Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Draft

The MLB draft is an exciting and nervous time for any high school or college player hoping to play professional baseball. The draft is the time of year when organizations get to restock their club by adding new, fresh young players, but for the new players to come in, some old players have to go. Which makes this time of year one of the most nervous times for all players already in professional baseball who's jobs are on the line.

For people who aren't familiar with what the draft is, I will try and explain it as simply as I can. There are 50 rounds in the draft, and each team gets to pick 1 player in each round. Since there are 30 teams, that means 1500 new players could be potentially joining pro ball. Now not all players drafted choose to sign, some high school players may choose to go to college, and some college guys may decide to finish off their college baseball career and also finish with a degree instead of signing a pro contract at that time.

Unlike top draft picks in the NBA, NFL and NHL draft, all of whom are expected to be playing in their respective leagues almost immediately, the top picks in the MLB draft are sent down to the Minor Leagues to hone their skills until they are deemed ready for the Major Leagues. In the history of the draft, only 21 players have gone straight to the Major Leagues without playing in a Minor League game, the most recent being Mike Leake of the Cincinnati Reds.

Now for the players who are already in pro ball, they might start to feel nervous that all these new players are coming to take their job. I'm sure the organisation would love to keep all their players, but once they sign these new players from the draft, they need to make room for them and that means some guys will have to be released. It's one of the many harsh realities in pro baseball.

In the next few days some of the new signees will begin to arrive, and will be introduced to a whole new world, and will make their first steps to becoming a Major League Baseball player.

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