Perfect Game, ESPN, MLB.com and the Draft

Draft : : Story
Perfect Game Staff        
Published: Monday, June 04, 2007

The 2007 June Draft will be televised for the first time ever and Perfect Game, PGcrosschecker.com and Baseballwebtv.com are proud to have a large role in this milestone event.  Perfect Game’s David Rawnsley and Allan Simpson will provide analysis for both the ESPN and MLB.com coverage of the entire draft.  

    ESPN has long televised amateur drafts in other sports and their coverage of the NFL Draft has evolved into an event in and of itself, but this is their first venture into baseball.   

    ESPN’s coverage will be limited to the first round on Thursday, June 7 from 2 pm to 6 pm (ET) and will be on ESPN2.  ESPN baseball commentators Karl Ravich, Peter Gammons and Steve Phillips will be in Disney World, Florida to host the draft show, with Rawnsley providing expert commentary and analysis from the site in Orlando.  

    Because of the television coverage, the first round will be conducted in a completely different manner than in it has been in the past and will be consistent with other draft productions on ESPN.  The entire baseball draft used to be made in rapid fire order via conference call among the 30 teams and the Commissioner’s Office in New York.  In the past few years, as MLB.com has expanded its coverage of the draft, the first round has been held separately, with a gap between each pick for media purposes.  

    This year each team will have a table and representatives at in Orlando and will formally announce each selection.  Hall of Famers such as George Brett, Dave Winfield and Tommy Lasorda have been mentioned as among the possible baseball notables who will be making the selections on the instructions of the scouting departments, who will still be in their “war rooms” back in their home cities.  There will be five minutes between each pick for analysis and interviews with many of the players.  

    After ESPN signs off their coverage at 6 pm, MLB.com will pick up the coverage both on internet radio and television, with Rawnsley and Jonathan Mayo providing the coverage and analysis.  The plan is for the draft to continue through the fifth round on Thursday night, or about 8 pm (ET).  

    Simpson will pick up the coverage of the draft on Friday morning on the MLB.com network from New York City, along with providing analysis and breaking news on the first five rounds from the day before.  He will be joined by Mayo and Casey Stern from MLB Radio.  

    Perfect Game, PGCrosschecker.com and BaseballWebTV.com have provided assistance to ESPN and MLB.com leading up to this year’s draft.  Perfect Game’s partner in BaseballWebTV.com, SkillShow has submitted video of a large number of potential early round prospects to both ESPN and MLB.com. (
See www.baseballwebtv.com)  PGCrosschecker director, Allan Simpson is considered the #1 draft guru in baseball and has been providing indepth analysis leading up to the draft. (See www.pgcrosschecker.com)  

    No independent organization in baseball sees more potential draft picks than Perfect Game USA.  Last year nearly 2 out of every 3 draft picks (952 of 1501) had attended Perfect Game events.  PG also scouts most of the other high profile events such as the East Coast Pro, Tournament of Stars, Area Codes, Sun Belt Classic, WWBA Championships, BCS Championships and many others.  

    Perfect Game’s Allan Simpson and David Rawnsley have worked closely, analyzing the past several drafts for
www.mlb.com       While Simpson and Rawnsley will be the most visible, the entire PG staff will be lending a helping hand from various locations around the country.  Once the first round has been completed, the place to follow this year’s draft completely is at www.mlb.com  

    When asked about the draft Perfect Game president, Jerry Ford said, “We are excited to have two of our guys working with ESPN and MLB.com, Allan and David are two of the very best.  But the biggest thrill of all comes each and every time we hear the name called of a player who went to Perfect Game events.”  

    A week after the draft, Perfect Game will be holding the PG National Showcase in Cincinnati.  This event has produced more first round picks over the past few years than any showcase event in baseball.  Four PG Sunshine events start the next day following the draft, so Perfect Game starts working on the 2008 draft the next day after the 2007 draft becomes history.  It never stops, not even for a day!
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