The MLB first-year player draft has gained a ton of traction in terms of media exposure in recent years, and the 2014 edition will continue that upward trend.
Baseball fanatics will have the ability to watch all 40 rounds of the draft as they get an early look at the players who could lead their favorite teams to a World Series title years down the line.
There is no telling how the vast majority of these prospects will develop and pan out, but it is still exciting to think about their potential. For those who want to catch a glimpse of Major League Baseball's future, here is everything you need to know about when and where to watch the 2014 MLB draft.
Where: MLB Network Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey
When: Thursday, June 5 to Saturday, June 7
TV and Live Stream Schedule
|Draft Day||Rounds||Date||Time (ET)||TV||Live Stream|
|Day 1||1-Comp. B||Thursday, June 5||7 p.m.||MLB Network||MLB.com|
|Day 2||3-10||Friday, June 6||1 p.m.||N/A||MLB.com|
|Day 3||11-40||Saturday, June 7||1 p.m.||N/A||MLB.com|
MLB Draft Order
|3||Chicago White Sox|
|9||Toronto Blue Jays|
|10||New York Mets|
|11||Toronto Blue Jays|
|13||San Diego Padres|
|14||San Francisco Giants|
|15||Los Angeles Angels|
|17||Kansas City Royals|
|20||Tampa Bay Rays|
|22||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|26||Boston Red Sox|
|27||St. Louis Cardinals|
*Entire draft order available at MLB.com.
Teams to Watch
The Houston Astros have the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB draft for the third consecutive season, and they have an opportunity to continue building upon their elite farm system. Shortstop Carlos Correa and pitcher Mark Appel are coming along nicely, and it will be interesting to see who Houston adds to the mix.
There is no clear-cut lock to be selected first in this draft, but it appears as though there are a handful of elite prospects. According to Jim Callis of MLB.com, a trio of potential ace pitchers have separated themselves from the field:
Carlos Rodon, Brady Aiken and Tyler Kolek could all potentially go No. 1. Rodon is the most polished of the triumvirate since he played a few seasons at NC State, but Aiken and Kolek may have higher ceilings as high school products.
Houston has an extremely tough decision on its hands that could possibly alter the future of the franchise. If only one of the three pitchers develops into a true star, then the Astros absolutely must secure that prospect.
Pairing one of them with Appel could set the Astros up to dominate Major League Baseball just a few short years from now.
The Astros haven't really given any indication who they are leaning toward, but Kolek's father, James, revealed that the organization planned to meet with Kolek prior to the draft, per Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the Houston Chronicle.
He's not going to work out, but he's going to go sit down with (Astros general manager) Jeff Luhnow. Jeff Luhnow has requested to visit with him. I'm glad. I think that's just part of the process. I don't know how many they have, but I'm glad they're talking to him on June 2. At least they still have him in their thought process.
The Astros essentially hold the entire draft in the palm of their hand, and every talent evaluator in the league will be interested to see what they do.
If the top three picks hold true to form, the first big surprise in the 2014 MLB draft could come when the Chicago Cubs select at No. 4. The Cubs would probably like to add one of the big three arms in this draft, but it is entirely possible that they will all be off the board. If that is the case, then the Cubbies will have plenty of intriguing prospects to choose from.
Chicago could stick with the pitching theme and nab someone like Tyler Beede or Kyle Freeland. It could also land the class of the draft in terms of hitters. Opinions differ on who that might be, but Aaron Fitt of Baseball America believes the distinction belongs to Rancho Bernardo High School catcher Alex Jackson:
@TommyM44 I would probably put Alex Jackson at No. 4 on my board, but of course Cubs have no shortage of power bats; could use arms...— Aaron Fitt (@aaronfitt) May 16, 2014
After taking renowned power hitter Kris Bryant in the first round last year, bringing in another big bat like Jackson would give the Cubs a fantastic nucleus as far as their future lineup is concerned. Jackson is far from a sure thing, though, and there is no guarantee that he will remain a catcher as he progresses toward the big leagues.
The Cubs may also get lucky and have one of the top pitchers fall to them, so they could actually be in an advantageous position. The rebuild has been slow and painful for Cubs fans, but it may finally be coming together.
Toronto Blue Jays
Which team will create the most intrigue in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft?
No team has more ammo in the first round this year than the Toronto Blue Jays. In addition to the No. 9 overall selection, the Jays will also select 11th overall after failing to sign 2013 first-rounder Phil Bickford. That obviously wasn't an ideal resolution, but Toronto has a chance to stock its farm system even more this year.
There should be plenty of intriguing pitchers and hitters available at No. 9 and No. 11, and Toronto has the luxury of going in any number of different directions. One intriguing scenario that could play out would involve pitcher Tyler Beede, who Toronto drafted and failed to sign in 2011.
Despite that, Toronto would be willing to select Beede again if he is the best player on its board when it picks this year, according to Jamie Campbell of Sportsnet:
MLB Draft: I'm told the @BlueJays would select Tyler Beede if he was best available. Beede ranked #8 by MLB. Jays have 9 and 11 overall.— Jamie Campbell (@SNETCampbell) May 6, 2014
The Jays may not come away from this draft with a truly elite prospect, but they could net two very solid players. Whether they decide to go with two pitchers, two hitters or one of each, they have a real chance to make themselves contenders down the line.
It has been a long time since Toronto has been truly competitive, but perhaps this draft will serve as a springboard.
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