Wednesday, June 4, 2008

MLB Draft gaining popularity

For the second straight year, the first round of the MLB Draft will be televised on Thursday on ESPN2 at 1 p.m. CT.

While there is no clear-cut No. 1 choice like David Price was a year ago, this draft is loaded with hitters and light on pitching. Among the top hitters is Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez, who will most likely go No. 2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Check out Maurice Patton's story to see what other Commodores could be drafted.

The buzz surrounding the MLB Draft is nothing compared to the NFL or NBA, but it is changing nonetheless, according to St. Louis Post-Dispatch columnist Bryan Burwell, who makes an interesting point.

"I never quite understood why baseball didn't see the beauty in all the hype that goes with these drafts, particularly the NFL's version," he writes, "which has mastered the art of creating mountains of pomp and endless draftnik salivation for its selection party."

Furthermore, Burwell goes on to say that "the times are changing. Squint a bit and see if you can look into the future. I see a future that will have just as many baseball draft geeks as NFL draft geeks. I see a future where ESPN baseball draftnik Keith Law and his buzz cut will become as famous as Mel Kiper and his pompadour. I see a world where Baseball Tonight will conduct afternoon specials that will run endlessly in the weeks, days and hours leading up to the draft."

Tom Verducci of points out that teams are placing a greater emphasis on the draft than ever before. Why?

"The young player has become more valuable than ever," said Dodgers GM Ned Colletti.

The fact that so many young players are contributing at the major league level means that casual fans will begin to pay more attention to the draft because they realize that it may not be long before they'll see them play. Just look at how excited Tampa Bay was, and still is, over Price.

By the way, Price's stat line after three pro starts: 18 IP, 0 R, 8 H, 2 BBs, 19 Ks.

(Photo from MVN)

1 comment:

Aram Hanessian said...

Burwell is pretty much an idiot. While the draft is getting bigger it will never even come close to being the monster that the NFL draft or even the NBA draft is. Outside of a select few nobody knows who anybody is whereas in the other sports there are household names being drafted even in the later rounds. It's nice to see it get some coverage, but it will never even come close to catching up with the other major sports.