2. D-backs3. Rangers4. Pirates5. Nationals6. Marlins7. Cubs8. Twins9. Royals10. Rockies
The Mets are another team with a chance to make a huge impact Sunday, with two first-round picks (No. 11 — compensation for 2021 first-round pick Kumar Rocker going unsigned — and No. 14) as well as the No. 52 overall pick coming in the second round and the No. 75 pick as compensation for Noah Syndergaard’s rejection of a qualifying offer to sign with the Angels.
The Rays are in a unique position. Although they don’t get their first pick until No. 29, they follow their second-round pick (No. 65) with back-to-back picks (Nos. 70 and 71) in Competitive Balance Round B after a trade for the Tigers’ CBB pick.
Bonus pool and slot values
You already know the Orioles have the highest bonus pool in the Draft, but what is a bonus pool?
Each choice in the first 10 rounds of the Draft comes with an assigned value, with the total for a club’s selections equaling what it can spend in those rounds without incurring a penalty. If a player taken in the top 10 rounds doesn’t sign, his pick’s value gets subtracted from his team’s pool. Clubs near the top of the Draft often spend less than the assigned value for those choices and use the savings to offer more money to later selections.
Teams that exceed their bonus pool face a penalty. Clubs that outspend their allotment by 0-5 percent pay a 75 percent tax on the overage. At higher thresholds, clubs lose future picks: a first-rounder and a 75 percent tax for surpassing their pool by more than 5 and up to 10 percent; a first- and a second-rounder and a 100 percent tax for more than 10 and up to 15 percent; and two first-rounders and a 100 percent tax for more than 15 percent.
Top 10 bonus pools:1. Orioles: $16,924,0002. D-backs: $15,112,1003. Mets: $13,955,7004. Pirates: $13,733,9005. Rockies: $13,660,7006. Nationals: $11,007,9007. Reds: $10,794,1008. Marlins: $10,486,0009. Braves: $10,224,30010. Cubs: $10,092,700Bonus pool and slot value breakdown >>
MLB Pipeline’s Draft Top 250 list offers rankings, scouting reports, bios and tool grades for the biggest prospects coming into Sunday. This year’s class is particularly front-loaded with hitters, and especially with high school hitters — think names like Druw Jones, Jackson Holliday, Elijah Green and Termarr Johnson. But collegiate bats like Cal Poly’s Brooks Lee, Georgia Tech’s Kevin Parada and Louisiana State’s Jacob Berry are likely to fly off the board very quickly, and advanced power arms from Kumar Rocker to Ben Joyce offer plenty of intrigue.
These are the Top 10 Draft prospects: