Draft continues in all-important Day 3
With history showing value in latter rounds, coverage rolls on
First-round picks get the spotlight and often receive the lucrative signing bonuses, but Major League Baseball's First-Year Player Draft has 50 rounds for a reason. It is nearly impossible to predict which players will eventually make an impact on the big league stage.
Consider the Toronto Blue Jays, who have 10 players on their current 25-man roster -- and one on the disabled list -- selected after the 111th pick in their respective Draft years. The group includes the Jays' regular first baseman Lyle Overbay, two pichers who have spent time in the starting rotation, three players holding reserve roles and five relievers.
After 111 picks on Day 1 -- including Round One, Compensation Round A, Round Two, Round Three and Compensation Round B -- and Round Four through Round 30 on Day 2, the Draft will conclude on Thursday with the 31st through 50th rounds, beginning at 11:30 a.m. ET.
MLB.com's coverage will include a live pick-by-pick audio stream, expert commentary and the exclusive Draft Tracker, a searchable database of every Draft-eligible player featuring statistics, scouting reports and video highlights.
Fans will not only be able to follow along every minute of the way online, but they'll be able to interact directly with Draft-eligible players and MLB.com Draft experts, among others.
The Draft Tracker will also feature the addition of Twitter, and the participation of "tweeters" such as MLB.com Draft expert @JonathanMayoB3, who will also be serving as on-air talent for all three days of the Draft, and reporter @LisaWinstonMLB, who will be writing the up-to-the-minute coverage for MLB.com.
In addition, MLB.com has created a Twitter account devoted to the Draft, where you can stay updated on every piece of info as it becomes available (@MLBDraft).
For the Blue Jays, Overbay is a perfect example of a solid player found well after the Draft's first round. Overbay -- acquired by Toronto in a trade with Milwaukee prior to the 2006 season -- was selected with pick No. 538 by Arizona in the 18th round of the 1999 Draft. Overbay made it to The Show in 2001 and has put together a sound eight-year career so far.
On Monday, Overbay was named the American League's Player of the Week. He has had an up-and-down tenure with Toronto, but he has enjoyed a strong season to this point. Through 45 games this year, Overbay has hit .301 with a .406 on-base percentage, seven home runs, 16 doubles and 32 RBIs for Toronto.
Two other notable players picked in the latter rounds are right-handers Casey Janssen and Jesse Litsch -- both originally drafted by the Jays. Janssen, who is currently in the starting rotation, was taken with the 117th overall pick in the fourth round of the 2004 Draft, and he debuted with Toronto in '06. Litsch -- who is slated to undergo Tommy John elbow reconstruction surgery after opening the year as the Jays' No. 2 starter -- was the 717th overall pick (24th round) in '04, and he pitched his first game for Toronto in '07.
Among the Blue Jays' bench players, similar cases are found in infielder John McDonald and utility men Joe Inglett and Jose Bautista. Before being acquired by Toronto, McDonald (363rd overall, 1999 Draft) and Inglett (246th, 2000 Draft) were selected by Cleveland. It took McDonald and Inglett four years and seven years, respectively, to reach the Majors. Bautista (599th, '00 Draft) was added by the Pirates and ascended to the big leagues by the '04 season.
Toronto's relief corps consists of five pitchers taken well after the 111th overall selection.
Right-hander Jason Frasor, who is in his sixth season as a member of the Blue Jays' bullpen, was selected by the Detroit Tigers with the 987th overall pick in the 33rd round of the 1999 Draft. Frasor debuted in the big leagues with Toronto in 2004. This season, Frasor has gone 4-0 with a 2.11 ERA through 22 appearances.
Toronto left-hander B.J. Ryan (Reds, 1998) and right-hander Shawn Camp (Padres, '97) each have the distinction of being the 500th overall pick in their respective Drafts. Ryan (17th round) made it to the Majors in three seasons, while Camp (16th round) needed parts of eight years before making his big league debut. Jays reliever Dirk Hayhurst was the 221st overall pick by San Diego in the '03 Draft, and he debuted with the Padres last season.
Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.