Why MLB Should Hold a Draft this Year
Last night, the NFL and ESPN worked their hardest to put together an entertaining draft. While the typical fan faire was absent, the NFL still put together a fun product. Per usual, teams shocked the world with surprising picks – like the Packers trading up to draft quarterback Jordan Love – and 32 athletes received their first taste of life in the pros. Also, fans got a look at NFL coaches, executives, and player’s homes and families. For a brief moment, sports fans had a new event to overreact about.
No, this is not a long-rambling post about the NFL Draft on a baseball blog. Instead, it is a reminder about the importance a new, fresh event has on reinvigorating the sports world. Which comes to my next point: MLB should absolutely have a draft at some point this year. Yes, it would be difficult, but baseball has the capabilities to do something like this and fans could really use some new content from America’s Pastime.
One of the biggest issues surrounding a draft would be scouting young players. After all, most, if not all, high school and collegiate seasons have been cancelled and in-person visits with players cannot happen. That being said, most teams have already scouted top prospects throughout last spring and fall. Also, with recorded footage and past reports, Major League Teams have more resources at their fingertips than ever before to make educated picks regarding their prospective talent.
Even though the MLB draft has taken a backseat to its NFL and NBA counterparts, the MLB Draft still serves as a source of new life in the sport. Over the past decade alone, some of baseball’s most iconic players have started their MLB careers shaking the hand of the league’s commissioner. Mike Trout, Carlos Correa, and Aaron Judge are just three of the star players who wore their team’s jersey for the first time on the MLB draft stage (side note: Correa was drafted in 2012, while Judge was drafted by the Yankees in 2013. Feel old yet?).
Yes, having a draft remotely would change the first moment many fans would get to see these budding stars. That does not mean that these players cannot show their personality. The NFL Draft showed just how much fun you can have seeing a player with their families in their homes reacting to the news that they have been drafted.
The MLB Draft would give fans and young players a glimmer of hope that there might still be baseball in the future. With the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the 2020 MLB season as a whole, the draft would provide an outlet for baseball to showcase its new talent and willingness to adapt in a changing culture. Even without a podium or large gathering of players, Major League Baseball still has all of the incentives to have a player draft at some point this summer.