The Major League Baseball draft will take place on Tuesday, but despite extensive marketing efforts and putting the draft on the MLB Network the draft will still has little appeal and popularity.
Baseball is considered to be one of the four main sports,I believe its ranks second to the NFL in popularity, but it might have the least important draft of all the sports.
I am a die hard baseball fan who can watch any game at any time and someone who participates in many fantasy baseball leagues. I follow the game and know a majority of all the players in the league but the baseball draft does not interest me.
Last year I tried to watch the entire first round but it failed to keep my attention after the Orioles selection, a far cry from the NFL Draft where I hang on every pick.
Here are the reasons I believe the draft is not popular:
- It is 50 rounds long:Nobody wants to sit in front of their television or computer and watch a draft that is 50 rounds long. If the average baseball fan has never heard of any of the players in the first round, they surely won’t know any of the players drafted in the 50th round.
In every other sport that has a draft the player drafted has a legitimate chance of making the pro team the same season he is drafted. This is not the case in baseball. More often then not a player is tucked away in the team’s minor league system for two or three years which normally makes the fans forget about them.(obviously this doesn’t apply to Matt Wieters).
Hockey is the only other sport with a Minor League but players don’t spend nearly the time in the minors in hockey as they do in the minors in baseball. It is hard to be excited about a player if you know you won’t see him in a big league uniform for three years.
This happens a lot in the baseball draft. Any player that enters the draft who is not a senior in college can return to school and re- enter the draft at another time if they do not like their draft position or team that drafted them. Mark Teixeira is a prime example of this, he was drafted by the Red Sox out of high school but then bypassed signing with them to attend Georgia Tech and was later drafted by the Rangers.
In every sport players try and refuse to play for the team that drafted them, just look at Eli Manning and Steve Francis, but this is much less frequent then in the baseball draft. To me this should not be allowed at all, if you get drafted, you should not have the option of returning to school.
-Nobody knows who these guys are:For the most part the average fan has no idea who more then 5 players in the Major League Baseball draft are. The reason for this is because of the lack of tv exposure of college baseball.
College football and college basketball are immensely popular and the players are well known because they play on tv every single week and this has even trickled down to the high school level in both sports.
No high school baseball games are shown on televison and the only time you can find a college baseball game is around College World Series time, but even then only a few games are televised. It is hard to get excited about a draft pick if you know nothing about the player and have never seen him play.
-Teams aren’t built through the draft:Since there is no salary cap in baseball the draft is virtually irrelevant when it comes to building a championship ball club. Why spend the time and man power to travel all over the country scouting players when you can just pay millions of dollars to fill whatever holes you need.
There are a few exceptions, but until there is a salary cap the easiest way to be successful in the Major Leagues is to buy free agents.
I consider myself to be very knowledgeable about all sports and someone who watches any sporting event on television but I will not go out of my way to watch the baseball draft on Tuesday.
For the reasons I mentioned above the Major League Baseball draft will never be popular no matter how many times it gets televised
For a sport that has had so much negative publicity, making the draft popular should be a priority and one of the way to save the game.
As of now, the draft is just another mistake in the long line of mistakes made by Major League Baseball and like the Orioles I hope it one day becomes relevant in my lifetime.