MLB has announced their broadcast plans for the 2013 Draft on MLB Network in its never-ending quest to make the casual fan care about their draft a fraction as much as they care about the NFL and NBA Drafts.
The MLB Draft will take place from June 6-8, and Day 1 will take place from MLB Network's studios in New Jersey. Day 1 of the draft features the first two rounds, as well as the two brand new Competitive Balance rounds. Coverage begins with the preview show at 6 PM, followed by the two full rounds and two shorter rounds. Day 2 and Day 3 will feature rounds 3-10 and 11-40, and won't be broadcast on television, but only via conference call on MLB.com. Really: you can't watch the players being drafted, but you can hear their names being called. Exciting!
What separates the MLB Draft from the NFL and NBA Drafts is immediacy. Exactly one player from the first two rounds of the 2012 draft has played in the majors: reliever Paco Rodriguez of the Dodgers. Aside from Rodriguez, only Michael Roth of the Angels was picked in the first ten rounds of last year's draft and made his MLB debut. These guys you see getting drafted aren't making an immediate impact for the most part. Even going back to the 2011 draft, only four players taken in the first two rounds have made their MLB debut: Indians pitcher Trevor Bauer (dealt from the Diamondbacks this winter), Orioles pitcher Dylan Bundy, Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, and Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr.
Every draft isn't like 2009 or 2010, where there's a consensus #1 pick and blue chip prospect at the top (in the case of Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper in those two years). For every player like that, there's a Tim Beckham (taken first overall in 2008 and the only top ten pick from that year not to play in the majors yet) or a Matt Bush (whose off the field exploits are more famous than his actual play on the field). And that's the ultimate problem with the MLB Draft: if you watch it next month, the players you see get chosen more than likely won't be making an impact in the majors for at least two years. Even if your team takes a college pitcher (generally closer to the majors) like a Mark Appel or Jonathan Gray, there's no guarantee that the team will immediately fast track them to the majors. Look at college arms Kevin Gausman and Kyle Zimmer, chosen in the top five last year by the Orioles and Royals respectively and still playing in the minor leagues.
It's definitely admirable for MLB to *try* to make people care about the draft, but it will never have the mainstream appeal like in the NFL and NBA.