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2017 MLB First Year Player Draft primer

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Here to get you prepared for this year’s Rule IV Draft.

The MLB Draft will be upon us on the night of June 12th at 7 pm EST. Here’s all you need to prepare and guide yourself through the three day event.

Draft Order

The MLB Draft order does not follow a straight 1-to-30 order in the first two rounds as it does from the third round on. The order is affected by two things: compensation and competitive balance picks.

Traditionally, there are two types of compensation picks. The first is from qualifying offers, which are denoted with a single asterisk below. This year those there are three of those coming from the Edwin Encarnacion, Ian Desmond, and Dexter Fowler signings. They are placed at the end of the first round and the signing teams forfeit their first round pick if they are outside of the top 10 picks.

The second type of compensation pick is for teams that failed to sign any player within the first two rounds. Last year, the only team to do this were the Pirates when courting Nick Lodolo. They will pick one pick behind where they selected Lodolo last year.

The final type is from disciplinary proceedings; this year, that means the Cardinals’ hacking case. The Cardinals were punished for Chris Correa’s hacking effort into the Astros’ systems and were forced to hand over their top two picks to the Astros.

The competitive balance rounds are somewhat self-explanatory. After the first and second rounds, “small market” teams are given additional picks to help them add both monetary value and talent to their draft.

2017 Draft Order

First Round Competitive Balance Round A Second Round Competitive Balance Round B
First Round Competitive Balance Round A Second Round Competitive Balance Round B
1. Twins 31. Rays 37. Twins 68. D-backs
2. Reds 32. Reds 38. Reds 69. Padres
3. Padres 33. A's 39. Padres 70. Rockies
4. Rays 34. Brewers 40. Rays 71. Indians
5. Braves 35. Twins 41. Braves 72. Pirates
6. A's 36. Marlins 42. Pirates** 73. Royals
7. D-backs 43. A's 74. Orioles
8. Phillies 44. D-backs 75. Astros***
9. Brewers 45. Phillies
10. Angels 46. Brewers
11. White Sox 47. Angels
12. Pirates 48. Rockies
13. Marlins 49. White Sox
14. Royals 50. Pirates
15. Astros 51. Marlins
16. Yankees 52. Royals
17. Mariners 53. Astros
18. Tigers 54. Yankees
19. Giants 55. Mariners
20. Mets 56. Astros***
21. Orioles 57. Tigers
22. Blue Jays 58. Giants
23. Dodgers 59. Mets
24. Red Sox 60. Orioles
25. Nationals 61. Blue Jays
26. Rangers 62. Dodgers
27. Cubs 63. Red Sox
28. Blue Jays* 64. Indians
29. Rangers* 65. Nationals
30. Cubs* 66. Rangers
67. Cubs
Competitive Balance Round B
68. D-backs
69. Padres
70. Rockies
71. Indians
72. Pirates
73. Royals
74. Orioles
75. Astros
Baseball America

Bonus Pool Rules, Penalties, and Allocations

One of the most essential tasks to understanding the draft is understanding how bonus pools work.

Every pick from rounds 1 to 10 have an assigned slot value, which collectively make up a team’s total allocation of funds for the draft. Teams may spend more on one player and less on another, but that’s essentially their total pot. In addition to that, players after the 10th round are subject to this constraint as well. If they sign for more than $100,000 then the difference is deducted from the pool. The penalties for overages can be stringent. If they are within zero to five percent of their pool, the penalty is limited to a 75 percent tax on their overage. Between 5 and 10 percent results in said tax plus the loss of a first round pick the following year. When you get to between 10 and 15 percent, the tax is bumped to 100 percent and the team must forfeit an additional second round pick from the subsequent year. If they manage to exceed it by more than 15 percent, the team must pay the aforementioned tax and loses their next two first rounders.

Suffice to say the most harsh penalties haven’t been incurred yet, as most teams seek to stay below the cap.

The fine folks at Baseball America took the time to plot out the slot value for every single pick in more extensive fashion than MLB.com. I fully encourage you to use either table as a guide to help you along the draft. The valuations of the slot values in conjunction with the totals are one of the keys to understanding a team’s draft strategy. Their list also includes a brief history of the bonus pool provision in the CBA and how it has worked from its inception.

Total Bonus Pool Allocation

Team Bonus Pool
Team Bonus Pool
Twins 14,156,800
Reds 13,658,400
Rays 12,528,100
Padres 11,839,000
Athletics 11,407,500
Brewers 10,447,700
Pirates 10,135,900
Diamondbacks 9,905,900
Braves 9,881,200
Marlins 9,375,500
Astros 9,039,600
Phillies 8,729,100
Blue Jays 8,231,000
Angels 8,212,800
Royals 8,076,900
White Sox 7,921,400
Rangers 7,626,600
Cubs 7,454,900
Yankees 6,912,800
Orioles 6,846,700
Mariners 6,737,300
Tigers 6,520,100
Giants 6,363,600
Mets 6,212,500
Dodgers 5,794,200
Red Sox 5,667,100
Nationals 5,503,500
Rockies 4,615,700
Indians 3,829,000
Cardinals 2,176,000
Baseball America

Top Draft Prospects

This year’s class has a ton of interesting players. From the various two-way stars like Brendan McKay and Hunter Greene, to the injured-but-productive Keston Hiura, to the suspended Seth Romero. You can read about the varying opinions on these players at the many rankings across the baseball blogosphere.

Baseball America’s BA 500

Minor League Ball’s Coverage

MLB Pipeline’s Top 200

Fangraph’s Sortable Draft Board and Rundown

Keith Law’s Big Board

Mock Drafts

Baseball America

Fangraphs

SB Nation

MLB Pipeline

ESPN

I’ll be updating this piece throughout the weekend as the draft approaches, begins, and progresses, so check back for more information.

Anthony Rescan is a Featured Writer at Beyond the Box Score. You can follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyRescan.