It’s popularly called the amateur draft, but properly called the Rule 4 draft or the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft. Each year in June, MLB conducts a draft of players from colleges, universities, high schools, and other amateur clubs around North America. This year's draft will be held from June 8-10, 2015, by conference call, with the first round televised beginning at 7 p.m. (ET) on the MLB Network, and broadcast over the Internet on MLB.com.
MLB first held a draft in 1965, and has held one every year since. It is the only draft among major sports that is held during the playing season, and its 40 rounds makes it easily the largest. By contrast, the National Football League and the National Hockey League have drafts of seven rounds, while the National Basketball Association holds a draft of just two rounds.
MLB Draft at a glance
First round coverage
Date: June 8
Time: 7 p.m.
TV: MLB Network
First round draft order
1. Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Houston Astros (for not signing 2014 pick Brady Aiken)
3. Colorado Rockies
4. Texas Rangers
5. Houston Astros
6. Minnesota Twins
7. Boston Red Sox
8. Chicago White Sox
9. Chicago Cubs
10. Philadelphia Phillies
11. Cincinnati Reds
12. Miami Marlins
13. Tampa Bay Rays
14. Atlanta Braves
15. Milwaukee Brewers
16. New York Yankees
17. Cleveland Indians
18. San Francisco Giants
19. Pittsburgh Pirates
20. Oakland Athletics
21. Kansas City Royals
22. Detroit Tigers
23. St. Louis Cardinals
24. Los Angeles Dodgers
25. Baltimore Orioles
26. Los Angeles Angels
27. Colorado Rockies (for losing Michael Cuddyer)
28. Atlanta Braves (for losing Ervin Santana)
29. Toronto Blue Jays (for losing Melky Cabrera)
30. New York Yankees (for losing David Robertson)
31. San Francisco Giants (for losing Pablo Sandoval)
32. Pittsburgh Pirates (for losing Russell Martin)
33. Kansas City Royals (for losing James Shields)
34. Detroit Tigers (for losing Max Scherzer)
35. Los Angeles Dodgers (for losing Hanley Ramirez)
36. Baltimore Orioles (for losing Nelson Cruz)
Eligibility to be drafted
A player is eligible for selection if the player is a resident of the United States or Canada and the player has never before signed a major league or minor league contract. Residents of Puerto Rico and other territories of the United States are eligible for the draft. Foreign born players who enroll in a high school or college in the United States are also eligible. Other players can sign with any team under MLB's international guidelines.
Teams will make selections in each round of the draft, based on the reverse order of finish in the previous season, with a few exceptions. The exceptions to the order of selection are:
-- A team that fails to sign its first or second round selection from the previous year is given a compensation pick that is one slot lower the next season
-- A team that makes a qualifying offer to a free agent player who signs with another team as a free agent is awarded a compensation pick between the first and second rounds.
-- A team that signs one of these qualified free agent players will lose its highest available pick, with the first 10 selections in the first round being protected.
-- There are two "competitive balance" rounds, consisting of six selections each, held after the first and second rounds, consisting of six selections each. Picks awarded to teams based on market size and club revenues.
-- Teams may not trade their draft picks, with the exception of the competitive balance round selections.