Nine prospects attended the first day of the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft on Thursday, the most since the event was moved to MLB Network Studios in 2009 — when Mike Trout was the only player there to hear his name announced by Commissioner Bud Selig.
Last year, there were five at the draft site, including No. 1 overall pick Carlos Correa. The nine players this year sat in a makeshift dugout in the studio, hoping their wait wasn't long.
Georgia high school outfielder Clint Frazier was the first to be selected, at No. 5 by the Cleveland Indians. There were no friendly bets among the players on who might go earliest.
"Nah, I'm kind of sensitive and competitive," a smiling Frazier said. "I wouldn't want anyone saying they think they're going before I do."
California high school first baseman Dominic Smith was next, at No. 11 to the New York Mets. Next came California high school shortstop J.P. Crawford (No. 16, Philadelphia), East Central Community College shortstop Tim Anderson (No. 17, Chicago White Sox), South Carolina high school catcher Nick Ciuffo (No. 21, Tampa Bay) and Texas high school outfielder Billy McKinney (No. 24, Oakland).
Fresno State outfielder Aaron Judge and California high school lefty Ian Clarkin went to the New York Yankees to cap the first round, at Nos. 32 and 33, respectively.
Oklahoma high school catcher Jon Denney was the only player in attendance who wasn't drafted during the first night, sitting in the dugout as 73 picks went by. Denney is listed on MLB.com as the top available player, but he'll have to wait until the third round begins Friday — via conference call with teams.
Ciuffo, a catcher who started at Wando High School before transferring to Lexington, is a South Carolina Gamecocks commitment, but he is expected to sign with the Rays and not play college baseball.
Ciuffo mentioned during his draft TV interview that he was looking forward to meeting with former USC commit Taylor Guerreri, himself a Tampa Bay prospect and a friend of Ciuffo’s.