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

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Americans reflect on Independence Day amid racism reckoning

A Black Lives Matter banner and a United States flag on the facade of the U.S. embassy building in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: Simon Shin/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

America's leaders are rethinking how they view Independence Day, as the country reckons with the historic, unequal treatment of people of color during a pandemic which has disproportionately affected nonwhite Americans.

Why it matters: The country’s legacy of racism has come into sharp focus in the weeks of protests following the death of George Floyd while in Minneapolis police custody. From Confederate statues to Mount Rushmore, Americans are reexamining the symbols and traditions they elevate and the history behind them.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 10,945,600 — Total deaths: 523,035 — Total recoveries — 5,797,206Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2 p.m. ET: 2,767,669 — Total deaths: 128,951 — Total recoveries: 781,970 — Total tested: 33,462,181Map.
  3. Public health: The states where face coverings are mandatory Fauci says it has been a "very disturbing week" for the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.
  4. Economy: The economy may recover just quickly enough to kill political interest in more stimulus.
  5. States: Florida reports more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases, and its most-infected county issues curfew.
6 hours ago - Sports

Washington Redskins to review team name amid public pressure

Photo: Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

The Washington Redskins have announced they will be conducting a review of the team's name after mounting pressure from the public and corporate sponsors.

Why it matters: This review is the first formal step the Redskins are taking since the debate surrounding the name first began. It comes after weeks of discussions between the team and the NFL, the team said.