This article is part of our Bernie on the Scene series.
The Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft came at the right time. Boredom had set in and I was nostalgic for baseball talk. And those two draft days may have saved baseball from falling into another time of complete irrelevancy. Fans were losing interest and were fed up with the public lack of concern for the future of the game. Yes, the two-day draft came when we needed it the most.
Baseball has not really needed an injection of enthusiasm since the game had to be rescued by a steroid driven home run shootout between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998. McGwire hit 70 home runs that year and drove in 147, giving baseball a much needed shot in the arm. Oops, sorry about that. Sosa hit 66 and drove in 158 runs.
The television coverage of the draft was solid, with my former colleagues Jim Callis and Jonathan Mayo providing very professional in-depth analysis of every player drafted.
While I have watched tons of video in the last month, I admit there were several players who never made it to my computer screen. But Callis, Mayo and former general manager Dan O'Dowd knew them all.
The draft once again illustrated that pitching is the name of the game.
There are nine positions on the field. Here are the numbers of pitchers selected by clubs in the five round draft. Note: Some clubs had compensation picks, increasing the numbers of players they could draft.
86 pitchers were taken.