SAN FRANCISCO -- Major League Baseball has moved the yearly draft back to July, hopeful that holding it during All-Star weekend will lead to more attention. This year's first round will be broadcast from L.A. Live, a short drive from Dodger Stadium, with nearly a dozen prospects attending and 17 former All-Stars scheduled to represent their teams.
MLB has seen the success that the NFL and NBA have had with drafts, and the league is hoping to follow suit with dramatic broadcasts and lengthy simulcasts. But it wasn't long ago that nearly every drafted player found out about his fate from following an internet tracker or getting a call from his agent.
That was the case for Giants ace Logan Webb, who is still just 25 years old but was selected in the fourth round in 2014, a much different time for the draft. During "Logan Webb: Homegrown,” a special that will air Aug. 2 on NBC Sports Bay Area, Webb told a hilarious story about draft night and how the Giants caught him by surprise by selecting him out of Rocklin High.
Webb found out that he was taken in the fourth round while playing MLB: The Show upstairs at his parents' house in Rocklin.
"I'm pretty sure I had just my boxers on," he said, smiling.
Webb was a good prospect heading into his senior year but was committed to Cal Poly. His life changed that spring when he outdueled Granite Bay's Mitch Hart -- who went on to play at USC -- and hit 96 mph in front of a large collection of scouts who had come to see Hart. That put Webb on the map, and heading into the draft, he was told by a couple of teams that he might be taken in the second round. That didn't end up happening.
"We were really bummed," Webb's father, Erik, recalled, "because the second round came and we thought Seattle was going to take him."
Webb remembers being upset that he didn't get taken on the first day of the draft, and his agent told him that it might be more realistic for him to be taken somewhere closer to the eighth round. But the next day, his agent called and told him that a couple of teams were making noise about taking him higher. As Webb continued to play video games, he got another call from his agent.
"He called me back less than 30 seconds later and said, 'The Giants just took you,'" Webb said. "I remember I was sitting in the room talking to him and he was like, 'Bobby Evans is calling you right now.' I'm in my underwear and Bobby Evans is talking to me, saying, 'Hey, welcome to the San Francisco Giants.'"
The selection was a surprise, but the entire Webb family was thrilled that he would be staying so close to Rocklin, where he grew up. They knew they could drive to see all of his appearances if he reached the big leagues -- and many of them still do -- but they didn't have much time to celebrate. Rocklin High's graduation was later that day.
"It was crazy," Webb said. "I went to the high school and did an interview with the local news station and graduation was that day. They kind of announced it at some point. The whole crowd cheered. It was really cool. It was a really cool day."
It's one Webb still looks back at fondly, although others might have some regrets. The Mariners ended up using that second-round pick on a Canadian outfielder named Gareth Morgan. He never played above High-A ball before they released him in 2019, four months before Webb made his big league debut.