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MLB Begins To Loosen Scouting Restrictions For 2020 Draft

MLB has begun relaxing restrictions it placed on amateur scouts in response to the novel coronavirus pandemic that shut down sports around the world.

In a note sent to prospective draftees as well as communications with MLB teams, players and scouts were told that teams may now contact players remotely.

So scouts can now call players, text them, email them or use any of the variety of video conferencing technologies to communicate. Scouts can also now send assessments, psychological evaluations and other tests that can be conducted remotely without any in-person contact.

The strict prohibitions on any type of person-to-person contact remain. Scouts still cannot meet with players face-to-face for any reason including to watch games, workouts, practices or to conduct an in-home visit. This is a continuation of MLB rules that were put in place to follow the stay-in-place guidelines that have been instituted in most of the United States.

Scouts and other MLB personnel are also not allowed to ask players to attend workouts, games or tryouts that MLB personnel could observe remotely.

And now, teams can once again request video or data (Rapsodo reports, HitTrax and other analytical information) that had been prohibited during the blanket scouting shutdown. However, teams and scouts can only request “old” video and data that was gathered before March 27. No video or data from later than that is currently allowed.

The loosening of restrictions allows teams to further work towards getting ready for the draft, which will take place sometime between June 10 and July 20. The exact date and the number of rounds for the 2020 draft has yet to be determined.

The same rules apply on the international scouting side as well, which means that teams can sign players again. Teams were not banned from signing players under the previous restrictions. But practically they were prevented because they could not contact players or agents in any manner.

Mac Horvath (Photo By David Jensen Icon Sportswire Via Getty Images)

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