Major League Baseball will hold day one of the 2018 MLB Draft on Monday, June 4th at MLB Network’s Studio 42 in Secaucus, New Jersey. This year’s Draft will begin live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 7:00 p.m. (ET). Prior to the start of the Draft, MLB Network will air a Draft preview show, also simulcast on MLB.com, at 6:00 p.m. (ET).
The selection order of the Draft is determined by the reverse order of finish at the close of the previous championship season. For just the second time in team history, the Detroit Tigers will have the first overall selection of the Draft. Previously, Detroit drafted right-handed pitcher Matt Anderson with the top overall selection in 1997.
The Tampa Bay Rays (16th, 31st, 32nd, 56th, 71st) and the Kansas City Royals (18th, 33rd, 34th, 40th, 58th) each have a Major League-best five selections within the first 78 picks during the first day of the Draft. The Chicago Cubs (24th, 62nd, 77th, 78th) and the Cleveland Indians (29th, 35th, 41st, 67th) will each make four selections on the Draft’s opening day.
The Draft will once again feature Competitive Balance Rounds, which were originally agreed upon as a part of the 2012-2016 Basic Agreement between MLB and the Major League Baseball Players Association, and restructured as part of the 2017-2021 Basic Agreement. The Competitive Balance Rounds give Clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets, an additional draft pick each year. Eight teams were awarded CB Round A picks, and six teams were given CB Round B picks. The groups of teams in each of the CB Rounds will alternate each year through 2021. Additionally, the Draft will include free agent compensation picks, which were also restructured as part of the 2017-2021 Basic Agreement. Compensation picks in 2018 include picks 31 through 35, immediately following the first round, and picks 75 through 78, which follow CB Round B.
The Draft will have 40 rounds, and a Club may pass on its selection in any round and not forfeit its right to participate in other rounds. The 2018 Draft will span three days, as it has since 2009. For day one on June 4th, Round 1 and Competitive Balance Round A will air exclusively on MLB Network and MLB.com. Beginning with the first pick in Round 2 and continuing through overall pick number 78, the Draft will air live exclusively on MLB.com.
The intervals between selections during round one will last four minutes, followed by one-minute intervals between selections for the remainder of day one. The Draft will resume at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Tuesday, June 5th, when selections will be made for rounds 3-10, with one-minute intervals between selections. Day three of the Draft on Wednesday, June 6th will begin at 12:00 p.m. (ET), featuring picks in rounds 11-40, with no time delay between selections.
Beginning with the Draft preview show on Monday, June 4th at 6:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Peter Gammons, Dan O’Dowd, Harold Reynolds and MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo will anchor live coverage featuring news, analysis, interviews with Club front office personnel and representatives, footage from Club draft rooms, and features and interviews with prospects and newly drafted players. Coverage will also include contributions from MLB Network analysts including Hall of Famers Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz and Jim Thome, plus Sean Casey, Ron Darling, Ryan Dempster, Mark DeRosa, Cliff Floyd, Joe Girardi, Al Leiter, Mike Lowell, Carlos Peña, Dan Plesac, and Bill Ripken, as well as Jim Callis of MLB.com and Carlos Collazo of Baseball America.
Fans can visit MLB.com for exclusive live programming of the Draft’s final two days with a live draft show at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on June 5th, also taking place at MLB Network’s studios, followed by a live pick-by-pick stream and draft and scouting expert commentary from Mayo, Callis and former Major League general manager Jim Duquette. On the site, fans also can follow every pick with It Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of more than 1,500 draft-eligible players with statistics, scouting reports and video highlights. On Twitter, the official Draft Twitter account, @MLBDraft, will provide up-to-the-moment updates and commentary using the official Draft hashtag, #MLBDraft, while @MLBDraftTracker will tweet all picks as they are made.
Each of the 30 Major League Clubs will be represented at the Draft by one of its former players and/or a member of its front office. Last year’s representatives included Hall of Famer George Brett, legendary manager Jim Leyland and 1976 National League Cy Young Award winner Randy Jones, amongst others. The Club representatives who will attend the 2018 Draft will be announced in the weeks ahead, as well as information on MLB’s annual Draft Luncheon for media members. In addition to the Club representatives, four players chosen in the first round of the Draft last year were in attendance. Amateur players will again be invited to this year’s festivities.