With the emergence of young superstars across Major League Baseball, many of whom have made an immediate impact in pennant races, it's hard not to get excited about the game's long-term future. And a new crop of young talent will add to its promising nucleus in the coming weeks, as
With the emergence of young superstars across Major League Baseball, many of whom have made an immediate impact in pennant races, it's hard not to get excited about the game's long-term future. And a new crop of young talent will add to its promising nucleus in the coming weeks, as the MLB Draft commences on June 4 in Secaucus, N.J.
Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A will air exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com on Day 1, with MLB.com providing live streaming through the 78th overall pick that night.
There is plenty of intrigue relating to who the Tigers might take with the top pick. Auburn right-hander Casey Mize (Auburn) seems the logical choice three weeks out, though Florida righty Brady Singer, Waukesha (Wis.) West High outfielder Jarred Kelenic and left-hander Matthew Liberatore of Mountain Ridge HS (Glendale, Ariz.) are among others who have garnered top-pick buzz as well. This is the first time Detroit has held the top pick since 1997, when it selected Matt Anderson, who compiled a 5.19 ERA over parts of seven seasons in the big leagues. Slot value for the top overall pick is $8,096,300.
The Rays (16th, 31st, 32nd, 56th, 71st) and Royals (18th, 33rd, 34th, 40th, 58th) each have a league-high five selections in the first 78 picks during the first day of the Draft, while the Cubs (24th, 62nd, 77th, 78th) and Indians (29th, 35th, 41st, 67th) will each make four selections on the Draft's opening day. The Draft will also once again feature Competitive Balance Rounds A and B, which give clubs with the lowest revenues and those in the smallest markets an additional pick each year.
Additionally, this will be the first Draft with the restructured free-agent compensation picks, which will include picks 31-35 immediately after the first round for revenue-sharing clubs who lost a player that signed for more than $50 million in free agency with another club after turning down a qualifying offer, and picks 75-78 following Competitive Balance Round B for non-revenue sharing clubs who lost a player that they made a qualifying offer to that signed elsewhere.
• Mock Draft: Callis makes picks for entire 1st round
MLB Network will also air a Draft preview show an hour before the Tigers are on the clock with the first overall selection at 6 p.m. on June 4. MLB Pipeline's Jonathan Mayo will join MLB Network's Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, Dan O'Dowd and Harold Reynolds with analysis and interviews with front-office personnel and newly drafted players.
Over the Draft's final two days, MLB.com will air exclusive live programming beginning at 12:30 p.m. ET, with Mayo and fellow MLB Pipeline analysts Jim Callis and Jim Duquette, who will offer Draft and scouting expert commentary to go with a live pick-by-pick stream. Fans can also follow along with It Draft Tracker, an interactive app that will have live results and information on more than 1,500 Draft-eligible players, including scouting reports, stats and video highlights.
Each of MLB's 30 clubs will be represented by at least one of its former players and/or members of its front office. An itinerary of each club representative will be announced in the coming weeks.
On social media, fans are encouraged to follow the official Draft Twitter account (@MLBDraft) and use the official Draft hashtag (#MLBDraft) to join the commentary. Additionally, @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.
Daniel Kramer is a reporter for MLB.com based in Denver. Follow him on Twitter at @DKramer_.