Because of the COVID-19 world health crisis that abruptly ended the 2020 collegiate baseball season this past March, Major League Baseball held its shortest June draft in its history with just five rounds.
Since then, two HBCU draft-eligible players have signed free agent contracts so far.
Carter Williams, from North Carolina Central University and Bryan Serra, from Talladega College, ready to take their games to the next level in their baseball professional careers, were selected in this year’s undrafted free agent signings. According to Major League Baseball, players can sign for up to $20,000, and teams can sign an unlimited number of undrafted free agents.
The maximum allowed signing bonus of $20,000 is far less than what players picked from rounds six through the tenth round typically get. Usually The signing bonus is up to $125,000 for players after the 10th round, but those days are now long gone. Teams can sign HBCU baseball players up until their respective colleges start in the fall.
Williams was selected this past Monday, June 15th in the first day of the amateur free agents draft for players not selected in the five-round 2020 MLB Draft. Serra signed his contract reportedly on June 18th. The last HBCU ball player who signed a free agent deal was Savannah State University’s Trevor McKenna with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2018.
This year’s undrafted signings aren’t like previous seasons. With the draft capped to just five rounds, this seemingly left a surplus of HBCU baseball talent unclaimed and waiting for a chance.
The good news, the NCAA is allowing student athletes another year of eligibility for the 2021 season which could improve on future HBCU baseball draft or free agent stock. We’ll have to wait and see how many ball players take the NCAA up on that opportunity.
The draft is the thirty-second consecutive year that HBCU baseball programs have had a player signed professionally. Those free agent signees in 2020 include…