MLB has announced two minor rules interpretations that will affect this and future drafts. The Braves and Red Sox saw the position of their compensation picks drop 18 spots each, and fifth-year college seniors no longer can sign as free agents before the draft.
This is the first year in which teams will receive a compensation choice for failing to sign second-round picks. The Braves get a pick for not signing Georgia righthander Joshua Fields (now back with the Bulldogs) and the Red Sox get one for not landing Alabama high school first baseman Hunter Morris (now at Auburn).
Initially, MLB said the two clubs would receive choices corresponding to the ones immediately following their picks from 2007. That gave Atlanta the 70th overall pick and Boston the 85th overall pick.
During the offseason, MLB reinterpreted the rule and decided that the teams would get choices corresponding to the ones immediately following their place in the second round last June. That gave the Braves the sixth pick in the second round (No. 52 overall) and the Red Sox the 21st pick in the round (No. 67 overall).
Earlier this month, MLB reversed course and decided that its first interpretation was correct. Atlanta will get the No. 70 choice and Boston will get the No. 85 choice. The complete draft order can be found here.
Additionally, MLB informed teams that they no longer will be able to sign fifth-year seniors whose college seasons have been completed as free agents before the draft. Last year, 31 fifth-year seniors signed as free agents. Phillies third baseman Greg Dobbs is one example of a current big leaguer who signed as a fifth-year senior free agent.
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