Did you know the 2022 MLB Draft was coming up soon? Yeah, me neither.
But MLB Network is trying to change that, looking to increase awareness for the three-day event from July 17-19 with a series of commercials. The commercials feature two of the sport’s biggest stars: Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Mike Trout.
MLB Network also wants to use these two examples to try and convince prospective draft picks to actually attend the draft.
Both Anderson (2013) and Trout (2009) were first-round picks by their respective clubs. They were each in attendance to hear their names called by former league commissioner Bud Selig and go up on stage.
“Baseball is a true amateur draft in that amateur meaning in sport, no one knows who our players are most of the time,” MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds told Sarah Valenzuela of the Los Angeles Times. “[Anderson and Trout] are shining examples for why to go to the draft.”
Trout actually was not taken in 2009 until the 25th overall pick. The Washington Nationals chose flamethrower Stephen Strasburg at No. 1 overall. Other than Strasburg, only a handful of the 23 others taken before Trout have gone on to be successful major leaguers.
In Anderson’s case, the Houston Astros took Mark Appel – who just made his MLB debut this week – with the No. 1 overall selection. Anderson, meanwhile, went with the 17th pick. The Philadelphia Phillies chose fellow shortstop J.P. Crawford right before him at No. 16.
Trout reached the big leagues with the Angels only two years after being drafted, while Anderson took three seasons to arrive in Chicago.
MLB Aims to Make Draft a Bigger Event
The 2022 MLB Draft will take place in Los Angeles and the Baltimore Orioles own the No. 1 overall pick. Keith Law of The Athletic expects them to select high school outfielder Druw Jones – son of Hall of Fame hopeful Andruw Jones – but he is not a slam-dunk top choice. The Pittsburgh Pirates chose Henry Davis – a catcher out of the University of Louisville – first in 2021.
This is the second-straight edition of the draft that will be held the week of the All-Star Game. Previously, the draft would typically occur in early-to-mid June. This year’s first round begins on Sunday, July 17 at 4 p.m. PT at Xbox Plaza at L.A. Live, and fans can attend for free.