Tonight, the Orioles could draft the next great player. I mean, that probably won't happen, but it's possible, which is why the draft is interesting even when the Orioles pick at #25. The possibilities are endless and a night like the draft gives you a chance to imagine the brightest of possibilities for everyone. Plus, the O's are off tonight, so what else are you going to do?
The draft, which gets under way at 7pm on MLB Network, is a spectacle that has changed a lot in recent years. It used to just be all done by a conference call in the middle of the day. Adam Jones, himself a supplemental first round pick back in 2003, once told a group of bloggers, including yours truly, his draft story: He was in a government class in his high school when he got the call that he'd been drafted by the Mariners. I don't think any of tonight's picks will find out that way.
The Orioles will be picking tonight at #25, #36, and #68 overall. There are 3:30-4:30 between picks until after the Orioles pick at #36. It will be one minute between picks for the rest of the night. So, if you want to make sure you see the O's first pick, you probably want to tune in some time around 8:20 Eastern to be safe - you might have to wait a bit. It'll then be about another 30-40 minutes before the O's pick again, and another 30 minutes until the last pick of the night.
Unlike other sports, the MLB studio won't be packed full of players waiting to be drafted. Some of that is because some of these players are still in action in the College World Series, with three possible top ten picks are participating in a matchup today between Vanderbilt and Illinois. They've invited four players this year and in all likelihood they'll be long gone when the O's get to pick.
Instead, the Orioles will probably draft someone you've never seen or heard of, perhaps from a place you've heard of, perhaps from some place you've never thought about before and will never think about again. They'll get signed and if we're lucky we'll see them in MLB for the O's in 2-5 years.
To paraphrase Don Draper, "This is your draft pick. We don't know who he is yet, or what he's gonna be. And that is a wonderful thing."