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The 2021 MLB Draft will move from June to July and be held in Atlanta during the league’s All-Star Game festivities, according to ESPN’s Kiley McDaniel. The draft will be held between July 11-13 next year, per the report.

The 2021 MLB Draft is expected to be between 20 and 30 rounds, though that has not been finalized, McDaniel adds. The 2020 MLB Draft was reduced to just five rounds from the usual 40 rounds. It was one of several changes made to this year’s draft, as a response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The 2020 MLB Draft was originally scheduled to be held at the Holland Center in Omaha, Nebraska. It was going to be the first time it was held in conjunction with the College World Series, but MLB was forced to scrap those plans due to COVID-19.

MLB granted the Atlanta Braves 2021 All-Star Game hosting duties last May. This year’s All-Star Game, which was scheduled to be hosted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, was officially canceled prior to the start of the abbreviated 2020 season. The Dodgers were granted hosting duties for the next available Midsummer Classic in 2022. 

In recent years, MLB has been trying to garner more attention on the draft among casual fans. But it had been difficult since many top players chose to skip attending the draft in-person because they were competing in the College World Series. With the plans to push the draft back to July, that creates more opportunity for players to attend the draft and give fans a chance to see their team’s newest prospects for the first time.

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