As the Seattle Mariners are finally starting to get into a regular playing schedule, the MLB Draft is just 2 months away. Many baseball fans don’t really understand the draft, and we are here to help you.
First of all, even if you consider yourself a die-hard fan who doesn’t “get the draft”, it probably isn’t your fault. Major League Baseball really doesn’t want fans to pay attention to it. It is similar to Wall Street, in that the less simple they can make it, the better it is for them.
For example, the NFL makes their draft one of their biggest events in their leagues year. They make a huge spectacle of the event. This year, the draft will be carried on ESPN, NFL Network, and Fox, and will eat up 3 days of Prime Time television.
Even the NBA draft markets itself well, starting with the intrigue of their lottery system, and broadcasting its draft on ESPN. Meanwhile, MLB only began televising their drafts in the past decade.
So why does the MLB draft lag behind the other major sports? We will get to that in a second, but first it’s important to know the mechanism of the draft itself. Let’s get started.
Like the NFL, the draft order is determined using the inverse of the regular season records to determine the Top 20 picks. The final 10 draft spots are determined by who exits the playoffs first.
The losers of the Wild Card Games will pick 21st and 22nd, the higher pick going to the team with the least amount of regular season wins among the eliminated. This formula is used in the division and championship series. The World Series champs pick 30th, the runners-up select 29th.