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MLB Amateur Draft begins Monday at 7pm ET

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If you’ve spent a lot of time around here, you know that we don’t really cover high school or college baseball, so we’re not going to put on some fake draft expert cap and pretend that we know what the heck we’re talking about when it comes to the MLB Amateur Draft. We are men of action. Lies do not become us.

We do know this much though: The 2018 draft gets underway today and will last through Wednesday. The Tigers pick first thanks to Pablo Sandoval hitting a walkoff dinger on the final game of the 2017 season to push the Giants “ahead” of the Tigers, record-wise. Thanks?

We can also 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. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Rounds one and two will be broadcast on MLB Network starting at 7PM EDT tonight. There’s a preview show at 6PM; Rounds 3-10 will be live-streamed on MLB.com beginning at 1PM tomorrow. Rounds 11-40 — they go fast, folks — will also be on MLB.com, beginning at noon eastern on Wednesday;
  • Baseball America’s draft preview material remains unmatched. Some of it — including their top 500 (yes, 500) prospects list — is paywalled, but don’t let anyone say you didn’t have the option to learn literally everything worth knowing about the draft. If you’re looking for a broader, less-intense overview, here’s MLB.com’s rundown of what to watch for in the draft. Keith Law of ESPN has a mock draft at ESPN.com, also behind a paywall, but premium content sometimes, quite reasonably, costs a premium;
  • Depending on whose mock drafts and previews you look at, Casey Mize, a right-handed pitcher from Auburn, Joey Bart, a catcher from Georgia Tech or Cole Winn, a high school righty from California are top candidates to be picked first and, in any event, will likely go in the top five. Nick Madrigal is a middle infielder from Oregon State who is thought of highly, as is Brady Singer, the righty from Florida pictured above.

Unless you follow college baseball closely those aren’t likely to be household names to you, but such is life in the baseball draft. Unlike football and basketball, Major League Baseball doesn’t have national broadcasters teaming up with colleges to publicize and subsidize their talent development pool. Your introduction to most of these guys will be when the beat writers who cover your team do profiles on the guys who actually got picked. Which is fine. The grind of the minor leagues means that, eventually, you’ll know what your team’s GM got.

Enjoy the draft if it’s your cup of tea. If not: you have anywhere from, oh, 2-6 years to get to know these dudes.

Marlins’ Jeter blames outbreak on ‘false sense of security’

Derek Jeter statement
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MIAMI (AP) Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter blamed the team’s coronavirus outbreak on a collective false sense of security that made players lax about social distancing and wearing masks.

Infected were 21 members of the team’s traveling party, including at least 18 players. None is seriously ill, Jeter said Monday, and he expects all to return this season.

With more than half of the team sidelined, Jeter said the Marlins still can be competitive when their season resumes Tuesday at Baltimore after a hiatus of more than a week.

Following an MLB investigation, Jeter said, it’s impossible to know where the first Marlins player became infected or how the virus reached their clubhouse. They left South Florida last week to play two exhibition games in Atlanta, and then opened the season with a three-game series in Philadelphia, where the outbreak surfaced.

“Guys were around each other, they got relaxed and they let their guard down,” Jeter said. “They were getting together in groups. They weren’t wearing masks as much as they should have. They weren’t social distancing. The entire traveling party got a little too comfortable.”

Jeter said his players were annoyed by speculation that reckless misbehavior was to blame.

“Our guys were not running all around town in Atlanta,” he said. “We did have a couple of individuals leave the hotel. We had guys leave to get coffee, to get clothes. A guy left to have dinner at a teammate’s house. There were no other guests on site. There was no salacious activity. There was no hanging out at bars, no clubs, no running around Atlanta.”

By Sunday, the outbreak had become so serious that the Marlins’ season was temporarily suspended, with the team stranded in Philadelphia. The infected players have since returned by bus to South Florida, where they are quarantined.

“We have a lot of players who are asymptomatic, and we have players who are showing mild symptoms,” Jeter said.

He said he is optimistic his players will closely adhere to the MLB virus protocols the rest of the season.

“We’ve been given an opportunity to hit the reset button,” Jeter said. “I hope people look at what happened to us and use that as a warning to see how quickly this is able to spread if you’re not following the protocols 100%.”

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

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