The Impact of the MLB Draft

Draft days for professional sports are made into quite the production. The MLB draft however fun and interesting to watch, doesn’t usually have a huge impact on the drafting teams. Yes. It’s very exciting to see young talent drafted right out of high school. And in the days leading up to the draft, sports analysts and broadcasters will debate which teams will pick which top prospect, and all that I can ever think about this is “does it really matter?” 

Sure the Braves drafted a top pitching prospect Kyle Wright from Vanderbilt. He’ll stay in their minor league system anywhere from 3-5 years and then maybe make an appearance for the team. The truth of the matter is most of these young prospects won’t even end up playing for the team that drafted them. At some point some of these top guys could be used as trade bait if a particular team should fall into a “win now” situation in the next two or three years. 

I think about the Red Sox last season. Tossing all of their young talent to the highest bidder to boost their chances at another World Series. Mocada, Kopech, Basabe, and Diaz all went to the White Sox for Chris Sale. Mocada and Kopech were two young talented players I thought for sure we’d see playing for Boston in the coming years. I remember particular fanfare being made around Mocada and his abilities at the plate. And then just like that he’s off to play for a different pair of Sox. 

There’s of course absolutely nothing wrong with this trading process. It’s all part of the game. As for the teams that do develop and hold on to their first round picks, I salute you. There’s nothing more magical that watching a player develop through a teams farm system and then eventually make his debut for them. My point here is that because of the way that this usually plays out, is not to put such weight and over analyzation on what teams selected who and when durning the draft. 

The NFL draft is really the only case where drafted players have the option to make an impact on the team that drafted them right away. So it makes sense to have all that coverage and daily updates. But it’s clear that the MLB draft never has that immediate of an affect of what ever team drafts a particular player. To the point where one broadcaster even said “I guess will see how this pick works out in 5 years.” 

All of this aside, I can see how it’s still fun to watch. In fact, one of my favorite things is just seeing the reaction of the players once they’ve been drafted. Celebrating with their families, that reaction of pure joy on their faces knowing this is everything they’ve worked so hard for, and at the same time, that there’s still so much further to go. 

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