SECAUCUS, N.J. -- Five compelling storylines from baseball's annual First-Year player draft, and just the second to run in primetime.
The past year for
Once Washington dispensed with the formality of making Harper the No. 1 pick, the draft began revealing itself as the call to arms it often is at No. 2, when the Pirates took high school pitcher
McKeon was right, to a point. What everybody really wants is pitching that can help them win, the sooner the better, and to that end the players taken remain a question mark. Taillon has drawn almost universal praise in the days leading up to the draft, but he is still in high school and will need his share of seasoning in the minors. The next three pitchers taken -- lefty
Beyond Harper -- and, to a lesser extent, Taillon and prep shortstop
If there was a falling star Monday night, it may have been Louisiana State pitcher
For much of Monday night, the scene inside MLB Network Studios seemed less about the stars of the future than it did the stars of the past. While the corridors were littered with familiar faces -- over here a pair of former NL MVPs in
On a night when both the NBA and NHL finals were not around to distract television viewers from tuning in to MLB's proceedings, such absences counted as both a missed opportunity and a disappointing reality for those who have tried, with much success, to help turn the MLB draft from a mid-day afterthought followed only by the men whose jobs revolve around it into something resembling the media events enjoyed by the NBA and NFL. But while those sports are able to parade a series of players already famous to the American sports fan across their stages on draft night, baseball has neither the familiar faces to hype going into the draft (Harper was surely the only player drafted who would resonate with a casual sports fan) nor any whom they can introduce to the world via photo op with the commish. Nor, for that matter, a proper stage, as the proceedings are still taking place inside the relatively cramped TV studio. Like much else about the draft, it is an improvement over just a few years ago, but still far short of being the must-see TV of its competitors' versions.