Johnny Manziel got drafted by the Padres: Why that shouldn’t bother you

Day three of the MLB Draft happened on Saturday and in the 28th round, the San Diego Padres surprised a lot of people in the baseball community by taking Cleveland Browns first round draft pick Johnny Manziel, maybe back-up quarterback. “Johnny Football” put out his thanks to the Padres organization being drafted, and apparently he’s had contact with them before today:

I have never been drafted, so I don’t know what it feels like. Maybe I’m way off the mark here. I do not feel like the Padres drafting Johnny Manziel is a “slap in the face” to the sport, a disgrace, whatever you want to call it. This certainly is not the first time a team has drafted a player that really has had no realistic hopes of making a roster in the Minors, whether due to ability, or to commitment in another sports.       

In the past, there have been children of organizational personnel drafted, other sport-players drafted, and heck, the Giants did draft former Notre Dame WR Golden Tate in the 50th round of the 2010 draft. In fairness, there were 50 rounds in that draft. These days, there are 40 rounds. There are plenty of Minor League players that are upset, and some Major Leaguers are likely not happy about this, either. There were 1,215 players drafted in 2014, and players will argue that because Manziel was drafted, one kid somewhere was robbed of that opportunity to get drafted.

Here’s where I will agree with the players: yes, it would be pretty cool to hear your name heard on draft day, but in the 28th round, how do we know that player is even bound for the pro ranks? Or even that their character is without flaw to the point that they’d be considered “deserving?” If the outrage is more based on this sentimental feel, this post would likely get slammed by players that got drafted all around. I’m sure it’s a special feeling. Something you can tell your friends, kids, grandkids about. I wonder what the difference in emotion is between being drafted in the late twenties of rounds versus getting a call after the draft? Wouldn’t think it’s too different because someone is still giving you a chance. Maybe it’s the fault of the 140 character limit, but some players seemed to infer that drafting Manziel took the spot from another player which in the draft is true, but teams can go get undrafted free agents after the draft just like in that sport with the pigskin, and other sports, too, I’d bet.

In the end, I agree it’s a bit of a waste to pick somebody that’s never going to play for your organization, but maybe this is also sending a message that the MLB Draft is too gosh dang darn long. Wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world to cut it down to 30, 25, maybe even 20 rounds! It’s nice to assume that some gritty, hearty, best work ethic young lad that would’ve taken the chance to go to the pros had his spot taken by Johnny Football, but I believe that’s a little (very) naive. It’s fun to imagine, and it’s possible that was the young man that was robbed of the opportunity to say he was not drafted in the 2014 MLB Draft, but I believe it’s being blown out of proportion a little bit by a bunch of players.


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