First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) EligibilityFirst-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) Eligibility
An individual is eligible for selection in the First-Year Player Draft (MLB Rule 4 Draft) if the person is at least 17 years old, has not previously signed an MLB or minor league contract, and is either a resident of a U. S. state or territory or Canada and has been for at least one year, or is not a resident but was enrolled in a high school (known as "secondary school" in Canada) or college in a U. S. state or territory or Canada within the previous year, and...
1. Player has graduated from high school (or "secondary school") and has received a diploma (if the player graduates early and receives a diploma prior to turning 17, the player is eligible for selection if he turns 17 no later than 45 days after the draft and the player submits written notice of early graduation to the MLB Commissioner by January 15th);
2. The player's high school class has graduated (12th grade) and player has not yet graduated from high school but player's high school athletic eligibility has expired, or player dropped out of high school at least 365 days prior to the draft, or player attended a junior college the previous school year, or player is attending a four-year college and the school has no baseball program, or player is attending a four-year college and player has completed at least junior year of athletic eligibility, or player is attending a four-year college and is age 21 or older (or will turn 21 within 45 days of the draft), or player withdrew from a four-year college at least 120 days prior to the draft.
A player dismissed from a four-year college for academic reasons less than 120 days prior to the draft is eligible for selection only with the consent of the MLB Commissioner.
For purposes of draft eligibility, a GED is not considered a high school diploma.
NOTE: Prior to the 2017 draft, a GED was considered equivalent to a high school diploma for purposes of draft eligibility.
A club is not permitted to select a player in the Rule 4 Draft two years in a row, unless the player gives his approval in advance.
A high school player eligible for selection may elect (in advance) to have his name removed from draft eligibility in that particular Rule 4 Draft.
Prior to the draft, the MLB Commissioner's office will designate what it considers to be the Top 300 players in the draft, and offer each of the players an opportunity to furnish in advance of the draft access to the player's certified medical history available to be reviewed by all 30 MLB clubs. Players are not required to participate in the program, but if a player declines to participate, the player may not furnish medical records to any club or clubs prior to the draft.
From among the Top 300 players, the MLB Commissioner's office will designate what it considers to be the Top 50 pitchers in the draft, and offer each of the pitchers an opportunity to submit a recent certified MRI of the pitcher's shoulder, elbow, or any other part of the body that has received medical treatment during the course of the previous season, available for review by all 30 MLB clubs prior to the draft. Pitchers are not required to participate in the program.