It was announced yesterday that Major League Baseball’s 2008 First-Year Player Draft will be carried live by ESPN2 from 2:00-6:00 p.m. (EDT) on Thursday, June 5th. The Draft will be held at The Milk House at Disney’s Wide World of Sports Complex in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Several of the top prospects will be invited to attend the Draft, which will be free to the public.
ESPN2 will air the choices made in both the first round, when there will be five minutes in between picks, and the compensation round, when there will be one minute in between selections. Following the pick-by-pick coverage through the compensation round, ESPN2’s telecast will continue as the Draft is ongoing until 6:00 p.m. (EDT). After the completion of ESPN2’s coverage, the first day of the Draft will proceed until approximately 9:00 p.m. (EDT). On Friday, June 6th, the Draft will resume at 11:30 a.m. (EDT) and then will continue through its conclusion.
“Major League Baseball was encouraged by the very positive response both among baseball fans and our industry to the national telecast of last year’s First-Year Player Draft,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “It represented an important first step, and there is great potential to further build this event in the years ahead.”
The selection order of the First-Year Player Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. The Tampa Bay Rays will have the first selection of the 2008 Draft.
(Select the image provided to see the 2008 Draft pick order - PDF)
Compensation picks have been assigned to Clubs whose Type A or Type B free agents signed with other Clubs and/or to Clubs who did not sign a selection from the first three rounds of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft. Two clubs, the Minnesota Twins and the New York Mets, will have two first-round choices.
The Draft will have 50 rounds and will conclude after all 30 teams have passed on a selection or after the final selection of the 50th round, whichever comes first.
As part of the festivities preceding the start of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, Major League Baseball will hold a special Negro Leagues Player Draft. Major League Clubs will “draft” surviving former Negro League players, who will represent every player who did not have the opportunity to play Major League Baseball. The special Negro Leagues Player Draft will begin at 1:00 p.m. (EDT) and will be broadcast live on MLB.com, the official website of Major League Baseball.
MLB.com will offer comprehensive coverage of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, highlighted by two days of live multimedia coverage from Florida on BaseballChannel.TV and live interactive pick-by-pick results via the exclusive Draft Tracker.
Source: Major League Baseball Press Release