The Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft kicks off this Tuesday at the MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey. While our own Kevin Goldstein will keep you completely and constantly informed about the teams, prospects, agents, and negotiations, I hope to give you a little sense of what it will be like at the venue itself on Tuesday.
This will be the third year the draft will be broadcast live to a national audience, but the first time in the newly opened MLB Network studios. The first day will consist of the first 111 picks, including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B. There will be four minutes between first round picks and one minute between all other selections.
MLB Network will broadcast the selections made in the first round live. Beginning with the compensation round (the 33rd overall pick), MLB.com will air a live video stream from Studio 42 for the remainder of the day’s selections.
I for one am excited about the publicity the Major League Baseball draft is receiving. Being a big proponent of scouting and player development, I’m happy to see the spotlight being shined on this process.
About 5 years ago, I remember Kevin and I joking about the draft taking on an NFL style presentation. KG said, “Can you imagine the commissioner coming to the podium…in the 50th round, the Cubs select John Smith from Joe Schmo high school?” Well, I don’t see baseball broadcasting 50 rounds on TV. Even I might get bored by that. But, we’ve certainly come a long way in giving the draft the recognition it deserves.
This particular draft is even more special and important to me. It will be the first draft that I’ll actually get to see kids I’ve scouted take their first steps toward playing professional baseball. As many of you may know, I began moonlighting this year as a part-time scout and statistical analyst for the Kansas City Royals. I’ve had a chance to get to know many of the kids that will be selected this week…and as you may expect, I’m pretty excited for them!
I will be on hand live at Studio 42 in Secaucus from about 3:00 PM ET Tuesday representing Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Daily Digest. The draft doesn’t officially start until 6:00 PM ET, but I will be providing coverage from my arrival until day one is complete (around 10:15 PM). You can follow me on Twitter @jhamrahi, and check out my Facebook profile for updates throughout the day.
And I’m sure I’ll have even more tidbits once the draft is complete…
Below is the tentative building layout for those of you interested in seeing how MLB will transform Studio 42 into this year’s draft headquarters. (Click on the photo for a larger image)