The MLB draft lottery is here! During what has been a rather tepid and boring Winter Meetings, the draft lottery stood to be the most exciting moment to this point. Those of you who are fans of the NBA and NHL are probably quite familiar with this process, but for baseball fans the draft lottery concept is a whole new experience.
In an effort to discourage teams from tanking, (aka being intentionally bad to help raise draft position and bonus pool), MLB and the MLBPA added this new wrinkle to the amateur draft as of the latest Collective Bargaining Agreement, in 2022. Major League Baseball joined the NBA and NHL in the time-honored tradition of leaving the top of draft order to chance. Exciting, right?
Here’s a breakdown of how the Draft Lottery works:
Here are your 2024 MLB Draft Lottery odds:
Unfortunately for our White Sox, luck was once again not on our side, as we saw our pick actually slip, from the projected No. 4 to the No. 5 pick in 2024.
Here are the results:
The 2024 MLB Draft order is set. ⬇️ pic.twitter.com/wtKwi5rIk9— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) December 5, 2023
After a scintillating few moments of watching country music star Brad Paisley read off team names in reverse draft order, we arrived at the top six. And then the gut punch.
The Cleveland Guardians, they of a mere 2% chance to land the top spot, did just that.
Seriously, why can’t we have nice things?
As for our Pale Hose? They landed the fifth pick, despite having the fourth worst record in 2023 and the fourth highest odds to land the top spot, at 14.7%. And because of another anti-tank clause in the CBA, the South Siders will be ineligible to pick in the Top 10 in the 2025 draft no matter how bad their record is in 2024.
Which, in all likelihood will be worse than 2023. Much, much worse.
Again, why can’t Sox fans have nice things ... ?
With the caveat that everything will likely change between now and next summer’s draft (as in, the 2024 prep and college season needs to be played first!), MLB Pipeline trotted out a mock 2024 draft tonight, after the lottery results were announced. At No. 5, Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo see Florida Gators two-way (left-handed starting pitcher, first baseman) Jac Caglianone as the fifth-best talent:
5. Jac Caglianone, 1B/LHP, Florida
Mayo: “Two-way player at Florida. He’s really interesting even if we are not sure what he is. Most people like him as a hitter. There are holes on each side. He has a ton of power, but tends to chase a little. Big, huge lefty. On the mound, he’s up in the upper 90s and misses a lot of bats. But, some command issues. We’ll see what he is. 6-foot-5, 290-pounds. He’s a lot of fun. I think it’s great for college baseball to have a legitimate two-way guy at that level, at the very least.”