PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - As the entire sports world has been turned upside down due to COVID-19, major sports teams and college athletics are adjusting accordingly. Arizona State University Skipper Tracy Smith met with media on Wednesday, discussing how the Sun Devil baseball team could look next season and what this means for those players hoping to go pro.
According to a recent mock draft by CBS, ASU's Spencer Torkelson is projected to be the No. 1 overall pick in Major League Baseball's virtual draft next month.
"You can't cuss in the media but it would be like, 'You're something, I don't know, you'd put those little dashes and number signs and exclamation points' crazy if you don't take him No. 1, how's that?" Smith said. "There's no sales pitch from us. If you guys don't take him, you're blank crazy."
The 2020 MLB Draft has been reduced from a 40 round draft to just five rounds. To give you an idea in last year's draft, just over 1,200 players were drafted. This year, only 160 will be selected.
"Most Power Five conferences build their rosters based on their projections of who they're losing," Smith said. "The timing of when you're signing NLIS (National Letter of Intent), you have current guys on your roster, some of whom you've projected to lose in a 40-round draft that's now a five-round draft. If you do the simple analysis of that, you're going to have more bodies and more guys held to financial agreements than you technically have spots for."
Back in March, the NCAA voted to grant an extra year of eligibility to all student-athletes who's seasons were canceled because of COVID-19. So how will this affect the incoming class who's already signed their National Letters of Intent?
"Look, we don't promise you the position or starting spot anywhere or playing time. You're gonna have to come in and earn it, so that doesn't change," Smith said. "Yes, there may be another body in the mix, but you know what, as I've been telling people, we all got screwed. It's just at what level we got screwed over."
Roster sizes will look different next season but the actual number is still being worked out. Smith is confident they'll know more within the next week.