No. 1 pick Adley Rutschman (Oregon State) was one of a record number of college players taken in the 2019 MLB draft. Photo: Justin Tafoya/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

Evaluating baseball prospects will never be an exact science, but that hasn't stopped MLB teams from trying to make it one by leaning further into data and further away from "the eye test."

Why it matters: This data obsession is having a huge impact on player evaluation and was on full display during last week's MLB draft, where the number of high school draftees decreased for the seventh straight year.

By the numbers: Two decades ago, 40% of draftees came directly from high school, per the Wall Street Journal. This year, that number was just 24%.

Buzz: This trend is far more pronounced at the top of the draft. In 1999, 46% of players taken in the first 10 rounds were high schoolers. This year? 19%.

The bottom line: Teams want to know everything about a prospect, and that level of information is almost never available for high schoolers. Hence the dramatic shift currently underway.

  • On top of that, more teams are building through the draft rather than free agency, which has made them less willing to take risks — and drafting a high schooler is about as risky as it gets.

Go deeper: Baseball's hitting coaches go all in on tech and data

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 32,471,119 — Total deaths: 987,593 — Total recoveries: 22,374,557Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 7,032,524 — Total deaths: 203,657 — Total recoveries: 2,727,335 — Total tests: 99,483,712Map.
  3. States: "We’re not closing anything going forward": Florida fully lifts COVID restaurant restrictions — Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam tests positive for coronavirus.
  4. Health: Young people accounted for 20% of cases this summer.
  5. Business: Coronavirus has made airports happier places The expiration of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance looms.
  6. Education: Where bringing students back to school is most risky.
Mike Allen, author of AM
4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Biden pushes unity message in new TV wave

A fresh Joe Biden ad, "New Start," signals an effort by his campaign to make unity a central theme, underscoring a new passage in his stump speech that says he won't be a president just for Democrats but for all Americans.

What he's saying: The ad — which began Friday night, and is a follow-up to "Fresh Start" — draws from a Biden speech earlier in the week in Manitowoc, Wisconsin:

Trump prepares to announce Amy Coney Barrett as Supreme Court replacement

Judge Amy Coney Barrett. Photo: Matt Cashore/Notre Dame University via Reuters

President Trump is preparing to nominate federal appeals court Judge Amy Coney Barrett of Indiana, a favorite of both the social conservative base and Republican elected officials, to succeed Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Republican sources tell Axios.

Why it matters: Barrett would push the already conservative court further and harder to the right, for decades to come, on the most important issues in American politics — from abortion to the limits of presidential power. If confirmed, she would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the high court.

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