Be it over 40 rounds or over five, the University of Alabama baseball team expects to hear right fielder Tyler Gentry’s name called in the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft. But since the draft is the latter length, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that may be all the impact the draft has on UA.
The draft will start Wednesday night at 6 p.m. with the first round, and the final four rounds coming after on Thursday starting at 4 p.m.
Gentry is projected to be one of the players taken in those five rounds; The Athletic’s Keith Law ranked Gentry as the 92nd-best prospect in the draft, one that will have 160 picks. Given the shorter draft, all draftees this season are in line to receive a sizable bonus — the final pick of this year’s draft has a slot value of $324,100 — one that is likely to sway them into starting their professional careers.
Gentry was on his way to a breakout season in 2020, hitting .429 with six doubles and four home runs in 56 at-bats, thus one extra-base hit every 5.6 at-bats. His power has drawn the interest of Law and other talent evaluators, but his stock surely would have risen if he could have lowered his strikeouts against SEC competition this season, after striking out 34 times in 113 at-bats in conference play in 2019.
UA also has senior Brett Auerbach testing the 2020 MLB Draft. He was hitting .388 when the season ended and displaying impressive defensive versatility, playing well at center field, third base and catcher, among other positions. The draft being limited to five rounds (along with limited undrafted free agent pools for this year) could be the reason Auerbach is back at UA in 2021; had the draft been 10 rounds or more, Auerbach’s chances of being drafted would be much higher.
Law projects none of UA’s 10 signees to be drafted.