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MLB draft lottery screws Royals, giving them the #6 pick

This is dumb.

MLB Draft presented by Nike Photo by Mary DeCicco/MLB Photos via Getty Images

The Royals were awarded the #6 pick through the draft lottery, despite finishing with the second-worst record in baseball. The Royals were tied with the Athletics and Rockies for best odds at getting the #1 overall pick, with each having an 18.3 percent chance. The Cleveland Guardians received the #1 pick, despite having the ninth-best odds.

The draft lottery was implemented last year to try to discourage teams from tanking to get a better draft pick. The top six slots in the draft are subject to the lottery, weighted for teams with a worse record. All non-playoff teams are eligible to get a lottery pick except the Washington Nationals, because they are a “payor” club in terms of revenue sharing, and those clubs cannot selected in the lottery two years in a row.

This year, the Pirates won the top spot in the 2023 draft after tying for the third-worst record in 2022, selecting LSU pitcher Paul Skenes. The Twins moved up the most, going from the #13 slot to the #5 slot. In last year’s draft lottery, the Royals received the #8 pick despite finishing with the fifth-worst record.

There is no consensus top pick for next June’s draft, although West Virginia shortstop J.J. Wetherholt is atop the MLB Pipeline 2024 draft prospect list, with Baylor first baseman Nick Kurtz #1 in the Baseball America draft rankings.

Here are the 2024 draft lottery results:

  1. Guardians
  2. Reds
  3. Rockies
  4. Athletics
  5. White Sox
  6. Royals
  7. Cardinals
  8. Angels
  9. Pirates
  10. Nationals
  11. Tigers
  12. Red Sox
  13. Giants
  14. Cubs
  15. Mariners
  16. Marlins
  17. Brewers
  18. Rays