Skip to content

It’s Draft Day

Jun 4, 2012, 9:47 AM EDT

Mark Appel

The Rule 4 draft is today.  That’s the fancy way of saying “the regular old draft.” It used to go on until teams got tired of picking, maybe reaching a hundred rounds. Then it was cut to 50. It’s now a crisp 40 rounds. I fully expect you have your team’s 40 picks all mapped out and are, as we speak, painting yourself in team colors and heading to Madison Square Garden for the insanity.

Oh, wait.  This is not the NFL or NBA so the insanity is kept to a minimum.  Indeed, no one in this draft is going to be a household name already, let alone someone who is going to immediately change the fortunes of the team which selects them.  Baseball just doesn’t work like that.  Which is probably good because I don’t think I could stomach some five-hour glitzy prime-time telecast with baseball’s equivalent of Chris Berman and Mel Kiper barking at me.

Overall, draft experts are saying that there isn’t much in the way of extreme impact talent a la Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg, so unless you’re a big fan of amateur baseball or religiously read Baseball America, Kevin Goldstein or Keith Law, you probably don’t know a ton of these dudes. Confession: I don’t either. It’s enough to keep up with the majors and high minors. I’m sort of lost when it comes to the draft — there are people whose full time job it is to follow it — so we’re reading the same stuff in that regard.

It’s even more complicated this year, as several new rules besides the round limits are in place:

Under baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, teams will have a pool of bonus money from which to sign players. The Astros, for example, have about $11.2 million to use as bonuses on their 11 picks through the 10th round. The Twins, who have 13 picks in 10 rounds, have about $12.4 million to use for bonuses. Teams face a punitive tax and the possibility of losing draft picks if they stray from the prescribed bonuses.

All of the teams have been thinking about this since the new CBA was signed, but I imagine it’s still kind of scary for them.  Add in to it the fact that the signing deadline for drafted players has been moved up to mid-July, and there is added pressure.

So, lots of uncertainty. But I do know this much: the Astros pick first and are widely expected to take Stanford right-hander Mark Appel, who (a) happens to throw close to 100 m.p.h.; and (b) is from Houston.  And there is nothing as old and time-tested in the baseball draft as tall, hard-throwing Texas pitchers, so it’s not all unusual.

Latest Posts
  1. Both the Phillies and the Rangers did well in the Cole Hamels trade

    Jul 30, 2015, 7:33 AM EDT

    Ruben Amaro Getty Images

    Trades are judged twice: when they’re made and a couple of years later when we see how they turned out. For now, however, this is a win-win deal for Texas and Philadelphia.

  2. Settling the Scores: Wednesday’s results

    Jul 30, 2015, 7:02 AM EDT

    Gattis Tucker Getty Images

    The Astros regain the lead in the AL West by taking another one from the Angels.

  3. Pirates add Joe Blanton from Royals

    Jul 30, 2015, 1:12 AM EDT

    Kansas City Royals v Chicago White Sox Getty Images

    In a bit of an oddity, two World Series contenders made a trade.

  4. Video: Jose Altuve makes tremendous play at second base

    Jul 29, 2015, 11:31 PM EDT

    Jose Altuve Jose Altuve

    Houston defeated Anaheim 6-3 to jump back into first place in the American League West.

  5. Rangers land ace left-hander Cole Hamels from Phillies

    Jul 29, 2015, 10:46 PM EDT

    Philadelphia at Chicago Cubs Getty Images

    It’s a massive two-team, eight-player blockbuster deal that will net the Phillies a frontline starter for this year and years to come while injecting more young talent into the Phillies’ under-construction minor league system.

  6. Matt Holliday leaves game after re-injuring his right quad

    Jul 29, 2015, 9:31 PM EDT

    St Louis Cardinals v Pittsburgh Pirates AP

    It’s now even more imperative that St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak secures a first baseman before the July 31 trade deadline.

  7. Video: Troy Tulowitzki goes way yard in Blue Jays debut

    Jul 29, 2015, 8:58 PM EDT

    Troy Tulowitzki Troy Tulowitzki

    Troy Tulowitzki struck out swinging in his first Blue Jays at-bat Wednesday night against the Phillies, but he unloaded on this Jerome Williams pitch in his second trip to the plate …

  8. Report: Mets “pushing very hard” for Carlos Gomez

    Jul 29, 2015, 8:12 PM EDT

    Carlos Gomez, Molly Melowski AP

    There’s been a lot of speculation that these two could be a fit, and now it may be close to happening …

  9. Video: Andrew McCutchen hit a Little League home run

    Jul 29, 2015, 7:44 PM EDT

    Andrew McCutchen AP

    Andrew McCutchen launched a traditional two-run homer in the top of the fifth inning Wednesday in the Pirates’ 10-4 rout of the Twins and then went Little League style in the top of the sixth …

  10. Mike Trout out again Wednesday due to left wrist injury

    Jul 29, 2015, 7:01 PM EDT

    Mike Trout AP

    An MRI taken Tuesday ruled out anything serious, but Trout does have a bit of wrist inflammation.

  11. Rangers “close to getting” Phillies ace Cole Hamels

    Jul 29, 2015, 6:17 PM EDT

    Cole Hamels AP

    The very latest on the Cole Hamels trade front …

  12. The Tigers are going to “reboot;” plan to trade Price and Cespedes

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:44 PM EDT

    tigers logo Getty Images

    They’re in fourth place and their best player isn’t coming back for a month. Makes all sorts of sense.

  13. Three Yankees minor league pitchers suspended for steroids

    Jul 29, 2015, 3:30 PM EDT

    syringe

    Some real old school mentality being demonstrated there.

  14. Justin Verlander has his best start in two years

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:54 PM EDT

    Justin Verlander

    It was Verlander’s second straight eight inning, one-run performance.

  15. Chris Capuano designated for assignment by the Yankees

    Jul 29, 2015, 2:15 PM EDT

    Chris Capuano Yankees Getty Images

    Capuano failed to make it out of the first inning in Tuesday’s start.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. C. Hamels (5008)
  2. T. Tulowitzki (3913)
  3. J. Cueto (3721)
  4. A. Rodriguez (3702)
  5. M. Trout (3592)
  1. C. Gonzalez (3310)
  2. J. Reyes (3045)
  3. T. Clippard (2951)
  4. C. Gomez (2926)
  5. D. Price (2712)