MLB Week in Review (June 1-7)

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It was that time of year again for the MLB as a new set of young prospects entered the league as the Draft Class of 2018.

Like every year though the MLB Draft is one of the strangest events on the major sports calendar.

Every other league has made a major production of the draft in an attempt to give them another event outside of the season.

It has become a massive show and usually takes place in the offseason as a way for them to keep the conversation going.

The NFL and NHL travel throughout their league to host the event and in the NFL it is beginning to become the second biggest event on the season calendar.

The MLB has never had the same thing as the MLB Draft with the event taking place into the season.

Games are being played throughout the draft and there is no time off to concentrate on the draft itself.

It is also somewhat designed for that lack of concentration because unlike the other league these young players are not going to have much of an impact soon.

In the NFL and NHL, the top players selected in the draft are usually the guys that will come in the very next season.

These are the players that, for the lower ranked teams, can save a franchise throughout the next few years.

In the MLB the development is far slower for players as there are rarely big-name prospects who make an impact on their major league clubs in their first year.

That list of players who come in and have an impact right away is an extremely small one as the differences are massive.

For many players that are drafted the step up from where they play to the majors is a very big one.

High school and college in the states is good baseball but it is nowhere near what even the Single-A team provide.

These players are going from a group of pretty good teams that usually have one or two stars to teams full of the biggest prospects in the game.

The minor league farm systems combine those players that went through the U.S. system as well as those players that have been signed from other countries.

Whether these players are taken from their own systems in their own countries or have been preparing for years in local academies.

These two paths merge and all come together to play some pretty heavy schedules, comparatively, while trying to show that they are worthy of the hype.

Some players end up in the farm systems for years and never quite make it out for one reason or another.

It has been the pattern for a long time in the MLB as they have one of the largest farm systems in professional sports.baseball-sidebar

Every major league team has around five farm teams from Triple-A, Double-A, Class A Advanced, Class A, Class A Short Season as well as Rookie leagues.

These teams all come together to provide more than enough evaluation for players looking to make their way through the system.

For these newly drafted players, their first stop will be Rookie Ball later this year where every team gets their first chance to see what they have.

From that point, they will be spread out throughout the system in an attempt to essentially make them struggle and find out what their issues are.

Throughout this entire process, a player could wait at least three to four years to make their way to the big club.

That slow process of trying to get players ready for the major league where players are miles ahead leads to a sort of anti-climactic draft.

It is exciting to see the new crop and lately more than usual, there are some famous names to look at.

Yet once the draft is over these guys will not be heard from for a while, unless a few light things up through the farm system.

It is possible for anyone to do that but unless they are Bryce Harper or Stephen Strasburg the likelihood of them making the majors before they turn 20 isn’t too great.

So they play the long game and the draft remains a fun but ultimately not entirely important part of the yearly calendar.

For teams, it is an extremely important day and for those diehard fans it is just as fun but for everyone else, it is a nice footnote at the start of the season.

Extra Innings

Top Pick

The Detroit Tigers had the first pick in the draft this year as they look to put the pieces in place for a rebuild. That first piece came with the top pick in the draft as they took Auburn pitcher Casey Mize. He was widely considered the top pick in the draft as the Tigers’ ace may not have the power that team have fallen in love with but his sub-3.00 ERA and his 151 strikeout to 12 walk ratio was enough to have him as the top-ranked pitcher. The Tigers took Mize with the first pick as they now wait to see how the young starter develops in their system.

Staying Away

Heading into the draft this year there was a lot of talk about Luke Heimlich who seemed to be the most talented pitcher in the draft. He is the ace of the best college team in the country and has everything that a team wants in their future star pitcher. That was until a year ago when it was revealed that earlier in his life he had pleaded guilty to sexual abuse of a minor. The story is far more complicated as he has maintained his innocence but did plead guilty, which is not entirely unheard of in these cases. A guilty plea is often suggested by lawyers to avoid trial and lessen the punishment. Still, his status as a sex offender has kept teams away and in his final eligible draft, the talented but complicated pitcher will not get a shot at the majors going undrafted again this time around.

Cell Phone Delay

Fans will always get creative to try to get involved in the game and get their own team any type of advantage. The Boston Red Sox faithful took on a new strategy this week when they began using their cell phone lights during a game against the Detroit Tigers. During the seventh inning, it seemed like the entire crowd was using their cell phone lights causing a visual distraction for the batters at home plate. The Tigers complained to the umpire and tans were asked to turn off the lights before the game could continue on. It is yet another example of fans looking to give their team a boost no matter how they can.

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