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Johnny Manziel was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 28th round of the 2014 MLB Draft as a shortstop(1). However, Manziel is better known as a quarterback, currently of the Cleveland Browns, drafted 22nd overall in the 2014 NFL Draft, and formerly of the Texas A&M Aggies.

Given that there is a process to declare for the NFL Draft(2), What are the guidelines for declaring for the MLB Draft? What is the rationale of drafting players already established in other professional sports (eg, Russell Wilson drafted by the Rangers months before winning Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seattle Seahawks(3)).

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Note that the Rangers snagging Wilson was completely different. He was selected by the Rangers in the rule 5 draft and was already under contract with another pro baseball team. –  wax eagle Jun 9 at 17:54

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It appears that you don't have to declare your intentions to enter the draft. There are certain stipulations in regards to eligibility, though. For example, you can be drafted when you graduate high-school, but if you enter a four-year college, you won't be eligible until your junior year (or any year if you attend a two-year university or are 21+)(1). Manziel was a redshirt-sophomore, meaning that he would have been a junior, academically, and therefore was eligible for the draft.

As to what the rational would be for drafting players that are more than likely not to sign: It's probably for publicity as no 837th pick has every played in an MLB game. The Padres GM was quoted as saying, "It was kind of, 'Why not?'"(2).

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