The 2007 Draft was televised live for the first time in the draft's history and that tradition has continued on the MLB Network. The event is rarely attended by draftee’s and that is a shame in my opinion.
Prior to 2007, a team retained the rights to sign a selected player until one week prior to the next draft, or until the player enters, or returns to, a four-year college on a full-time basis. Starting in 2007, the deadline for signing a drafted player is August 15. A selected player who enters a junior college cannot be signed until the conclusion of the school's baseball season. A player who is drafted and does not sign with the club that selected him may be drafted again at a future year's draft, so long as the player is eligible for that year's draft. A club may not select a player again in a subsequent year, unless the player has consented to the re-selection.
A player who is eligible to be selected and is passed over by every club becomes a free agent and may sign with any club, up until one week before the next draft, or until the player enters, or returns to, a four-year college full-time or enters, or returns to, a junior college. In the one-week period before any draft, which is called the "closed period", the general rule is that no club may sign a new player. (Courtesy Wikipedia)
The first amateur draft was held in 1965. The First-Year Player Draft, also known as the Rule 4 Draft. The draft order is determined based on the previous season's standings, with the team possessing the worst record receiving the first pick. In addition, teams which lost free agents in the previous off-season may be awarded "compensatory" picks.
The First-Year Player Draft has historically had far less media exposure than its counterparts in the other leagues for three primary reasons:
· Unlike top draft picks in the NHL, NBA and NFL, all of whom are expected to make immediate impacts, top MLB draftees are nearly always assigned to the minor leagues for several years to hone their skills. The entire 2001 first round (44 players) a total of 26 players reached the Major Leagues that is 59%. The 2001 Draft stands out as a Very Good Draft and several draftees made an impact in the draft and from both the High School and College Ranks. High School Players of note – Joe Mauer the First Overall Pick and David Wright Pick #38. From the College ranks, Mark Prior USC and Mark Teixeira Georgia Tech. In Comparison the 1999 Draft recap shows (51 players) selected a total of 23 players reached the Major Leagues for 45% which would be considered a lesser draft group. But that group still includes Two All Stars Josh Hamilton and Josh Beckett, both were High School Selections. Barry Zito USC and Brain Roberts USC became the Impact College Selections. Zito University of Southern California and Roberts University of South Carolina.