Major League Baseball will hold day one of the 2019 MLB Draft on Monday, June 3rd 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 history, the Baltimore Orioles will have the first overall selection of the Draft. Previously, Baltimore drafted right-handed pitcher Ben McDonald with the top overall selection in 1989.
The Arizona Diamondbacks (16th, 26th, 33rd, 34th, 56th, 74th, 75th) have a Major League-best seven selections within the first 78 picks during the first day of the Draft. The Pittsburgh Pirates (18th, 37th, 57th, 72nd) and the Tampa Bay Rays (22nd, 36th, 40th, 61st) will each make four selections on the Draft’s opening day.
The Draft will once again feature Competitive Balance Rounds A and B, which give Clubs with the lowest revenues and in the smallest markets an additional draft pick each year. Seven teams were awarded picks in Round A (picks 35-41 overall), while eight teams were given picks in Round B (picks 70-77 overall). The groups of teams in each of the Competitive Balance Rounds will alternate each year through 2021. Additionally, the first day of the Draft will feature free agent compensation picks, including picks 33 and 34, immediately following the first round, as well as pick 78, which will follow 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 2019 Draft will span three days, as it has since 2009. For day one on June 3rd, the first 41 selections, through 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 three to 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 4th, when selections will be made for rounds 3-10, with one minute intervals between selections. Day three of the Draft on Wednesday, June 5th 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 3rd at 6:00 p.m. ET, MLB Network’s Greg Amsinger, Kelly Nash, Dan O’Dowd, Harold Reynolds and MLB Pipeline’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 Eric Byrnes, Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Cliff Floyd, Joe Girardi, Al Leiter, Mike Lowell, Kevin Millar, Carlos Peña, Dan Plesac and Bill Ripken, as well as MLB Pipeline’s Jim Callis and Carlos Collazo of Baseball America.
MLB Network will also feature exclusive content with the newly drafted players in attendance across its social media platforms. Fans will be able to decide the content that appears on MLB Network’s Instagram Story during Draft night by allowing Instagram users to tell @MLBNetwork what they would like to see behind the scenes and from the Draft floor.
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 4th, 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 Draft Tracker, a live interactive application that includes a searchable database of hundreds of 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 Famers Andre Dawson and Rollie Fingers, as well as Bo Jackson, Kirk Gibson, Fred Lynn and Dale Murphy, amongst others. The Club representatives who will attend the 2019 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, six players chosen on the first night of the Draft last year were in attendance. Amateur players will again be invited to this year’s festivities.