There were a few major headlines that affected the college sports world this past weekend, as COVID-19 continues to affect collegiate athletes.
MLB Draft shortened to five rounds
The MLB announced that their traditional 40-round draft was being shortened to five rounds due to the financial implications of the coronavirus pandemic. Although MLB teams will be allowed to sign unlimited numbers of undrafted players, this will have ripple effects throughout college baseball, as there will be a lot of players unwilling to go pro with only a 5-round draft and limited money available. For draft eligible rising seniors, their draft stock is likely harder to evaluate after a very short 2020 season, and as such, it will likely benefit many players to stay for another year with their collegiate teams. Graduating seniors, with the ability to return for grad school and an additional year of eligibility, will have far more negotiating power as well. With only the premier talents getting selected, expect to see far more players returning to the NCAA, which will affect incoming recruits. Playing time will be shifted, and it would hardly be surprising to see a lot of transfers, depending on which schools see mass quantities of returners. Announcements on potential roster expansion have not been made, but this draft decision will affect college baseball for years to come.
Taulia Tagovailoa enters transfer portal
Taulia Tagovailoa, brother of former Alabama star and now Miami Dolphins’ quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, has entered the transfer portal, expressing his intention to leave Alabama. With stud five-star recruit Bryce Young entering the quarterback room to challenge Mac Jones, who started when Tua suffered a season-ending injury, for the starting job, Taulia’s path to playing time seemed narrow, and so he will look for an opportunity elsewhere. He is most definitely an elite talent, and he will be a great pick-up for whoever lands him.