Rule 4 - Amateur Draft


Residents of U.S. and Canada who have not previously signed a major or minor league contract and who are eligible under the High School, College, and JuCo [[|rules]]. Also, players who would be eligible under those rules within 45 days after the draft are also eligible.


  • Conducted in June
  • 50 Rounds – teams may pass, or may lose their pick if they fail to pick within allotted time
  • Teams are responsible for ensuring eligibility
  • Order: reverse order of winning % from previous season, without regard to post-season. In case of a tie, look to lowest winning % two seasons ago.
  • Teams that fail to sign a first- or second- round pick in the previous season receive a virtually identical pick the following year; for example, a team that fails to sign the No. 5 pick one year will receive the No. 6 pick the next season. A team that fails to sign a third-round pick will receive a sandwich pick between the third and fourth rounds

Effect of selection of a player

  • A selected player shall be placed on a team’s Negotiation List and shall remain there until August 15 (except for college seniors). Players on the Negotiation List do not count towards any limits. Negotiation List rights are not transferable to another team.
  • Negotiation Rights
    • Team must provide written notice to player that he has been selected within 15 days of the close of the draft. This notice shall include a contract tender (offer)
    • If the team fails to provide notice and/or a contract tender, the player may seek to void the team’s exclusive negotiation rights
  • If a player does not sign by 5:00 PM (EDT) on July 12 (except college seniors), the team must notify the Commissioner. Players who return to school will become eligible for the following year’s draft. However, the player may not be drafted by the same team in any subsequent first-year player draft without the player’s permission.
  • If a player returns to a four year college on a full time basis prior to the deadline, the team loses that player's rights (summer school is not considered full time basis)
  • If a player is not drafted, he is free to sign with any team until the signing deadline (except college seniors), he is eligible to sign with any team. Players who return to school will become eligible for the following year’s draft.
  • A player who is drafted and does not sign with the Club that selected him may be drafted again at a future year's Draft, so long as the player is eligible for that year's Draft. A Club may not select a player again in a subsequent year, unless the player has consented to the re-selection.