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


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
  • 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,’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)

Wayne Huizenga, founding owner of the Marlins, dies at 80

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MIAMI (AP) H. Wayne Huizenga, a college dropout who built a business empire that included Blockbuster Entertainment, AutoNation and three professional sports franchises, has died. He was 80.

Huizenga (HY’-zing-ah) died Thursday night at his home, Valerie Hinkell, a longtime assistant, said when reached at the family residence Friday. She gave no details on a cause of death.

Starting with a single garbage truck in 1968, Huzienga built Waste Management Inc. into a Fortune 500 company. He purchased independent sanitation engineering companies, and by the time he took the company public in 1972, he had completed the acquisition of 133 small-time haulers. By 1983, Waste Management was the largest waste disposal company in the United States.

The business model worked again with Blockbuster Video, which he started in 1985 and built into the leading movie rental chain nine years later. In 1996, he formed AutoNation and built it into a Fortune 500 company.

Huizenga was founding owner of baseball’s Florida Marlins and the NHL Florida Panthers – expansion teams that played their first games in 1993. He bought the NFL Miami Dolphins and their stadium for $168 million in 1994 from the children of founder Joe Robbie, but had sold all three teams by 2009.

The Marlins won the 1997 World Series, and the Panthers reached the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996, but Huizenga’s beloved Dolphins never reached a Super Bowl while he owned the team.

“If I have one disappointment, the disappointment would be that we did not bring a championship home,” Huizenga said shortly after he sold the Dolphins to New York real estate billionaire Stephen Ross. “It’s something we failed to do.”

Huizenga earned an almost cult-like following among business investors who watched him build Blockbuster Entertainment into the leading video rental chain by snapping up competitors. He cracked Forbes’ list of the 100 richest Americans, becoming chairman of Republic Services, one of the nation’s top waste management companies, and AutoNation, the nation’s largest automotive retailer. In 2013, Forbes estimated his wealth at $2.5 billion.

For a time, Huizenga was also a favorite with South Florida sports fans, drawing cheers and autograph seekers in public. The crowd roared when he danced the hokey pokey on the field during an early Marlins game. He went on a spending spree to build a veteran team that won the World Series in the franchise’s fifth year.

But his popularity plummeted when he ordered the roster dismantled after that season. He was frustrated by poor attendance and his failure to swing a deal for a new ballpark built with taxpayer money.

Many South Florida fans never forgave him for breaking up the championship team. Huizenga drew boos when introduced at Dolphins quarterback Dan Marino’s retirement celebration in 2000, and kept a lower public profile after that.

In 2009, Huizenga said he regretted ordering the Marlins’ payroll purge.

“We lost $34 million the year we won the World Series, and I just said, `You know what, I’m not going to do that,”‘ Huizenga said. “If I had it to do over again, I’d say, `OK, we’ll go one more year.”‘

He sold the Marlins in 1999 to John Henry, and sold the Panthers in 2001, unhappy with rising NHL player salaries and the stock price for the team’s public company.

Huizenga’s first sports love was the Dolphins – he had been a season-ticket holder since their first season in 1966. But he fared better in the NFL as a businessman than as a sports fan.

He turned a nifty profit by selling the Dolphins and their stadium for $1.1 billion, nearly seven times what he paid to become sole owner. But he knew the bottom line in the NFL is championships, and his Dolphins perennially came up short.

Huizenga earned a reputation as a hands-off owner and won raves from many loyal employees, even though he made six coaching changes. He eased Pro Football Hall of Famer Don Shula into retirement in early 1996, and Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, interim coach Jim Bates, Nick Saban, Cam Cameron and Tony Sporano followed as coach.

Harry Wayne Huizenga was born in the Chicago suburbs on Dec. 29, 1937, to a family of garbage haulers. He began his business career in Pompano Beach in 1962, driving a garbage truck from 2 a.m. to noon each day for $500 a month.

One customer successfully sued Huizenga, saying that in an argument over a delinquent account, Huizenga injured him by grabbing his testicles – an allegation Huizenga always denied.

“I never did that. The guy was a deputy cop. It was his word against mine, a young kid,” he told Fortune magazine in 1996.

Huizenga was a five-time recipient of Financial World magazine’s “CEO of the Year” award, and was the Ernst & Young “2005 World Entrepreneur of the Year.”

Regarding his business acumen, Huzienga said: “You just have to be in the right place at the right time. It can only happen in America.”

In September 1960, he married Joyce VanderWagon. Together they had two children, Wayne Jr. and Scott. They divorced in 1966. Wayne married his second wife, Marti Goldsby, in April 1972. She died in 2017.

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