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MLB Amateur Draft begins on Monday at 7 p.m. ET

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The 2017 amateur draft gets underway today and will last through Wednesday. If you’ve spent a lot of time around here, you know that we don’t really cover high school or college baseball. As such, we’re not going to put on some fake draft expert cap and pretend that we know what the heck we’re talking about. We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

But we can certainly point you to the folks who do make it their business to know what the heck they’re talking about when it comes to the top amateur baseball talent in the land, thereby helping you get ready for the draft.

  • The draft will be broadcast on MLB Network this evening. There will be a pre-draft show at 6PM Eastern and the actual draft will get going at 7PM. It will also stream at MLB.com.
  • Baseball America has the board with the top-500 prospects ranked. Yes, 500. That’s a lot. It also sort of explains why we don’t really spend a lot of time on amateur stuff here. You just ain’t gonna compete with Baseball America, so you shouldn’t even try. We can agree with them that, based on what we’ve read, Hunter Greene, the pitcher/shortstop from Sherman Oaks, California is the top prospect.
  • Other experts to follow as the draft unfolds: ESPN’s Keith Law, MLB.com’s Jonathan Mayo and Baseball America’s Jim Callis.

The Twins have the top pick. Below I have listed the draft order for the first round, alongside what MLB’s anti-free market slotting rules have decided each of those picks is worth. But we’ll leave rants about that aside for now.

1. Minnesota Twins ($7,770,700)

2. Cincinnati Reds ($7,193,200)

3. San Diego Padres ($6,668,100)

4. Tampa Bay Rays ($6,153,600)

5. Atlanta Braves ($5,707,300)

6. Oakland Athletics ($5,303,000)

7. Arizona Diamondbacks ($5,016,300)

8. Philadelphia Phillies ($4,780,400)

9. Milwaukee Brewers ($4,570,000)

10. Los Angeles Angels ($4,376,800)

11. Chicago White Sox ($4,199,200)

12. Pittsburgh Pirates ($4,032,000)

13. Miami Marlins ($3,875,800)

14. Kansas City Royals ($3,727,600)

15. Houston Astros ($3,588,200)

16. New York Yankees ($3,458,600)

17. Seattle Mariners ($3,333,200)

18. Detroit Tigers ($3,214,600)

19. San Francisco Giants ($3,101,700)

20. New York Mets ($2,994,500)

21. Baltimore Orioles ($2,892,400)

22. Toronto Blue Jays ($2,795,200)

23. Los Angeles Dodgers ($2,702,700)

24. Boston Red Sox ($2,614,500)

25. Washington Nationals ($2,530,400)

26. Texas Rangers ($2,450,100)

27. Chicago Cubs ($2,373,300)

28. Toronto Blue Jays (Compensation for Edwin Encarnacion-CLE) ($2,302,900)

29. Texas Rangers (Compensation for Ian Desmond-COL) ($2,238,900)

30. Chicago Cubs (Compensation for Dexter Fowler-STL) ($2,184,300)

Jonny Venters is still pitching

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Lefty reliever Jonny Venters was among a handful of players the Rays signed to minor league contracts, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Venters, 32, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has logged just 27 2/3 innings in the minors in the meantime due to a continuous battle with his elbow. According to David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Venters has undergone four — four! — Tommy John surgeries.

When he was healthy, Venters was a fearsome late-game option for the Braves. He posted a 1.95 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 83 innings in 2010, and a 1.84 ERA with 96 strikeouts in 88 innings in 2011. His first-half performance in 2011 earned him a spot on the National League All-Star roster.

Venters has spent the last two years in the Rays’ system and he’ll try to make it a third.