So now that the MLB draft is over, the sports world can move on to more important things like Justin Blackmon’s DUI or Euro2012 (just kidding, no one in the US cares about soccer). More importantly, fans can get on with forgetting about who was drafted. Why is that you may ask? With 40 rounds and 1200+ players selected , it’s fairly hard even who your team picked, let laone anyone else’s. It’s not like Cleveland fans will remember who the Indians picked this year, but they will remember for a very long time that Trent Richardson was the Browns’ 1st round pick. If you can name who your team drafted in Round 38 last year, well then good for you. Here’s a gold star. If this were the NFL draft, hardcore fans would already be making mock drafts for next year. Then again, the MLB draft is nowhere near the popularity or prestige of its NFL or NBA brethren. MLB is trying its best to get a seat at the table, including broadcasting on TV in primetime and other methods, but I have an idea of how to improve the draft’s presentation and it involves the commentators.
There are no ‘big’ experts like Kiper or McShay who are identifiable beyond being just another person who rambles about the prospects. People will pay attention to Kiper’s musings even if they disagree because of his track record. Plus it’s not like MLB has anyone that with great hair like Mel or Todd. MLB.com’s ‘draft expert’ Jonathan Mayo is bald, so there’s your problem right there. Plus he gestures almost as much as Mark May, which is kind of annoying. It’s unclear who fills the Mike-Mayock-ridiculous-and-obvious-statements role. Some of the talking heads don’t show very much emotion when they speak like John Hart and Harold Reynolds appears to try to make up for that lack all by himself. No one embodies this then Allan H Selig, who when he announced each pick sounded like he was giving out Bingo numbers. Baseball America’s Jim Callis, though very knowledgeable, had the personality of a bookshelf when it was his turn to speak. Maybe he’s not used to being in front a camera or something. At least they had Peter Gammons on, who could make the reading of a phone book sound interesting. They should’ve had Keith Law on, I mean he is Scouts Inc’s lead baseball analyst and covering draft prospects is kind of his thing.
So improving the quality of the commentators/experts could go a long way towards improving the overall TV presentation quality. This is just one thing they could do, taking out those cheesy mock dugouts where prospects wait with their families is another. Having the draft start on Monday isn’t exactly prime time TV, so maybe a move to Wednesday or Thursday would be a benefit. I could go on and on about what MLB can do to get its Draft on the level of the NFL or NBA, but the commentators were what struck me the most about the quality of the draft broadcast. With the draft complete, baseball draftniks can get to analyzing guys who will probably never see the majors and the true test begins for baseball’s Mr Irrelevant, Eric Hanhold, a right handed pitcher out of East Lake HS in Florida taken with pick 1,238 in the 40th round.