Nander De Sedas Joins Exceptionally Deep Group Of 2020 MLB Draft-Eligible Sophomores
A later draft date in 2020 is very good news for a few college players.
The 2020 MLB Draft will begin June 8—five days later than 2019, when the draft began June 3. Players are eligible for the draft if they turn 21 within 45 days of the final day of draft, so those five extra days can make a big difference.
All four-year college redshirt sophomores, juniors and seniors as well as high school seniors and junior college players are eligible for the draft. In addition, any four-year college player who turns 21 by July 25, 2020 is also eligible.
Florida State shortstop Nander De Sedas (July 25, 1999), Southern California outfielder Preston Hartsell (July 25, 1999) and Southern California righthander Chandler Champlain (July 23, 1999) will all be draft-eligible sophomores. If the draft had been held on June 3 like it was last year, none of the three would have been eligible.
De Sedas was the highest-ranked high school position player of the 2018 draft class who made it to school. He was drafted by the Brewers in the 29th round, but was rated the No. 28 overall player in the class thanks to his defensive actions at shortstop and raw power from both sides of the plate.
Over the summer prior to his senior year at Montverde (Fla.) Academy, De Sedas appeared to be following in the path of Francisco Lindor—also a Montverde product and switch-hitting shortstop—as an eventual first-round pick, but his struggles with the bat during his spring season caused his stock to drop. He struggled in his freshman season with Florida State as well—to the tune of a .231/.353/.337 slash line—but he has the toolset that could still entice teams if he begins to make progress during his draft-eligible sophomore season.
De Sedas, Champlain and Hartsell join what looks to be an exceptionally deep class of draft-eligible sophomores. Georgia righthander Cole Wilcox, Mississippi State righthander J.T. Ginn, Arizona catcher Austin Wells (the Pac-12 freshman of the year), Louisiana State righthander Cole Henry, Florida State outfielder Elijah Cabell, Miami righthander Slade Cecconi, Florida infielder Cory Acton, Vanderbilt righthander Ethan Smith and North Carolina first baseman Aaron Sabato are among prominent prospects who will be draft-eligible sophomores next June.
Technically, Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields is also a draft-eligible sophomore, although he hasn’t played a game of baseball since high school.
Being a draft-eligible sophomore means a player has additional leverage beyond that of a traditional draft-eligible junior. While the junior can opt to not sign and return for a senior season, he would do so knowing he will have very little negotiating leverage as a senior.
A draft-eligible sophomore can be more choosy, knowing that if they return to school, they would still be draft eligible two more times.