Here's the 2021 MLB Draft order

October 12th, 2020

Major League Baseball confirmed Monday that the 2021 Draft order will be based on the reverse order of the 2020 regular-season standings.

Because this season was the shortest in big league history, there had been some sentiment to use some combination of the 2019 and 2020 standings. With MLB deciding to stick with the usual standard (which includes using the previous year's record to break ties), the Pirates will own the No. 1 overall pick in the Draft for the first time since 2011. Pittsburgh used that choice on Gerrit Cole, who has enjoyed more success than its previous three No. 1 selections, Jeff King (1986), Kris Benson (1996) and Bryan Bullington (2002).

The Rangers (No. 2), Tigers (No. 3), Red Sox (No. 4) and Orioles (No. 5) comprise the rest of the top five. Texas hasn't picked that high since taking Tommy Boggs at No. 2 in 1974, and Boston hasn't since choosing Mike Garman at No. 3 in 1967. Either Detroit (Casey Mize in 2018, Spencer Torkelson in 2020) or Baltimore (Adley Rutschman in 2019) has made the last three No. 1 picks.

The Draft will be held in July for the first time in 2021, scheduled for July 11-13 in conjunction with the All-Star Game festivities in Atlanta. The current favorite to go No. 1 overall is Vanderbilt right-hander Kumar Rocker, though much can change in the next 11 months. MLB Pipeline ranked the top 15 prospects in both the college and high school ranks in September.

Each pick in the top 10 rounds is assigned a bonus value, with the total for each club's selections representing the amount it can spend in those rounds without incurring a penalty. Those values were frozen for 2020 and 2021 in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, so the No. 1 choice will come with an allocation of $8,415,300 for the third straight Draft. The Tigers signed Torkelson for $8,416,300 in June, breaking the Draft record of $8.1 million set by Rutschman a year earlier.

The only team without a first-round pick is the Astros, who lost their top two selections in both 2020 and 2021 as a punishment for sign stealing. They would have selected 16th overall if they hadn't been penalized.

Because each team's highest choice is exempt from forfeiture as free-agent compensation, the only way the first-round order below could change would be if a club exceeds the luxury-tax threshold ($208 million) by more than $40 million. In that case, its selection would drop 10 spots. This happened to the Red Sox in 2019, when their top choice slid from No. 33 overall in the first round to No. 43 overall in the second round.

Here's the order for the 2021 Draft:

  1. Pirates (19-41)
  2. Rangers (22-38)
  3. Tigers (23-35)
  4. Red Sox (24-36)
  5. Orioles (25-35)
  6. D-backs (25-35)
  7. Royals (26-34)
  8. Rockies (26-34)
  9. Angels (26-34)
  10. Mets (26-34)
  11. Nats (26-34)
  12. Mariners (27-33)
  13. Phillies (28-32)
  14. Giants (29-31)
  15. Brewers (29-31)
  16. Marlins (31-29)
  17. Reds (31-29)
  18. Cardinals (30-28)
  19. Blue Jays (32-28)
  20. Yankees (33-27)
  21. Cubs (34-26)
  22. White Sox (35-25)
  23. Indians (35-25)
  24. Braves (35-25)
  25. A's (36-24)
  26. Twins (36-24)
  27. Padres (37-23)
  28. Rays (40-20)
  29. Dodgers (43-17)