Major League Baseball’s annual June draft gets underway Thursday at 7 p.m. with the Houston Astros holding the first pick overall for the second year in a row.

The Astros, with the worst record in baseball in 2012, are expected to choose from between a pair of righthanded pitchers, Stanford senior Mark Appel and University of Oklahoma junior Jonathan Gray.

Appel was expected to be the No. 1 overall selection a year ago, but instead the Astros chose high school shortstop Carlos Correa, from Puerto Rico. Appel dropped all the way to No. 8 overall to the Pirates, but opted to go back for his final season at Stanford.

The draft’s 40 rounds will be conducted over three days.

The Jays will be represented at the draft by former all-star first baseman Fred McGriff, with GM Alex Anthopoulos and his scouting staff ensconced in a third-floor war room at the Rogers Centre. All four hours on the first night of the MLB draft will be carried live on Sportsnet ONE.

The Jays have the 10th pick overall as the result of a 73-89 record in 2012 and will not choose again until No. 49 in the second round. Under Anthopoulos, the Jays have made a habit of collecting extra draft picks using the old rules that involved compensation for free agents and from unsigned picks from the year before.

Unlike other sports, baseball does not allow for the trading of draft picks, (aside from the new Competitive Balance supplemental picks following the first and second rounds).

Draft previews suggest the Jays’ pick may come down to a choice between lefthander Trey Ball, from an Indiana high school, and outfielder Austin Meadows, a strong lefthanded hitter from Grayson High School, Loganville, GA.