Major League Baseball is the only one of the major four American sports leagues that holds its draft while a portion of its entrants are still involved in postseason competition at the college level.
Vanderbilt coach Tim Corbin thinks that should change.
“It just doesn’t make any type of sense at all. It makes you want to scratch your head,” Corbin told The Tennesseean‘s Adam Sparks. “The timing of the draft is still at the apex of competition for these players.”
The Super Regional rounds of this season’s NCAA Tournament began on June 10 and 11, while the final two of three total days of the 2016 MLB Draft also occurred on the same dates.
This meant that players on the 16 teams still playing had to simultaneously prepare for games and be concerned with their status of making it to the next level. It would be the equivalent of a top college basketball prospect playing in a Sweet 16 game during an NBA draft, except more complicated because there are 40 rounds in the MLB draft compared to two in the NBA.
“You’re going to have the kids on the field competing when the draft is occurring,”Oklahoma State coach Josh Holliday told Rivals.com on Friday. “And I can’t image for the sake of communication that that’s ideal for anybody. The idea would be for them to communicate at a time when a kid’s not running down a fly ball when his name’s called.”
Corbin thinks the solution is to hold the draft after the Super Regionals have concluded and prior to the start of the College World Series.
“Three or four days away from competition, between the Super Regional and Omaha. That makes sense,” Corbin told the Tennesseean. “At that point, all the high schools in the country are done playing. All the junior college teams are done. Division II and Division III are done. And of the 300 Division I teams in the country, 292 are done and only eight still have games to play.”