MLB & USA Baseball Schedule Evaluation & Showcase Events for 2021 & 2022 MLB Draft Prospects
Tuesday, January 26, 2021, 9am
“MLB Draft Combine” and “PDP League” tentatively set for this summer at USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, N.C.
Cary, N.C. (January 26, 2021) – Major League Baseball and USA Baseball today announced enhancements to the joint Prospect Development Pipeline (PDP) to feature a lineup of evaluation and showcase events for 2021 & 2022 MLB Draft prospects, including the first-ever MLB Draft Combine for high school and college baseball players. Additionally, the PDP League, a development and assessment opportunity for high school players eligible for the following year’s Draft will return following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs, which will be hosted at the USA Baseball National Training Complex in Cary, North Carolina, will strictly adhere to health protocols and other safety measures that are consistent with all state and local regulations, protect all participants and on-site personnel, and maintain the integrity of the individual player assessments.
The inaugural MLB Draft Combine (June 20th-28th) will feature the top 200 high school and college baseball prospects, as identified by MLB Clubs, who will have the opportunity to participate in a series of medical and performance assessments as well as educational programming designed to prepare them for a career in professional baseball. As part of the Combine experience, the top 88 high school players eligible for the 2021 MLB Draft will be selected to participate in a special showcase tournament from June 20th through 26th. The tournament will feature eight games, including “bronze medal” and “gold medal” games, as well as PDP Performance Assessments and a pro-style showcase workout. Medical and performance assessments for all athletes will be conducted June 24th-28th.
From July 22nd through August 1st, the second PDP League will feature the top 96 high school players who are eligible for the 2022 MLB Draft. The PDP League provides athletes with an unprecedented amateur experience, including competitive gameplay, player development sessions, educational seminars and other player programming to prepare players for a professional baseball career. The PDP League also will continue to serve as the primary identification opportunity for the USA Baseball 18U National Team.
Additional details for the MLB Draft Combine and the 2021 PDP League, both of which are voluntary and free of charge for participants, will be announced at a later date.
The 2021 MLB Draft will be planned for July 11th-13th, and for the first time since the inception of the Draft in 1965, the event will be scheduled outside the month of June. The Draft will feature a minimum of 20 rounds across the three days, beginning with the opening night of the Draft on Sunday, July 11th following the 2021 SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game, part of All-Star Sunday at Truist Park. Since 2009, the first night of the Draft has been held live at MLB Network in Secaucus, New Jersey.
About the Prospect Development Pipeline:
Created in 2017, the PDP is the official identification and player assessment pathway to all 30 MLB Clubs for elite amateur baseball players in advance of the annual MLB Draft.
PDP athletes take part in one of the most comprehensive athletic evaluation experiences in sports to date, which include the following:
- Athletic Assessment – Captures objective performance measurements including gait analysis, dynamic broad and counter-movement jumps, agility, cognitive speed of processing, and, grip strength and slant board sway tests.
- Sport Vision Screening– Screens players with a set of vision tests designed to help athletes by assessing vision strengths and identifying areas of vision that can be improved to enable them to reach maximum performance levels.
- Swing Analysis – Each athlete is assigned to a sensor to track each swing they take, to monitor the barrel speed, hand speed, acceleration and impact momentum. High-speed, slow motion video is captured on every athlete.
- Ball Flight Analysis – For pitchers, measurements include velocity, spin rate, spin axis, spin efficiency vertical and horizontal break. For hitters, measurements include ball exit velocity, spin rate, distance and launch angle.
Following each evaluation, athletes receive a fully-customized player report, inclusive of personal results and data from their evaluation, developmental information with guidelines for improvement, and other relevant resources to aid players and families in navigating the amateur experience.
The PDP also supports a growing list of additional programs and initiatives, providing player development and athletic assessment exposures for summer baseball collegiate leagues, MLB Baseball & Softball Development amateur events (e.g., Hank Aaron Invitational, DREAM Series, Breakthrough Series and States Play), MLB international showcases, the East Coast Pro Showcase, and USA Baseball’s national teams, national team development programs, and its National Team Championships.
Brad Young, USA Baseball
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