There are quite literally buhjillions of ways that baseball is better than football. But it may surprise you that the way each pro league handles the drafts of their respective amateur talents is actually among them. Everybody seems to love the NFL draft, what with all the mock drafts, the hours of talking head coverage or ESPN, the hours of Mel Kiper’s actual talking head on ESPN, and whatnot. The NFL makes it all a big to-do and it gets ratings.
But the MLB draft is way better. How is that, you might ask? Well, ultimately the one big thing that makes the MLB draft better than the NFL draft is that the MLB draft is baseball while the NFL draft is stupid football.
The ceremonial first pitch of the MLB draft is tonight at 7pm EDT and you can watch it live on MLB Network, if you are one of those bougie cake-eaters who can afford that kinda thing, or you can also stream it live on MLB.com like all of the plebs and prols will. Tonight, teams will draft the first round, the Competitive Balance A round, the second round, and the Competitive Balance B round. The Reds have Nos. 5, 47, and 72. Rounds three through ten will be tomorrow, with the rest wrapping up on Wednesday.
The experts, in all of their resplendent wisdom, have projected that your Reds will end up with any one of the five or so top players available when they make their selection at No. 5 overall. If you are a mock draft hound dog, you have probably read all of them by now, so I won’t waste my time linking all of the smart ones here. And if you haven’t read any of the mocks yet, well, I’m still not linking them here because jeez haven’t you heard of Google I’m not a goddamn wet nurse.
A few weeks back, I wrote up short profiles of all of the top players (hitters, pitchers). My favorite of this draft class (aside from Auburn righty Casey Mize, who most assuredly will not be available to the Reds at No. 5), is Oregon State infielder Nick Madrigal (pictured above). He has been rumored to be eyeballed by the Reds, along with two University of Florida standouts righty Brady Singer and infielder Jon India. But after Mize at the top, there are about eight different players who could go in any random order in the top ten. This draft is pretty deep, especially at the top. Which is a good thing. I doubt the Reds can really screw up their top pick.
One more interesting thing to keep an eye on is what the Reds do with the Nos. 47 and 72 picks. Callis and Mayo at MLB.com both mention that the Reds are really interested in University of Oklahoma quarterback / outfielder Kyler Murray. The Reds have made a thing in recent years of spending top 100 picks and premium signing bonuses on super-athletic multi-sport guys like Murray. They lured Billy Hamilton and Taylor Trammell away from big SEC football scholarships to play for them, as well as stud hoopster Amir Garrett. They could try to do the same with Murray.
Of course, there is some risk in that kind of strategy. Murray is set to inherit the starting quarterback position from Heisman Trophy winner and top NFL draft pick (hey, draft reference!) Baker Mayfield, so maybe he actually isn’t all that excited about passing that up to play minor league baseball.
Anyway, stay tuned to the draft this evening to find out what happens. And playyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy ball!