Westborough, Mass., native Ian Seymour's selection by the Tampa Bay Rays in the second round of the MLB Draft capped a historically light haul of draft picks from the New England area.
The grand total of New England natives to have their professional dreams recognized in 2020: Two. Coincidentally, neither player played his college ball in New England. Not a single player who played high school or college baseball in New England in 2020 earned a selection in the 2020 MLB Draft.
Of course, much of the blame for the light haul of New England players can be attributed to the effects of the pandemic, which shut down baseball across the country from mid-March through the draft. The New England baseball season starts later than most other states due to the climate, and the restrictions on returning to play lasted longer than some states like Georgia and Alabama, where high school prospects are currently playing in elite showcase tournaments.
To make matters worse, the shortened MLB season forced the owners and MLB Players Association to agree to a shortened MLB Draft. This year's format switched from 40 rounds to five. On a good year, a handful of New England players get selected in the top five rounds. The 2020 crop of New England players was considered thin at the top entering the season.