Yesterday was day 1 of the draft. Although round 1 was televised, it went off largely in obscurity. Part of that is because college baseball isn’t the big money maker that college basketball or especially college football are. The baseball draft also doesn’t immediately impact the teams the way they do in basketball or football. In football a first round pick is expected to be a starter, usually immediately. In baseball, it’s a given some of the players will spend the next 3-4 years in the minors. Some, even though taken in the first round, will never make the majors or never for more than “a cup of coffee.” High school players can get drafted, and some will opt to go to college instead.
Another reason the baseball draft occurs in obscurity is that it doesn’t have its own day. There were games yesterday. Granted, they were all day games, but its a lot to think a fan is going to watch a game and then also sit through hours of the draft to hear the name of a player they’ve probably never heard of or seen play.
If MLB really wants to make the draft an event, they ought to do it on a day with no games, like the first day of the All Star Break (ie, today). Or…they could create an off day just before or after the College World Series (congrats to the Mississippi State Bulldogs for their first team national championship in any sport in 126 years of trying, btw)…and actually hype the thing.
I do look at baseball mock drafts. It’s my first chance to learn a little about the highest rated prospects with a few exceptions (I already knew about the Vanderbilt pitchers, Leiter and Rocker.) I also check out name oddities—it would’ve been fun for the Dodgers to draft Max Muncy rather than the A’s just to set up the possibility of eventually having two guys on the same team both named Max Muncy.
Another name I noted was Jackson Jobe. He went third, to the Tigers. He’s a righty coming out of high school and supposedly has the most upside of any pitcher in the draft, particularly his high velocity, high spin rate fastball. He also played shortstop on the days he wasn’t pitching and led his team to the state 4A championship. That high school, an expensive private one, is Heritage Hall in OKC, and it is about 2 miles from my office. It is also just across the road from some batting cages where I’ve taken my son at times. Anyway, good luck to him, and congrats to the Tigers if he turns out to be as good as they think he will.
Other than pitching, the most popular position was shortstop. Cant have too many good gloves.
Once the rest of the draft and the All Star Game are done, expect trade season to kick into gear with just two weeks left until the trade deadline.