The big day is here! The 2018 MLB draft will take place today, Monday, June 4, and the Detroit Tigers are leading off the festivities with the No. 1 pick. The Tigers will also be playing a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, with their second game set to kick off right around the time when MLB commissioner Rob Manfred will be announcing Detroit’s first selection in the draft.
How do I watch the 2018 MLB draft?
How to watch Day 1 of the MLB draft
Time: 7:00 p.m.
TV: MLB Network (6:00 p.m. preview show, 7:00 p.m. draft coverage)
Rounds: 1-2, plus the compensation and competitive balance rounds
How to watch Day 2 of the MLB draft
Date/Time: Tuesday, June 5, 1:00 p.m.
How to watch Day 3 of the MLB draft
Date/Time: Wednesday, June 6, 1:00 p.m.
Who will the Tigers take No. 1 overall?
The likely favorite is right-handed pitcher Casey Mize, out of Auburn. Mize has been the top prospect on draft boards all spring, and has been the No. 1 pick in nearly every mock draft available since February. Mize did nothing to change anyone’s mind over the weekend, tossing seven innings of one-run ball in the NCAA regional. Mize’s Tigers will move on to the NCAA Super Regionals after destroying NC State 15-7 on Sunday evening.
What if the Tigers don’t take Mize?
If the Tigers go elsewhere — that’s a very big if at this point — they would go with one of two other options. Florida righthander Brady Singer has been the 1b to Mize’s 1a on draft boards recently, and was an early favorite to go first overall before Mize bulldozed his way through the SEC. Georgia Tech catcher Joey Bart is also a possibility, according to MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo. Bart is a fantastic two-way player who could draw comparisons to [insert elite catcher here] if he progresses well at the next level. Of all the college bats available, he could be the biggest gamechanger. Wisconsin prep outfielder Jarred Kelenic was once involved too, but seems to have fallen out of favor with the Tigers.
So, if Mize is the No. 1 pick, he’s basically Justin Verlander?
No. Don’t even start with those comparisons.
What’s all this about slot bonus money?
Each pick is tied to a certain dollar amount, or slot value. Teams are allowed to exceed that amount to sign their draft pick, but only by five percent before they start to accrue penalties. The Tigers have $12,414,800 in slot bonus money for their entire draft class, with roughly $8 million of that tied to the No. 1 overall pick. While Mize is certain to ask for all of it, no player has even come within $1 million of the full slot bonus for the No. 1 overall pick since the new slot bonus system was implemented.
How many other picks do the Tigers have?
The Tigers have 40 picks in all, one in each round. Their second round pick will come at No. 44 overall, after a round of compensation picks and competitive balance selections. Their third round pick is at No. 79 overall, after another round of compensation and competitive balance picks. They will have the first selection in every round after that, starting at No. 105 overall in the fourth round.
Who will the Tigers take in those rounds?
Put bluntly, we have no idea. The MLB draft is notoriously unpredictable, and a few prominent names are sure to drop for reasons unknown on draft night. We have identified several players who could be available at those spots, but it’s anyone’s guess, really. The Tigers have reportedly been targeting high school outfielders for their second round pick, but that could change once the chips start to fall on Monday evening.
Where can I read more about this year’s draft?
We have been covering the MLB draft all spring long, from rumors to mock drafts to individual profiles. Check out our Tigers Draft Coverage hub for more info.
Over at The Athletic, friends of the site Max Bultman and Emily Waldon have been providing excellent info with a Tigers slant. Max recently pondered possible Day 1 strategies for the Tigers, while Emily identified some prospects that should be available later in the draft. Max also stopped by as a guest on our podcast last week.