The winter free-agent draft, which has produced such All-Star players as Tom Seaver, Carlton Fisk and Chris Chambliss since its inception in 1966, will be conducted Tuesday at the office of baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn.
"The Toronto Blue Jays will select first in the regular phase of the draft, which will begin at 12:30 P.M. via conference call hookup from the commissioner's office. The 26 teams will draft in inverse order of winning percentage in 1977 with the American and National league teams alternating choices.
The Blue Jays refused to divulge which player they would make the No. 1 choice.
Upon completion of the draft's regular phase, which basically focuses on junior college players who have not previously been drafted, a secondary phase will be held. In the secondary phase teams are primarily selecting athletes who were drafted last June but did not sign.
Since the winter draft concentrates mostly on junior college players or college dropouts, there aren't as many blue-chip players available as there are in the June draft when the top college and high school players are available.
There was 275 players chosen in last year's winter draft, making it the fourth largest since the process was originated. The total was achieved despite a new college rule that restricts the signing of collegians who still have their senior year left between school years.