JaMarcus Russell, Adrian Peterson, Greg Oden, Kevin Durant. It seems as if these current and former draft prospects were household names for the majority of sports fans. But what about David Price, Jake Arrieta, Joe Savery or Matt Wieters? You will hardly ever hear about or even see a mere segment on television about these guys let alone two-hour long shows dedicated solely to the draft like the other two sports. The NFL and NBA drafts are huge drawn-out events that get tons of media mayhem, while the MLB draft goes along without any hype and really just happens every year. Consider the MLB as the stepchild of the drafts. But is that about to change?
Major League Baseball's 2007 First-Year Player Draft will be carried live by ESPN2 on Thursday, June 7th, marking the first time that the draft will be televised. ESPN2 will air each club's first round choice of the 50 round draft. It still won’t compare with the insane month-long coverage of the other two sports but at least it is a step in the right direction for fans of college and pro baseball. MLB Commissioner Bud Selig stated that this "will give fans access to see this critical function of an organization's development. This is an idea whose time has come."
Don’t be surprised to hear a substantial amount of Texas Collegiate League players’ names called in this year’s draft. The TCL has had around 88 players drafted in the three year existence comparing to the Northwoods League that had only 45 alumni playing professional baseball after their first four seasons. And with the amount of top rated prospects from the TCL, that number will drastically increase after this year’s picks.
In 2005, Jacob Marceaux became the highest TCL alumni drafted, going in the first round to the Florida Marlins with the 29th pick. Marceaux might have his title challenged this year with players like Jake Arrieta from TCU (McKinney Marshals ’05), Damon Sublett from Wichita State (Coppell Copperheads ’05), Preston Clark from Texas (Coppell Copperheads ’06), Tyler Henley from Rice (Euless LoneStars ’05), Jess Todd from Arkansas (Coppell Copperheads ’06), Brian Friday from Rice (Duncanville Deputies ’06) and 2006 TCL Pitcher of the Year Randy Boone from Texas (Coppell Copperheads ’06) that are all very highly rated and are expected to go high in the first couple of rounds. Arrieta might have the best shot since he was ranked 5th by Sports Illustrated and 7th by Baseball on top prospects in college baseball earlier this year.
Draft coverage will begin on Thursday, June 7th at 1 p.m. (CST) from Disney's Wide World of Sports Complex in
Orlando, Fla. The Tampa Bay Devil Rays will have the first pick of the draft since the selection order is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. The draft will have 50 rounds and will conclude after all 30 teams have passed on a selection or after the final selection of the 50th round, whichever comes first.