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No Dukes selected in shortened 2020 MLB Draft

Junior Nick Stewart will start on the mound for the James Madison baseball team when the Dukes open the 2020 season Friday afternoon.
Junior Nick Stewart will start on the mound for the James Madison baseball team when the Dukes open the 2020 season Friday afternoon.(WHSV)
Published: Jun. 11, 2020 at 11:17 PM EDT
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The James Madison baseball program didn't have a player selected during the 2020 Major League Baseball Draft, an event that was shortened to just five rounds this year. It's the first time since 2016 that JMU has not had a player drafted. The 2020 draft wrapped up Thursday night.

The MLB Draft is usually 40 rounds but was dramatically reduced in 2020 as a cost-saving measure following COVID-19's impact on the sport.

As many as six or seven JMU players could've been selected if the draft had remained at 40 rounds. Junior right-handed pitcher Nick Stewart was considered to be the Dukes' top pro prospect. He's likely to return to JMU along with fellow junior right-handed pitcher Justin Showalter, who was also receiving interest from MLB franchises before the draft was reduced to five rounds. Both players have two years of eligibility remaining at JMU.

Seniors Fox Semones (INF/OF), Brett Ayer (LHP), and Michael Bechtold (RHP) could sign as free agents with MLB franchises now that draft is over. Semones is expected to return to JMU for his final year of eligibility in 2021 if he does not go pro this summer.

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