Baseball's annual amateur draft begins today, but the focus will be as much on how as who, thanks to changes mandated by the collective bargaining agreement signed last year.
The Houston Astros aren't tipping their first pick in advance of today's 7 p.m. ET start, but the top candidates are Stanford right-handed pitcher Mark Appel and high school outfielder Byron Buxton from Baxley, Ga.
The first round and compensation round for teams that lost players to free agency last winter take place tonight, with the rest of the draft spread over Tuesday and Wednesday.
It is a draft with more uncertainty as teams feel their ways through new policies designed to bring the draft closer to its original purpose — helping to strengthen weaker teams.