The 2016 MLB Draft will begin on Thursday night, with the first 77 selections announced in an event that will be televised by MLB Network and available to follow online at MLB.com. Thursday is the first of three days for Major League Baseball's annual addition of domestic amateur talent, which will last for 40 rounds.
The Philadelphia Phillies lost 99 games in 2015, the worst record in the majors, and thus have the first pick in the draft, which is ordered by inverse of last year's records. This is the second time in the 51-year history of the draft that the Phillies have had the top overall pick. They selected outfielder Pat Burrell out of the University of Miami with the first overall pick in 1998.
On Thursday, the first two rounds will be selected, including compensatory picks for lost free agents who rejected the qualifying offer, plus Competitive Balance Rounds A and B. The two competitive balance rounds are six picks each, and awarded by lottery among the bottom 10 teams in revenue and market size. Round A follows the first round, and Round B follows the second round.
Competitive Balance Rounds picks are the only draft picks that are allowed to be traded, and each pick can only be dealt once.
There are four-minute intervals between picks in the first round, then one-minute intervals in between picks from Competitive Balance Round A all the way through Round 10. For rounds 11-40, there are no time intervals between picks.
Each team will be represented at the draft at MLB Network studios in Secaucus, New Jersey, by a former player and/or a front office executive.
MLB Network will provide coverage of Thursday's events, including a one-hour studio show before the draft that starts at 6 p.m. ET. The draft starts at 7 p.m., and will be simulcast online at MLB.com.
Rounds 3-10 will be held on Friday beginning at 1 p.m. on MLB.com only, with a draft show at 12:30 p.m.; Saturday will feature rounds 11-40, beginning at 12 p.m. on MLB.com.
How to follow the draft
Thursday - Rounds 1-2 plus Competitive Balance Rounds
Friday - Rounds 3-10
Saturday - Rounds 11-40
TV: MLB Network (Thursday, 7 p.m.)
Online: MLB.com (Thursday 7 p.m., Friday, 1 p.m., Saturday noon)