How Many Rounds are in the MLB Draft (2023)? Key Facts and Figures


Since its inception in 1965, the MLB draft has played an instrumental role in the league’s operations. Its primary goal is to establish a just and impartial system for teams to select fresh talent and provide young players with an avenue to enter an MLB team.

Over the years, the number of rounds in the draft has varied, with adjustments made to accommodate various factors such as modifications to the league’s format or a surge in the number of eligible players. In this piece, we will delve into the essential data and statistics pertaining to the number of rounds in the upcoming 2023 MLB draft.

History of the MLB Draft

When the MLB draft was first introduced in 1965, it was a straightforward affair, with teams selecting players in a solitary round. However, as the league’s requirements shifted over time, so did the draft, leading to the inclusion of more rounds.

In 1987, the MLB draft expanded to incorporate two extra rounds, elevating the total number of rounds to 12. A decade later, in 1998, the draft underwent another expansion, this time to 50 rounds, to cater to the league’s expansion to 30 teams. However, in recent times, there has been a tendency to decrease the number of rounds in the draft to optimize the process and minimize expenses.

How Many Rounds Are in the MLB Draft?

In the current year, 2023, the MLB draft comprises 20 rounds, a notable decrease from the 40 rounds in 2020. This move to curtail the number of rounds was a direct response to the financial constraints imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which severely impacted the league’s revenue.

By minimizing the number of rounds, the league expects to cut costs and improve the efficiency of the draft process.

Setting the Stage: What We Can Expect from the 2023 MLB Draft

The MLB draft is scheduled to take place in the second week of July 2023. However, for the first time, the MLB draft lottery was held on December 6th, 2022, at the MLB winter meetings in San Diego, California.

This lottery determined the initial six picks of this year’s MLB draft. The top six spots will be reserved for the teams that did not qualify for the postseason, as well as the three teams that had the worst records from the previous season. These teams have the greatest likelihood of acquiring the number one draft pick.

How are players selected in the MLB Draft?

The MLB draft selection process is intricate, with several eligibility requirements that prospective players must satisfy before they can be considered for selection.

To be eligible for the MLB draft, players must meet specific age and citizenship or residency criteria. Once the draft begins, teams take turns selecting players in each round. The order of selection is determined by the previous season’s rankings, with the poorest-performing teams being granted the first picks.

To identify and choose the best players, teams employ a variety of strategies. Factors like a player’s abilities, potential, and suitability for the team are all weighed and taken into consideration during the selection process.

How many players are drafted in the MLB Draft each year?

The quantity of players drafted in the MLB draft is not constant, as it is influenced by the number of teams participating and the number of rounds conducted. With the present 20-round configuration, roughly 600 players will be picked every year. However, it should be noted that not all players drafted will ultimately sign with a team, as many players choose to pursue other avenues, such as college baseball.

The number of players selected in each round may also differ, with earlier rounds typically featuring more in-demand and highly skilled players. In contrast, later rounds tend to witness teams taking chances on players who may be perceived as long shots.


To sum up, the MLB draft is an essential component of the league’s operations, offering a just and impartial mechanism for teams to choose new players while enabling young prospects to be discovered and given the opportunity to join an MLB team. The number of rounds in the draft holds a vital influence in shaping the draft’s structure and importance, impacting both players and teams.

The 2023 MLB draft, which will feature 20 rounds, will be captivating to witness as teams navigate the selection process, and the chosen players’ eventual success or failure becomes apparent. It remains to be seen who will be selected to join the MLB and how they will contribute to their respective teams.


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