The Philadelphia Phillies have the first pick of the 2016 MLB Draft on Thursday. By the end of the day, 77 amateur baseball players from the high school and college levels will have been selected in the first two rounds, including presumed No. 1 overall pick A.J. Puk.
The first-year player draft, as it is properly called, begins at 7 p.m. ET, live from MLB Network's Studio 42, and you can watch it on TV on the MLB Network, or stream it online at MLB.com. The predraft show actually starts an hour earlier at 6 p.m.
Coverage picks up at 12:30 p.m. Friday for rounds three to 10. And finally, the bulk of the draft, beginning at Round 11, will be held Saturday, with coverage starting at 1 p.m.
This year's draft doesn't have an overwhelming favorite like some in the past. There's no Stephen Strasburg or Bryce Harper, as Tigers amateur scouting director Scott Pleis told BYB's Catherine Slonksnis on Wednesday.
"The domino effect is you're going to figure out who likes who, and as you go through, it's very uncertain," Pleis said. "As you always do, you see what you really want to happen, but then you prepare for what the reality is, and what's probably going to get to you, so you always have an idea: If these two guys go before us, we're going here."
However, A.J. Puk, a left-handed pitcher for the University of Florida, appears set to become the top overall choice this year. He was taken first in all but one of the mock drafts this week, missing out on only Baseball America's. However, the Reds, Braves, Rockies and Brewers will have plenty of good options ahead of them with the first five picks of the draft.
That includes fellow left-hander Braxton Garrett; right-handed pitchers Riley Pint, Jason Groome, and Dakota Hudson; outfielders Kyle Lewis, Mickey Moniak and Corey Ray; third baseman Nick Senzel; and catcher Zack Collins.
Not every team has a pick in the first round Thursday, and some teams have multiple picks. That's due to the qualifying offer. In short, when a team makes a qualifying offer to a player, he can accept it or turn it down. When a player turns down the offer, his former team is compensated by a sandwich pick at the end of the first round when he signs with someone else.
The team that signs him then forfeits a draft pick of its own. The first 10 picks are protected -- so that's why the Tigers are still able to pick at No. 9 after signing multiple marquee free agents. However, they still must forfeit later picks. For that reason, the Tigers will not pick again until the 115th overall pick in the fourth round Friday.
The Giants, Diamondbacks and Royals all have to wait for the second round before making their first selection. Meanwhile, the Padres (8, 24, 25) and Cardinals (23, 33, 34) have three first-round picks apiece. The White Sox, Mets, Dodgers and Nationals each have two picks.
There are also two competitive balance "lottery" rounds added to help smaller market teams. As MLB.com explains:
"Six additional picks at the end of each of the first and second rounds are awarded to teams via the Competitive Balance Lottery. Teams that have either one of the 10 smallest markets or 10 smallest revenue pools are eligible. Additionally, any other club that receives revenue-sharing funds is eligible for the supplemental second-round selections. Lottery picks may be traded."
Those additional picks can come between the first and second rounds, or between the second and third rounds.
The final bit of information to know: Teams are assigned a draft budget by MLB based on where their draft selections are located in the first 10 rounds. A team without a first-round pick is going to have a smaller pool of money to sign its players with than a team with multiple first-round picks.
The Reds can spend $13,923,700 -- the most of any club -- while the Cubs are limited to spending just $2,245,100. And yes, MLB penalizes teams that attempt to spend beyond their allotted figures. You can find all the figures here.
2016 MLB Draft at a glance
When: 7 p.m. Thursday
TV: MLB Network