The 2020 Major League Baseball Draft was a special one for the Michigan Wolverines baseball program. The MLB Draft is usually 40 rounds of selections but due to COVID-19, teams couldn’t afford to pay incoming players higher salaries, limiting the 2020 Draft to only five rounds. Four Michigan players were selected in the shortened five round draft, experiencing moments of happiness that this group of athletes have been patiently waiting for.
In the second round of the draft with the 58th overall pick, the Oakland Athletics selected right handed pitcher Jeff Criswell. The third round saw two Wolverines become professional baseball players. With the 88th overall pick the Chicago Cubs selected outfielder Jordan Nwogu and with the 97th overall pick the Atlanta Braves selected outfielder Jesse Franklin. Then in the fifth round, the Colorado Rockies selected shortstop Jack Blomgren with the 140th overall pick.
“It was a really special experience to be able to be there with my family and friends teammates coaches,” said Criswell. “It was an awesome feeling to be surrounded by the people that mean the most to me, you know made it even more special.”
“I was really nervous but I don’t think there’s a more rewarding thing than like seeing or hearing your name called and seeing your name up there,” said Nwogu.
“I’m very appreciative for you know Coach (Erik) Bakich and Coach (Nick) Schnabel and even Coach (Chris) Fetter and everyone along the road that’s helped me with this process,” said Blomgren.
For these newest professional baseball players, they all grew up fans of Major League Baseball teams. So, how do they feel about the organizations they now play for?
“I really like the Cubs, I’ve always liked the Cubs but now I really like the Cubs,” said Nwogu.
“I know that the Oakland Athletics have a great player development system I know that they really care about their players and developing them to get to the big leagues,” said Criswell. “So I was really happy to be selected by an organization that I know is gonna take care of their guys.”
“I know that the Rockies obviously are a great organization and care about their players,” said Blomgren. “I’m just so grateful for the opportunity and I’m ready to get going.”
The timeline to see these Wolverines play their first Minor League Baseball games is correlated with the negotiations of the shortened 2020 Major League Baseball season. As negotiations continue between the MLB Players Association and the MLB Owners, stay with 6-Sports for more information on when to watch these newest professional baseball players.