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Youth, experience come to the table at Draft

Youth, experience come to the table at Draft

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For some it's a new experience that brings back old memories. For others it's been part of the job for decades, just not nationally televised.

Participating in the First-Year Player Draft as a club representative will mean different things to different people, but each of them no doubt takes some amount of pride in the fact that he'll be the face of his organization when young players are drafted into the pro ranks on June 7.

For someone like Joe Randa, the former third baseman who will represent Kansas City for the first time, this is a way to be part of the history -- and the future -- of the Royals organization.

Draft Central

"There are a lot of guys that are the face of this organization. Obviously, George [Brett] and Frank [White], those guys are the true face," said Randa, who has been tutoring Royals Minor Leaguers this year. "But I spent a lot of time here, and I did a lot of things right in playing hard and trying to be a good role model. So it's very special."

Each of the 30 teams' representatives -- ranging from Hall of Famers to longtime players to executives -- will be on hand at MLB Network's Studio 42 in Secaucus, N.J., for the first round of the 2010 First-Year Player Draft.

MLB.com will offer live coverage and analysis of the entire First-Year Player Draft from June 7-9 on MLB.com/Live. The first round and Compensation Round A will be broadcast live on MLB.com and MLB Network on Monday, June 7, beginning with the Draft preview show at 6 p.m. ET.

MLB.com Draft expert Jonathan Mayo will join Greg Amsinger, Harold Reynolds, John Hart, Peter Gammons and Baseball America executive editor Jim Callis on Monday's broadcast.

Coverage for rounds 2-50 will shift exclusively to MLB.com/Live. Rounds 2-30 will be streamed on Tuesday, beginning at noon, and rounds 31-50 will be streamed on Wednesday, starting at noon. Host Pete McCarthy will be joined by Mayo and former general manager Jim Duquette.

For a fourth year, club representatives will be part of the show. Commissioner Bud Selig will announce each of the first-round selections, and the reps will announce the selections made during Compensation Round A, spanning picks 33-50, finishing off the first of three days of the Draft.

The list of club representatives includes four Hall of Famers and 20 former All-Stars. The Dodgers' Tommy Lasorda, who worked the Draft conference calls for years before the event was broadcast and club representatives were brought in for every team, joins the Cubs' Billy Williams, newly inducted Red Sox outfielder Jim Rice and Frank Robinson, representing Major League Baseball, as the Cooperstown contingent. And if it weren't for just eight votes, the Blue Jays' Roberto Alomar would have shared those Hall of Fame credentials.

Some rep selections honor the past. For instance, Mookie Wilson being at the Mets table no doubt conjures memories of the 1986 World Series, although his manager at the time, Davey Johnson, will be at the rival Nationals' table as a special advisor to that club.

Several longtime executives and players, such as Randa, might be better known by their respective teams' fan bases. Randa will be seated alongside Art Stewart, who has been doing this for more than 40 years, and who was with the organization when it drafted Randa in 1991.

But Randa does not have the market cornered on being a draftee representing his club. He's not even nearly the youngest to do so, at 40.

That honor goes to 21-year-old Jared Mitchell, the 23rd overall pick in the 2009 Draft by the White Sox out of Louisiana State University. Recovering from ankle surgery, Mitchell will represent the White Sox one year after being selected by them.

Another young representative will be at the Rays' table -- and we don't mean Don Zimmer. Rocco Baldelli, 28, was drafted by the Rays just 10 years ago, the No. 6 overall pick in the 2000 First-Year Player Draft. After a grand debut in the Majors was derailed by health problems, Baldelli was part of the 2008 World Series team and played with the Red Sox last year before a shoulder injury ended his season. He hasn't ruled out a return to the field, but for now he's roaming the Rays organization as an instructor. He'll be joined as a Rays representative by Zimmer, 50 years his senior.

Many other older, wiser gentlemen of the game will be around as well, including Roland Hemond, longtime baseball man with the Angels, White Sox, Orioles and now the D-backs; Joe McIlvaine, the former Mets and Padres GM, now a special assistant to the GM in Minnesota, serving as club rep at this event for the second consecutive year; Jack McKeon, the former GM of the Padres who managed the Marlins to the 2003 World Series title; and Gene Michael, longtime GM and now a special advisor for the Yankees.

And a number of players will be representing the clubs that drafted them back in the day, from Barry Larkin and his hometown Reds to Wally Joyner and the Angels -- where Wally World truly began.

Such recent stars as the Astros' Jeff Bagwell, who of course was drafted by the Red Sox before becoming a Hall of Fame candidate in Houston, and the Cardinals' Mike Matheny, a four-time Gold Glove winner, are on the list as well. Other former All-Stars who will be in attendance are Dante Bichette (Rockies), Al Bumbry (Orioles), John Candelaria (Pirates), Shawon Dunston (Giants), Travis Fryman (Indians), Ralph Garr (Braves), Luis Gonzalez (D-backs), Tyler Green (Phillies), Larry Hisle (Brewers), Mark Loretta (Padres), Jeff Russell (Rangers) and Roy White (Yankees).

John Schlegel is a reporter for MLB.com. Dick Kaegel contributed to this story. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
{"content":["first-year_player_draft" ] }
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