The Major League Baseball draft begins this evening, June 4th, and will go on for three days. As with the NFL draft, this is the process by which young hopefuls are chosen to play professionally. Also like the NFL, draft order is determined by the previous season's success. The teams with the worst records - in this year's draft the Houston Astros, Minnesota Twins, Seattle Mariners, Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals - will start the draft. However the determination of picking order is one of the few things the NFL and MLB draft have in common. Here are five big differences:
The Hoopla - There always seems to be significantly more excitement and chatter surround the NFL draft than the MLB draft. Perhaps this is due to the higher profile of many of the players in the NFL draft. Because college football receives more media attention than college baseball, with bowl games and awards like the Heisman Trophy, there are players in the NFL draft that are already household names, hence the increased anticipation and prognostication of where they will play professionally.
Timing - The MLB draft takes place during the baseball season, whereas the NFL draft occurs during the off season. This may be another reason for the increased hoopla surrounding the NFL draft. Football fans are hankering for coverage of their team and flock towards draft coverage. However during the MLB draft, baseball fans are in the thick of the season, following their favorite teams, and the draft is more of a side show.
Player Paths - In the NFL, players that are drafted usually find themselves not only on the team the following season, but many of them earn starting positions. The path to being part of the team by which they are drafted is relatively short. Not so in MLB. The majority of players drafted in MLB spend time in the minor leagues, sometimes for years, before working their way up to the major league. Many players are drafted right out of high school, and choose not to sign with a major league team but rather go on to play in college instead.
Position Targets - Much of the speculation in the NFL draft is regarding what each teams greatest needs are and who they might pick to fill those needs. Though at times NFL teams do pick the best player available, it is more common that they asses the holes in their current team and make draft choices based on which players will best fill those gaps. This is not usually the case in the MLB draft since players often do not end up on the team for years to come, if at all, and needs will likely change in that time span.
Draft Rounds - The NFL draft has seven rounds, the MLB draft has 40. This is a huge difference. However given that almost all players drafted in the NFL sign and play with the team by which they are drafted the following year, whereas they majority of MLB players drafted don't play for the team the following year, if ever, it makes sense.
Timothy Rapp, "MLB Draft Order 2012," bleacherreport.com
Lisa is a married mother of two living in the suburbs of Cincinnati . She is a long-time Reds fans yet was away at college when the 1990 Cincinnati Reds won the World Series and was not able to attend games or celebrate appropriately. She looks forward to the day when the Reds win it all again.
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