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Thursday June 10, 2010 1:24 am

Latest draft picks to be shelved for next few years




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, Drafts, MLB,

Bryce HarperBryce Harper, a 17-year-old college outfielder was taken as the first-overall pick by the Washington Nationals. The last overall pick belonged to the New York Yankees, who took college junior catcher James Rice. After three days, 50 rounds, and 1,525 picks, the 2010 MLB Draft is finally complete. Despite the fact that there are only as many as 750 players on major league rosters at a time (1,200 when teams expand in Sept.), drafting over 1,500 players every year is far from overkill for this sport.

With a multi-layered minor league system that ranges from Rookie Leagues up to Triple-A, the later rounds of the MLB Draft are primarily used to flesh out rosters. Many of those picked and signed will never step onto a Major League Baseball field and know it, but they are prepared to ride the buses and watch as better players rise above them all for the love of the game. It’s a dedication that leaves some bitter and others the premise for movies starring Kevin Costner or Dennis Quaid.

The biggest problem with the MLB Draft is how slow it takes to see the payoffs. For the next few weeks we’ll hear about the various teams signing their players but then 99 percent of the picks will be unheard of for the next two or three years. At just 17, don’t expect to see Harper in a Nationals uniform next season like the 21-year-old Strasburg. People spend weeks and months researching these kids, but just as quickly as they become household names, they are forgotten in the bog of a massive baseball machine.

Baseball is the only sport where it literally takes most players years to go from the Draft to the big stage. Even the single year with Strasburg was a long time for fans to wait and he’s not even expected to finish the season with Washington. However, this is how it has always been with baseball. As fleeting as the system is, there seems to be no desire to eliminate a step or two along the way for the majority of young players and sadly for the fans at home, those picked two-through-1,575 in this year’s draft will likely not be remembered for years to come.

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