It’s going to be a fascinating class to watch develop for a few reasons.
Fall and the first season have become something of a de facto tryout for the fit and expectations between the players and the program.
With so little playing time available for the class due to all the established players returning, the players and coaches will have to make those evaluations largely away from live action where the cream rises. What they do in the classroom, on the practice field, and in conditioning will take on much more weight.
If the pandemic had not taken place and a normal MLB draft occurred, there are a good number or returning players that would be playing in the minors right now instead of gearing up for a run to the CWS. Instead, we can expect a larger than normal exodus of players to the professional ranks after the 2021 season assuming MLB goes forward with a longer draft (should be 20 rounds vs 5).
That should be plenty of incentive for the incoming class to bide their time because the on field jobs will be opening. We stand to lose Gelof, Kent, Michaels, McGarry, Vasil, Abbott, Schoch, Whitten, Kosanovich, Rivoli, Bales, Lebreux, Hlinka, Ortiz, Messinger, Sullivan, and Price.
Not all of those in that list that can return will depart but some certainly will. It’s going to be a ridiculously deep draft in 2021, so some players will have to do the math between 2021, 2022, and their personal signing bonus requirements. I personally know of two players on that list that would have departed this offseason had they been drafted and offered the right amount of bonus.
So the 2020 class will have plenty of opportunity during the 2022 season with lots of expected holes to fill.
But the next two classes (2021, 2022) are currently monster classes with lots of star power. Perfect Game has the 2021 class ranked 10th at the moment and the 2022 class 3rd. We won’t get all those players to school, but I’d bet on getting more than a healthy share at the moment. The competition for playing time is going to be fierce in the future.