Just hours remain until the start of the 2011 MLB draft, and for the first time in three years, there’s no overwhelming favorite for the No. 1 overall pick. Although UCLA righty Gerrit Cole is the likely choice for the Pittsburgh Pirates’ top selection, it wouldn’t be implausible for Pittsburgh to go with Rice’s Anthony Rendon or Virginia’s Danny Hultzen instead.
We’ll find out for certain what the Pirates are doing when the draft begins at 7 P.M. Eastern time, when it will stream live on MLB.com. After tonight’s first-round and supplemental-round picks, the remaining 49 rounds will take place over the next two days (starting at noon Eastern each day).
As often, pitching is likely to be the story of the first round. In addition to Cole and the left-handed Hultzen, Cole’s UCLA teammate Trevor Bauer and high-schooler Archie Bradley are among the likely top selections.
The deep crop of pitchers could be especially good news for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who boast two picks in the top 10. Arizona’s own No. 3 pick is supplemented by a No. 7 compensatory selection after the club was unable to sign 2010 first-rounder Barret Loux.
Read on for all the latest buzz on which prospects are heading where as the draft approaches.