It would be a busy weekend for Major League Baseball, which once more has packaged its annual first-year player draft with its other All-Star Game festivities. While not quite a made-for-TV event like its N.F.L. or N.B.A. equivalents, baseball’s draft continues to be vitally necessary for many clubs. Fans will just must exercise some patience before getting enthusiastic about any of the players their favorite teams select.
How does it work?
The draft consists of 20 rounds and can be held over three days.
It starts on Sunday at 7 p.m. Eastern with rounds 1 and a pair of, together with some competitive balance and compensation picks. In all, 83 players can be chosen on Day 1. Rounds 3 through 10 will begin at 2 p.m. on Monday and rounds 11 through 20 will begin at 2 p.m. on Tuesday.
Sadly the times of a mysterious process involving a theoretically unlimited variety of rounds conducted via conference call are over. The brand new collective bargaining agreement made last 12 months’s 20-round format everlasting, which is terrible news when you’re the nephew of a team’s marketing director (or when you’re Mike Piazza, the 1,390th pick of the 1988 draft, who went on to make the Baseball Hall of Fame).
Who has the primary pick this 12 months?
The Baltimore Orioles have been surging in recent weeks — calling up their top prospects and really attempting to win is a superb strategy, it seems — but they tied Arizona for the worst record in baseball last 12 months and can pick first within the draft. The Orioles even have three other first-day selections and a monster bonus pool of nearly $17 million.
The Mets and the Tampa Bay Rays even have 4 picks on the primary day.
Who’s the most effective player on this draft?
Do you remember Andruw Jones? The teenager who hit two home runs in a World Series game and went on to be one among the 2 or three best defensive center fielders in major league history (while hitting 434 homers)? Well, prepare for Druw Jones, Andruw’s 18-year-old son, who’s the top-rated player on most prospect lists and has a good likelihood of going to Baltimore with the No. 1 pick.
Unsurprisingly, the younger Jones is a terrific defender with a ton of power. Also unsurprisingly, his plate discipline isn’t quite there yet. If he finally ends up as a clone of his father that will be a terrific profession. The chance exists for him to be even higher.
Second-generation players are fun. Are there any others?
One other top prospect on many lists is Cam Collier, a 3rd baseman from Chipola College, who’s the son of Lou Collier, an eight-year veteran. Cam is an intriguing player who left highschool early to play for a top junior college program — à la Bryce Harper — and won’t turn 18 until November. He has major league tools as a hitter and defender and is prone to go high despite his commitment to Louisville.
Then there’s Jackson Holliday, the son of Matt Holliday, a 15-year major leaguer. A highschool shortstop from Oklahoma, Jackson is predicted to hit for power, and even when he doesn’t stay at shortstop his speed could help him transition to center field. (Control the Hollidays: Jackson’s brother Ethan is a future draft prospect as well.)
Justin Crawford, a highschool outfielder from Las Vegas, is the son of Carl Crawford (he’s a quick runner with good bat speed — go figure) and Silas Ardoin, a catcher from the University of Texas who is thought for his defense, is the son of a former big league catcher, Danny Ardoin.
Will anyone from this 12 months’s draft be within the majors soon?
Not necessarily. Just one player from the 2021 draft has seen major league motion to date — Chase Silseth of the Los Angeles Angels — and with a dearth of quality college pitchers, and a big group of top-rated highschool position players, the Class of 2022 might need several years of seasoning before it may possibly be evaluated.
Dearth of quality college pitchers?
There are a couple of intriguing arms on the collegiate level, like Oklahoma’s Cade Horton and East Carolina’s Carson Whisenhunt, but for essentially the most part this draft is taken into account to be light on starters with ace potential. In consequence, the Angels, who made history by utilizing all 20 picks last 12 months on pitchers — Silseth was their Eleventh-round selection — look prophetic for restocking their system in a more robust 12 months.
Whatever happened to Kumar Rocker? Isn’t he available?
Rocker, the tenth overall pick in last 12 months’s draft and a former Vanderbilt star, was unsigned by the Mets after the team found something it didn’t like in his post-draft physical. He made a couple of appearances for the Tri-City ValleyCats, an unaffiliated team within the Frontier League, and while he showed off his big fastball and skill to dominate, he also acknowledged having had what his agent described as “minor” shoulder surgery in September.
Where he ranks amongst this 12 months’s prospects will depend on whether you think that there’s such a thing as a minor shoulder surgery. But even when Rocker isn’t a top-10 pick, he continues to be prone to come off the board on Sunday with some team willing to gamble on his ace-level potential.
Looks like Rocker will do OK. What do the Mets get?
Remember earlier after we discussed the Mets having 4 picks on the primary day of the draft? Considered one of them — the Eleventh overall pick — is compensation for not having signed Rocker. The team’s other extra pick — No. 75 overall — got here via the Angels who needed to give up their second-rounder after signing Noah Syndergaard away from the Mets.
The Mets may have $13,955,700 to sign their picks from the primary ten rounds — the third-largest bonus pool amongst M.L.B.’s 30 teams.
Cool, do the Yankees have any extra picks?
Nope, but they didn’t must give up any either because of their decision to not sign any top free agents (that has worked out well to date). They’ve three picks in the highest 100 (25, 61, 100) and can pick twenty fourth in each round thereafter.
Wasn’t the draft going to incorporate international players?
Hold your horses. As a part of the league’s recent C.B.A., a world draft is on the table, which might dramatically remake how baseball does business in places just like the Dominican Republic. The concept has advocates and detractors, and was contentious enough that M.L.B. and the players’ union tabled the discussion, agreeing to make a choice by July 25 to either adopt the international draft going forward or maintain the present system of draft-pick compensation free of charge agent signings.
Until that call is finalized, the C.B.A. technically isn’t complete. And with no international draft in place, the one players eligible this 12 months are those playing in america or Canada. Keep watching within the later rounds, though, as some players who’ve come through M.L.B.’s development centers in China have been playing college ball, and there’s a likelihood that baseball could have its first draft pick from that country.