The 2021 MLB Draft Order Is Set
Editor's note: Baseball America confirmed with an MLB official on Oct. 12 that the 2021 draft order will be determined as usual, with reverse standings of the shortened 2020 season. Language throughout the story has been updated to reflect that.
It a normal year as soon as the regular season ends, the draft order for the following year's draft is fully known.
But nothing has been normal in 2020, and the draft order is yet another item affected by this unusual year. Because the 2020 MLB season was only 60 games long, 102 games short of a normal season, the agreement between Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association allows MLB commissioner Rob Manfred to set the draft order.
However, Baseball America confirmed Monday that the 2021 draft order will be compiled in the normal fashion—lined up in order from worst record to best. The 60-game season meant there were more ties in winning percentage than normal. If MLB follows the same tiebreakers as it has normally, the team with a worse record in 2019 gets the advantage in breaking ties for draft order.
This is the fifth time the Pittsburgh Pirates have selected first overall. Their most recent No. 1 pick was righthander Gerrit Cole out of UCLA in 2011. They also selected righthander Bryan Bullington No. 1 in 2002; righthander Kris Benson in 1996 and third baseman Jeff King in 1986.
The Texas Rangers, who pick second, have not selected this high since 1974, when they picked righthander Tommy Boggs. The Rangers only other picks at two or higher were in 1973, when they selected lefthander David Clyde first overall, and 1969 when the then Washington Senators selected outfielder Jeff Burroughs at pick No. 2.
Picking fourth, the Boston Red Sox will be selecting higher than they have in more than 50 years. In 1967, Boston selected righthander Mike Garman with the third pick. The only time the Red Sox picked fourth was in 1966, when they selected lefthander Ken Brett.
Here is the order for the first and second rounds. The Astros were stripped of their first and second round picks as part of the punishment for their sign-stealing scandal.
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Texas Rangers
- Detroit Tigers
- Boston Red Sox
- Baltimore Orioles
- Arizona Diamondbacks
- Kansas City Royals
- Colorado Rockies
- Los Angeles Angels
- New York Mets
- Washington Nationals
- Seattle Mariners
- Philadelphia Phillies
- San Francisco Giants
- Milwaukee Brewers
- Miami Marlins
- Cincinnati Reds
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Toronto Blue Jays
- New York Yankees
- Chicago Cubs
- Chicago White Sox
- Cleveland Indians
- Atlanta Braves
- Oakland Athletics
- Minnesota Twins
- San Diego Padres
- Tampa Bay Rays
- Los Angeles Dodgers
Below is the draft order for all other rounds. The Astros will make their first pick in the third round.
|4||Boston Red Sox||24||36||.400|
|7||Kansas City Royals||26||34||.433|
|9||Los Angeles Angels||26||34||.433|
|10||New York Mets||26||34||.433|
|14||San Francisco Giants||29||31||.483|
|19||St. Louis Cardinals||30||28||.517|
|20||Toronto Blue Jays||32||28||.533|
|21||New York Yankees||33||27||.550|
|23||Chicago White Sox||35||25||.583|
|28||San Diego Padres||37||23||.617|
|29||Tampa Bay Rays||40||20||.667|
|30||Los Angeles Dodgers||43||17||.717|
*Astros penalized 1st and 2nd round picks as result of illegal sign-stealing.
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With the Pirates picking No. 1, they will tie the Astros, Mets and Padres for the most No. 1 picks in draft history.
|Team||No. 1 Picks|
|*Assuming Pirates pick No. 1 in 2021|