MLB  > General MLB  > Do you think the MLB draft can ever be as big as the NFL or NBA draft?
August 23, 2010, 09:56 PM
From the SportsNickel Roundtable

Dan: I don???t think so because it???s so long, and because a lot of people have no clue who the college/high school players are. College baseball, in towns that don???t have a college with a baseball team, is very small and irrelevant and would take a lot just to follow it. Plus, it???s easier to follow NCAAF and NCAAB as well because it???s covered on ESPN all the time. The thing that also hurts the MLB draft is that the players are coming from high school where the NBA and NFL doesn???t allow that. High school baseball isn???t followed from a country standpoint, it???s followed from kids that are in high school and from adults that like watching high school baseball.

Joe: Nope and I am fine with the MLB draft just the way it is. The reason I think the NBAand NFL drafts are so big is that they draft the best of the best from the college ranks and everyone sees these games played, and thus the best players play, on a weekly basis. And then the nation sees the best of the best play in some type of highly promoted tourney or set of post season games that are made for TV for each sports national bragging rights. That builds into the made for TV type of thing so to speak when the NBA and NFL hold their drafts. Baseball isn???t designed that way. I mean college baseball rarely if ever is shown on highly promoted national TV. It just does not draw on that level like college basketball and football for whatever reasons. How many casual fans could tell you the names of the top three or four players in college baseball in any given year? Not very many, I would wager. But I bet the same would not be true for college basketball and football. Just a whole different world for those two sports and it leads into the pro drafts much differently than baseball.

Rich: The MLB draft will never be as big as the NFL or NBA drafts or even the NHL draft for one reason ??? for the most part, it will take 3-5 years before any player drafted sets foot in a MLB stadium (with the rare exception of course). Because of this and the fact that most players drafted never see any MLB time, the draft will never matter to the public. Would the NFL or NBA drafts be as big as they are if the players instead of instantly making the pro club didn???t play for the teams that drafted them for 5 years? No and there???s nothing baseball can do to change that.

David: I agree that Draft Picks should be tradeable, and slotted. If the Yankees didn???t have a pick higher than the 5th round until 2046, and the Mariners had 17 picks in the first round, I think that would be interesting, and give the smaller-market teams a way to compete with solid drafting. I don???t think that the MLB draft will ever be that big, until college baseball is more important, we care about Sam Bradford and Suh because we have seen them on TV a dozen times- how many times did we see Strasburg live before he was moving down AAAers this year?

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September 1, 2010  08:35 PM ET

I agree with Rich's assessment. If the players who are drafted in the MLB draft played the year they were drafted then it would be bigger. Since they don't like they do in the NBA, NFL, and even the NHL it will never be big.

September 10, 2010  07:01 AM ET

I don't think the baseball draft will ever be as big - but much more importantly, I certainly hope it will never be as big. One of the best things about baseball is the relative lack of corruption of college baseball and of universities by the sport (or the money - which is the point of professional sports). Because of the farm system in baseball, guys interested in baseball and not interested in college have a more-or-less equal shot at making it. University baseball programs are not virtual pro operations - university baseball players are more likely to be able to focus on their education and so, if as usually happens they don't make it in the pros, they leave college with what they supposed to be there for. I only wish some kind of farm system existed for basketball and football.


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