Happy MLB rule four first year players draft day. Tonight is of course the MLB draft and for those like Sean Hogan and Ryan Sullivan it is one of the most exciting days on the baseball calendar. For me it is a day that I like to pay attention to and I'm interested in who the Nats are going to take in the second round but to me it is just going to be a name.
For most people the MLB draft is just a list of names. Players you never knew existed who will be relegated to the minors where you will then forget again that they do exist. Years later they will wind up near the top of prospect lists and then everyone will rave about them and be excited when they make their major league debut, but for now they are just names.
College baseball is gaining in popularity and it is likely that the College World Series will set records this year, but I can't tell you who is going to be selected number one overall or anything about him whereas I'm very familiar with someone like Karl Anthony Towns. To compare the popularity of college baseball to college basketball is foolish. It isn't even close. March Madness is one of the biggest events on the sports calendar and the College World Series is just something that happens. The players being taken in the NFL and NBA drafts are already stars whereas the ones taken in the MLB draft are names and some of those will become stars in a few years.
I still like to watch the MLB draft because I like to get the information on the players that are going to be selected. I remember far too many names from past Nationals drafts. I doubt many remember Stephen King the baseball player. That was a fun time when he was selected and in the Nationals system. I so wanted him to succeed just because his name was Stephen King. Or Sean Black, the original one that got away. The only feeling I have about the MLB draft and what I know will upset me is too many pitchers will be taken.
MLB has a weird paradox. Pitchers are unpredictable so having more pitchers in your minor league system means the better chance that one of them will become good so teams load up on pitching prospects. Position player prospects are both easier to project and develop but because of the unpredictability of pitchers more pitchers will be selected in the early rounds than position players. There are a few teams that have focused on position players recently and reaped the benefits of other MLB teams not doing so, the Cubs for example, but for the most part teams don't care and just keep selecting pitchers.
Maybe with no first round pick and probably the top 30 to 40 pitchers off the board by the time the Nationals select they'll one of the top 25 position players in the draft instead, but knowing Mike Rizzo it is likely to be a polished college pitcher or a pitcher with some injury that made him fall. The Nationals system is built on pitching and no one can escape the saying that you win with pitching. So I fully expect the Nationals to continue to go with the flow in the draft and I'll be fine with it because Mike Rizzo has done a damn good job of doing baseball convention better than most everyone else.