It was five short years ago when Andrew Friedman, then the President of Baseball Operations for the Rays, declared that the 2011 draft would be on of the most important events in the franchise's history as the team would have the opportunity to select 12 players over the first 89 picks.
It was like hitting the jackpot for the Rays, who of course rely on these draft picks in order to hopefully find a future all-star and award winner as they certainly can not afford the high price tags of premium free agents and acquiring them through trades would deplete their system.
Hopes soared as the Rays went through the draft selecting solid and talented players. However, fate plays a cruel hand as most of these picks would flounder and the Rays have limped on since.
That is not to say the 2011 draft hasn't been rewarding -- Mikie Mahtook, Blake Snell, Taylor Guerreri, and Jake Hager remain promising prospects -- just not what was expected. Taylor Motter came from that draft, but was selected in the 17th round.
In recent years, the Rays have had some success with the draft as 2014 first rounder, Casey Gillaspie, is destroying the Southern League in Double-A, while Brent Honeywell provided another exciting arm to the system. Last year the Rays drafted Garrett Whitley -- who has yet to make is 2016 debut -- who despite low offensive numbers, impressed during his short stint.
When is the draft and where do the Rays pick?
It begins today, Thursday, June 9, and continues on Friday, June 10, concluding on Saturday, June 11.
On Thursday, teams will makes choices in Round 1, the Competitive Balance Lottery Round A, Round 2, and the Competitive Balance Lottery Round B. Rounds 3-10 will follow on Friday and Rounds 11-40 on Saturday.
The Rays hold a total of three selections on Day 1 -- No's. 13, 53, and 77. It is the second straight year the Rays will have the 13th selection overall. The 53rd selection will be in the second round and then the Rays will have the final pick of the day at 77th overall for the Lottery Round B pick.
Where can I stream/watch this?
MLB.com will stream MLB Network's coverage, which begins tonight at 6 P.M., as well as provide a draft tracker. There will be online coverage for all 40 rounds, but only Day 1 is televised.
Day 1 starts at 7 P.M. EST, Day 2 starts at 1 P.M. EST and Day 3 at 12 P.M. EST.
OK, who are some recent notable players taken thirteenth overall?
The Rays had Garrett Whitely last year at 13th overall, while the Padres picked up Trea Turner in 2014.
13th overall hasn't seen that many quality majors leaguers emerge with the best most recent pick being Chris Sale in 2010 by the White Sox. The pick ever at 13th overall would be Manny Ramirez who was selected by the Cleveland Indians back during the 1991 draft.
Other notables include Frank Tanana (1971-Angels), Paul Konerko (1994-Dodgers), Garry Templeton (1974-Cardinals), Gary Nolan (1966-Reds), and Aaron Hill (2003-Blue Jays).
How much money is in the Rays' bonus pool for the first 10 rounds?
The Rays will be permitted to spend $7,643,100 across the first ten rounds, which also happens to be the 13th highest amount allowed, though is less than the Cardinals or Dodgers will be permitted to spend, because baseball is REALLY CONCERNED with competitive balance.
You can find the recommended spending allotments for all ten rounds here, if you're concerned with such things.
Can I see the full draft order?
Sure, here's a link to the full draft order. MLB.com also includes recommended spending allotments for the first three rounds, as linked above.