The Houston Astros are running out of time to determine which player they want to call on to lead their franchise back to prominence at the 2014 Major League Baseball draft, otherwise known as the first-year player draft.
Following another dismal season, the Astros will pick first for the third straight year.
It all starts Thursday night with coverage of the first two rounds of the three-day, 40-round event. Below, you'll find daily start times, live stream info and more for the upcoming 2014 MLB draft.
When: Thursday, June 5 through Saturday, June 7
TV: MLB Network
Live Stream: MLB.com
|Date||Rounds||Start Time (ET)||Watch|
|Thu, June 5||Rounds 1-2||7 p.m.||MLB Network, MLB.com|
|Fri, June 6||Rounds 3-10||1 p.m.||MLB.com|
|Sat, June 7||Rounds 11-40||1 p.m.||MLB.com|
*Click here to view complete draft order via MLB.com.
The 2014 first-year player draft is a critical process for all 30 major league franchises. However, it's often overshadowed by the ongoing regular season, which is starting to heat up this time of year.
Nonetheless, this weekend, baseball fans will be able to watch each selection on MLB Network and MLB.com.
Do you plan on watching the 2014 MLB draft?
It all begins on Thursday at 6 p.m. ET with a special draft preview show that will air on MLB Network. The first round will get underway at 7 p.m. ET and can also be streamed live at MLB.com. The first two rounds will take place on Day 1.
On Friday afternoon, the action picks back up with Rounds 3 through 10 airing on MLB.com. The draft resumes at 1 p.m. ET, and coverage continues until the conclusion of the 10th round.
The draft will wrap up on Saturday with the final 30 rounds. The whirlwind process will begin at 1 p.m. ET on MLB.com and continue until the final selection has been announced.
Although it remains to be seen how this year's draft will shake out, there certainly appears to be a consensus when it comes to the top prospects available in Round 1. Left-handed ace Brady Aiken is arguably the top candidate to go No. 1 overall to Houston on Thursday night, and NC State junior Carlos Rodon is another potential No. 1 overall selection, as noted by CBS Sports baseball writer Jon Heyman:
long way to go 'til june, but rhp tyler kolek & lhp brady aiken have joined lhp carlos rodon as candidates for top pick— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) May 2, 2014
Aiken is a sensational athlete who showcased his strengths with Team USA at the 18-and-under World Cup last fall. He went 2-0 and was dominant in the championship game, striking out 10 and surrendering just one run in seven innings on the mound.
Meanwhile, Rodon has been compared to David Price and appears ready to take the next step, stressing the importance of staying focused on the things he can control back in April, per SI.com's Jeff Bradley:
"I try not to think about the draft. I know people are going to talk about it and write about it, but I'm just trying get better and to help our team improve."
In addition to Aiken and Rodon, right-hander Tyler Kolek and catcher-outfielder Alex Jackson are names to know. Both are seemingly locks to go in the top five and appear poised to become difference-makers at the next level one day.
We'll have to wait to see which top prospects will land where, but there's no doubt there are a plethora of future major league stars set to emerge from this year's draft.
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