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Feeling the Draft?

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Later today, Major League Baseball will conduct the 2007 edition of its First-Year Player Draft, and as a bonus for those who keep an eye on amateur talent, ESPN2 will telecast the proceedings from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m EST.

I've taken up an interest in college baseball over the past year or so, but my scope hasn't expanded much past the University of Michigan baseball team. So I'm hardly an expert, though I'm familiar with a couple of the big names. I do know, for instance, that the likely #1 overall pick, Vanderbilt's David Price, was taken DEEP... OVER THE WALL IN LEFT FIELD for a solo home run as his Commodores were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament by the Wolverines on Monday night.

Ahem. Sorry about that. Got a bit carried away.

I don't know if I'll be able to swing by my television this afternoon for the draft. And even if I could, I don't know how long the thing would hold my attention, anyway. I mean, I love the NFL Draft, but I can only sit down and watch it for so long before I feel like I should do something - anything - else. But that's why the world has given us people like Keith Law, Kevin Goldstein, and Jonathan Mayo. They follow these guys so we don't have to. Or educate us when we're suddenly interested.

Of course, the draft might not hold the immediate curiosity for Detroit Tigers fans that it may have in past years, given the team's recent success in terms of both player development and won-loss record. This year, the Tigers have the 27th selection in the first round.

I know that the baseball draft doesn't work like the NFL and NBA drafts, and it's better to just select the best available talent, rather than fill a need. But from what little I've gleaned from trying to bone up on the draft over the past week or so, this seems like an excellent time for Detroit to stock a position that's woefully thin in its minor league system: catcher.

Baseball Prospectus' Bryan Smith, for instance, has the Tigers picking Mitch Canham from Oregon State in his mock draft. And if that's the case, you'll get a chance to watch Canham against Michigan in the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend.

(Matt Wallace, by the way, has been following college catchers closely, and interviewed Canham just over a month ago.)

Smith's BP colleague, Goldstein, predicts that right-handed high school pitcher Rick Porcello will be the Tigers' guy. Meanwhile, ESPN.com's Law thinks Detroit might opt for a college pitcher, Andrew Brackman of North Carolina State.

I'll try to have a post on the Tigers' first-round pick up before tonight's Open Thread.

In the meantime, there are so many other places to find information on draft prospects. Here's a quick listing of some places to look:

▪▪ Here's a chat Mack Avenue Tigers had with Take 75 North about the draft last week.

▪▪ Lone Star Ball has posts on both college and high school position players worth knowing.

▪▪ John Sickels' Minor League Ball has just a ton of stuff available for you to check out, including mock drafts and player profiles.

▪▪ Baseball Analysts will be live-blogging the draft and plenty of player spotlights posted. They also had a draft roundtable with a handful of guest columnists last week that was very informative.

▪▪ As you might have guessed, Baseball America is all about draft coverage.