Colorado Rockies: What happens with draft picks and no minor league baseball?

On Wednesday night, the Colorado Rockies took a pair of high school players with their top two draft picks in the 2020 MLB Draft. Now what happens?

With baseball’s 2020 season up in the air, especially the status of minor league baseball, Colorado Rockies general manager Jeff Bridich was asked on a media conference call on Wednesday night about the upcoming plans for the ninth overall pick outfielder (Zac Veen, read more about him here) and the 35th overall pick (catcher Drew Romo, read more about him here).

Of course, both players will need to sign with the Rockies first. However, in a normal season, after signing, the duo would be assigned to a minor league affiliate to begin their workouts and acclimation into the club philosophy. With the COVID-19 pandemic putting a halt to all sports, including baseball, there is no minor league season at the moment. But will there be? Or what are the plans? That was the question asked of Bridich on Wednesday night.

“Frankly, we’re not sure yet to be honest with you,” Bridich said. “I mean, we’ve brainstormed a number of different potential things. But we’re not entirely sure yet what any of baseball is going to look like this year, whether it’s the Major League level or at the player development level.”

While MLB is currently working through negotiations to get back on the field, plans could form to get some sort of minor league system back up and running this year as well, although, if it happens, it will very likely be different to anything seen in the past.

“There have been some rumors about maybe there’ll be some sort of developmental league or the extension of the Arizona Fall League down the road,” Bridich said. “But I think that there are certain hurdles that, not just the Rockies, but the entire industry has to get over first, with health and the COVID crisis being one of those big pieces before we can actually put some firm developmental plans into place for this unique season.

“It’s tough to commit to anything right now.”

While Veen, Romo, and Thursday night’s Rockies draft picks are in limbo with future plans and destinations for the moment, the same can be said for Colorado’s previous draft picks, including Michael Toglia (taken with last year’s 23rd pick), Ryan Rolison (selected 22nd in 2018), and many others.

Without baseball being played, Bridich admitted that progression could temporarily slow down for the next wave of Colorado’s franchise.

Next: How the Rockies could benefit from a shortened season

“There’s going to be some sort of impact because this is a season and a year unlike any that any of us have ever been a part of in our lifetime,” Bridich said. “We need a little bit more information about our industry before we can try to make the best of the remaining developmental time or potential developmental time for these guys for the rest of this year.”