MLB Amateur Draft starts today

The MLB draft is on the rise. Catch it on MLB Network today. Photo: University of San Diego's Kris Bryant/AP Lenny Ignalzi

LOS ANGELES, May 28, 2013 — Today, Major League Baseball will do its best to try to bring the MLB amateur draft into the living rooms of America. The NFL does it. The NBA does it. Why not MLB?

Major League Baseball is trying to market these kids by putting faces to names that used to be read on paper the following day, not seen live on TV at the draft. This year, there will be about 10 kids in attendance at the draft. Many potential top draft picks will not be in attendance because the college baseball season is still in full swing.

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When Mike Trout was drafted by the Angels with the 25th pick of the 2009 draft, he was the only draft pick in attendance.

It used to take many years for most players from the draft to finally crack the big league roster. That is not so much the case anymore. The age that players are coming up from the minors has been lowering since the steroid boom started to wane. There are five players from the 2012 draft already in the major leagues.

Seeing a kid get drafted and then not seeing him in the big leagues for four years can put a damper on the excitement of your team getting a certain kid with their draft pick. The fact that you can now see these kids get drafted and have them on the big league team the following year, in some cases, goes a long way towards garnering excitement for the draft.

Serra High School’s Dominic Smith/Kevin Wells Photo

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The MLB Amateur Draft, which begins today at 4 p.m. (PDT) and will air on MLB Network, is obviously not where the NFL draft is as far as glitz and glamour, but it is on its way. Like Bob Dylan said, “The times they are a changin’.”

Today, avid fans who have been following college baseball and keeping tabs on the top high school players will be tuning in to see which kids their respective teams select. Some fans will be unjustly disappointed. Other fans will be needlessly overly excited.

With the draft comes the stories of draft busts, such as former overall number one pick Todd Van Poppel, a pitcher who gained the nickname, “Van Launching Pad,” for obvious reasons. There are also stories of the kids who come out of nowhere. The Dodgers drafted Mike Piazza in the 62nd round simply as a favor to his godfather, Tommy Lasorda. No one expected anything from him and he ended up a rookie of the year and had a successful career.

You never really know what you get until you actually have it. Those fans who are disappointed on draft day may end up pleasantly surprised. Likewise, those fans who were overly excited about their number one pick may end up with their head in their hands asking themselves, “Why? What happened? This kid was so good in college. How could he not be what he was supposed to be? Why?”

Who will be the Houston Astros take with the number one pick? Will it be Mark Appel or Kris Bryant? Could it be Colin Moran or Jonathan Gray? Will Serra High School standout Dominic Smith be a top 20 pick as projected by many or will he surprise and be a top 5 pick?

This is why we watch with such excitement. Who goes where and how will their careers play out?

Baseball fans should have goose bumps today because anything is possible. Be excited, be cautious or be afraid. Whichever way your emotions take you, enjoy the ride for today is draft day!!!

Dr. Steven L. Adler of the Wells On Baseball think tank also contributed to this story.

Kevin J. Wells writes about Major League Baseball and punk rock music.  Follow him on Twitter @WellsOnBaseball


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Kevin J Wells

Kevin J. Wells was born and raised in the Los Angeles area in a town called Montrose.  He currently plays guitar for and is a founding member of the Los Angeles punk rock band Emmer Effer.  He has worked in a number of different career fields including Behavioral Therapy, Commodities, Insurance, and most recently a food cart in Portland, OR. Kevin has been both a sports and entertainment columnist and editor for The Washington Times Communities since January 2013.

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