The annual First-Year Player Draft arrives Monday, when the first two rounds are held and players will begin what is typically a long road to the major leagues.
This isn't the NFL Draft or the NBA Draft, when selected players are expected to perform right away.
MLB teams know that the players they take are years away from reaching the top level. That goes for every player, from No. 1 overall to the last man selected at more than 1,200 picks later.
From a broad perspective, the first pick, 1/1, is the news. That's one thing MLB has in common with the other leagues.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
And one Texas Rangers player knows what it's like to have his name called first.
Matt Bush was the first overall pick of the 2004 draft, selected by his hometown San Diego Padres in what appeared to be a match made in heaven. Bush was an 18-year-old shortstop then who had no idea what was ahead on his path to the majors.
But for one day 14 years ago he was on top of the baseball world.
"I felt like the king," Bush said. "That's the best thing that could happen, being draft No. 1 overall. I couldn't believe it."
The Rangers will draft 15th overall and 55th on Monday and are expected to draft a pitcher with their first pick. Rounds 3-10 will take place Tuesday, and the draft finishes with a flurry Wednesday with the final 30 rounds.
The Rangers selected prep outfielder Bubba Thompson last year with 26th overall pick and prep shortstop Chris Seise at No. 29. Thompson is off to a nice start at Low A Hickory, but Seise will miss the rest of this season after having shoulder surgery last week.
Bush is one of five first-round picks on the Rangers' roster, along with Cole Hamels (17th overall, 2002), Mike Minor (seventh overall, 2009) and Delino DeShields (eighth overall, 2010). Joey Gallo is the only first-rounder selected by the Rangers, in the supplemental round (39th overall) of the 2012 draft.
Pitching coach Doug Brocail was the 12th overall pick in the 1986 draft. The draft process is a grind, especially for scouts but also for front offices and the players. The elite prospects often get to know scouts from multiple teams and aren't sure where they are going — unless they're the first pick.
"I knew a little beforehand, so it was funny holding it in," Bush said. "It was just a dream come true. There wasn't a big party, but everyone was just so happy. I was focused on getting ready and getting out there and mixing it up with the guys. Professional baseball is what I always wanted to do."
Hamels, who is also from San Diego, said draft day was big for him on multiple levels.
"It was the first day my parents actually allowed me to skip school," he said. "There was a lot of speculation during the season, so you have to play it by ear because everything is a negotiation tactic. For what I was going for, it was just give me the opportunity and we'll go from there."
DeShields also had an idea he would be selected early, and he joined his father as one of the few father-son duos to be drafted in the first round out of high school (Tom and Ben Grieve and Jeff and Sean Burroughs are others). He remembers the process and the close relationship he built with Houston Astros scout Lincoln Martin.
DeShields also remembers his friends and family thinking the draft was a bigger deal than he did.
"I really wasn't paying attention to the TV," DeShields said. "They called my name at eight. I'm very chill, but everyone was really excited. My mom started crying."
Then, the journey begins. DeShields didn't make his MLB debut until 2015, and that was after the Rangers selected him in the Rule 5 draft. He also had to switch positions to reach the majors, from second base to center field.
Hamels made his MLB debut in 2006. Like DeShields, he was 22. Minor was also 22, but he barely logged only 25 starts in the minors before debuting in 2010 with the Atlanta Braves after a stellar college career at Vanderbilt.
Bush, though, didn't pan out as a shortstop and transitioned into pitching. His career was derailed by legal problems, and he didn't make is debut age 30.
"That's the ultimate, to play in the big leagues and not just get drafted," Bush said.
That road will begin this week for some 1,200 players.
2018 First-Year Player Draft
Monday: First round, competitive balance round, second round, competitive balance round; Rangers expect to draft at approximately 7:30 p.m. (15th overall) and 10 p.m. (55th overall). TV: 6 p.m., MLB Network
Tuesday: Rounds 3-10, noon
Wednesday: Rounds 11-40, 11 a.m.