MLB Draft: Can I Get a Mulligan? Re-Picking the 2006 MLB Draft
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1) Kansas City Royals: Tim Lincecum, RHP, Washington
Yeah, I think it's safe to say that 12 teams missed the boat on Lincecum, and the Giants now have two Cy Young Awards in their facilities and one big championship ring on their finger.
The Royals took right-hander Luke Hochevar with the first overall pick in 2006, and while he's a member of their present-day rotation, he comes nowhere near the first round in a redraft.
Lincecum is the pick, hands down, and he solidifies the Royals rotation for years to come, establishing one of the game's most lethal one-two combinations with Zack Greinke, who feels no need to part ways with Kansas City, and instead sticks around to be one of baseball's best No. 2 starters.
2) Colorado Rockies: Evan Longoria, 3B, Long Beach State
At the time of the draft, Longoria was not just considered the top position player; he was thought of as the best by about a mile.
Five years later and that's still looking accurate.
Unfortunately for Tampa, that means that he doesn't slip to them at No. 3, instead getting swapped for actual Rockies No. 2 overall pick Grey Reynolds, who took only two years to reach the Majors, but has struggled mightily, when he's been healthy of course.
Tabbing Longoria in the redraft allows the Rockies to put together one of the best left-sides of the infield in recent memory. Combining Longoria with Tulowitzki is just unfair.
3) Tampa Bay Rays: Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Highland Park HS (TX)
Kershaw was considered the top high-school arm in the 2006 draft, and garnered consideration as the top overall pitcher.
Somehow, he fell to Los Angeles at No. 7. That doesn't happen again in a redraft, as the Rays, angered by losing out on Longoria, pull the trigger on the lefty that has emerged as one of the top young pitchers in all of baseball.
Teaming him with another much hyped lefty, David Price, would give the Rays a lefty duo the likes of which haven't been seen in quite some time.
Of course, Tampa's offense wouldn't be as good without Longoria.
4) Pittsburgh Pirates: Trevor Cahill, RHP, Vista HS (CA)
The Pirates tabbed Brad Lincoln with this pick in real life, and while he's achieved middling status, there's no doubt that if given the chance, Pittsburgh would toss him back into the lake and pluck out a seasoned starting pitcher like Cahill.
Cahill has had a break-out season in 2011, showcasing the talents that made him the A's first pick in the second round.
He lasts nowhere near that long, getting snatched up by a pitching-hungry team and maybe reversing their fortunes a few years sooner.
Then again, if any team would ruin a pitching prospect like Cahill, it would be the Pirates.
5) Seattle Mariners: Brett Anderson, LHP, Stillwater HS (OK)
The Mariners real-life selection was right-hander Brandon Morrow, from UC-Berkley.
With all the talent in this draft class, there's no way they go that same route, instead opting for lefty Brett Anderson, who somehow slipped all the way to pick No. 55, where he was scooped up by the Diamondbacks, before being shipped off to Oakland.
As good as Cahill is, Anderson is still the ace of that rotation, offering all-around better stuff and a higher ceiling.
Having Anderson on board might have kept Cliff Lee in Seattle, and allowed the Mariners the luxury of NOT dealing for Erik Bedard, saving them Chris Tillman (the 49th overall pick in this draft) and Adam Jones.
6) Detroit Tigers: Kyle Drabek, RHP, the Woodlands HS (TX)
Many felt at the time that the Tigers got the steal of the draft by picking up seasoned collegian Andrew Miller with the sixth overall selection.
Time has told the real story, however, and Miller has never fulfilled the potential he showed at UNC. As a result, he's been dealt multiple times and has failed to stick even in a relief role.
Given a mulligan, the Tigers select Kyle Drabek, another Texas fire-baller who has emerged as the Toronto Blue Jays future staff ace.
Drabek slipped to the 18th overall pick in real life, where the Phillies pounced on him, developing him into one of the top arms in the minors before shipping him off to Toronto for Roy Halladay.
7) Los Angeles Dodgers: Zach Britton, LHP, Weatherford HS (TX)
After missing out on lefty Clayton Kershaw, arguably the top lefty in the draft, the Dodgers go the same route, picking another lefty who five years from now could potentially challenge Kershaw for that title.
Zach Britton, another pitcher from Texas, where they apparently grow first-round draft picks like crazy.
Britton made his big-league debut this year and hasn't looked back, establishing himself as the Orioles best pitcher through the first month of the season.
His sinker-slider combination is filthy, and the changeup he learned from Brian Matusz has taken him over the edge.
8) Cincinnati Reds: Ian Kennedy, RHP, USC
The Reds didn't fare as poorly as most of the other teams in the top 10, taking Drew Stubbs who has developed into a very solid player for them, but given the talent that's still available left in this redraft, they have to give him up in the hopes of getting a higher-ceiling pick.
Ian Kennedy ended up as the No. 21 pick that year, taken by the Yankees, and he's done enough in his short pro career to justify his way into the top 10.
Adding him to a very talented rotation would take the Reds over the top, making them the annual favorite in the N.L. Central.
Kennedy would also benefit from not having to be the No. 1 guy, which he has struggled with in Arizona.
9) Baltimore Orioles: Lonnie Chisenhall, 3B, West Carteret HS
The Orioles are one of the smartest teams when it comes to redrafting.
They go off the board and select Chisenhall, an 11th-round pick that season, and get one of the top minor league bats in the game today.
Chisenhall obviously didn't sign with the Pirates back in 2006, opting instead for college. After two seasons of that, and numerous concerns about his maturity, Chisenhall was a first-round pick by Cleveland in 2008.
They shore up their third base situation and don't have to put up with all those strikeouts from Mark Reynolds, who they now don't have to trade for, or Josh Bell, the next in line at third.
10) San Francisco Giants- Grant Green, SS, Canyon HS
Robbed of Lincecum, the Giants respond by taking Grant Green, swaying him from an offer from USC that in real life he accepted.
They also get to get their grubby fingers on him before the Padres, the team that originally drafted him in the 14th round, can get to him.
Green is one of the top hitting shortstops in baseball, and the Giants just so happen to have a glaring need there, hence all the rumors about dealing for Jose Reyes.
Instead of sacrificing half their farm system to get Reyes, they can just turn the position over the Green, who would be nice and seasoned by now.
11) Arizona Diamondbacks: Desmond Jennings, Of, Itawamba JC
In real-life the D-Backs snatched up Max Scherzer here, and while he's gone on to be very successful, with another team of course, he doesn't have the ceiling that Jennings can offer.
The D-Backs love athletic, five-tool outfielders, and Jennings is definitely that.
He would have already worked his way up to the Majors by now in Arizona, instead of being stuck at Triple-A like he is in Tampa.
12) Texas Rangers: Mat Latos, RHP, Coconut Creek HS
One of 2010's break-out stars, Latos has made quite an impression in his little amount of service time.
He emerged as the staff ace of a very solid Padres rotation last year, and has followed that debut up with a solid 2011 campaign.
Somehow, Latos fell all the way to the Padres in the 11th round thanks in part to concerns about his maturity. Strangely enough, many still have those concerns, as Latos is quite the party-boy.
But when you can deal on the mound like he can, it's worth it.
And a team that appreciates good pitching like Texas does, can totally dig that.
13) Chicago Cubs: Brandon Belt, 1B, Hudson HS
Before he was a stud at Texas, or a potential Rookie of the Year candidate, San Fran's Brandon Belt was a 11th-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox.
Can you imagine if he had signed?
No need for Adrian Gonzalez, no flirtations with Mark Teixiera. None of it.
Belt would have pushed all the other candidates aside and forced his way onto the field at Fenway.
Instead, in the redraft, he gets scooped up by another first-base hungry team, the Cubs.
14) Toronto Blue Jays: Mike Leake, RHP, Fallbrook HS
Leake was a seventh-rounder in 2006, tabbed by the Oakland A's, who know pitching about as well as anyone.
Little did they know it would be so hard to ink him, with a commitment to Arizona State and all, so back into the draft pool of 2009 he went.
Not in this redraft.
Leake gets scooped up by Toronto, who would gladly take a do-over on Travis Snider, who has showed a ton of promise, but very little in terms of results.
You gotta figure there's less department stores in Canada too right?
15) Washington Nationals: Domonic Brown, OF, Redan HS
One of the more intriguing stories of the 2006 draft was Brown's selection, as a pitcher, in the 20th round by the Phillies.
Not only did Brown not work out on the mound, but he also went on to develop into one of the top hitting prospects in baseball today.
He failed to win the outfield job this spring, but he wouldn't have that same problem in Washington.
The Nats could have saved some serious coin by handing an outfield spot to him, instead of shelling out tons of money for Jayson Werth—who coincidentally was the player shipped out of town in real life to accommodate Brown's arrival in Philly.
16) Milwaukee Brewers: Max Scherzer, RHP, Missouri
After establishing himself as a top prospect in Arizona, Scherzer had to deal with starting all over again in a new organization.
Luckily things have worked out for him in Detroit, where he's now one of baseball's top young arms, and a true strikeout-king.
He went 11th overall in the real-life 2006 draft, but falls a couple of spots in the redraft due to the renewed eligibility of all of the classes picks that went unsigned.
The Brewers pick up a seasoned arm that didn't need too much time in the minors, and maybe don't have to ransom their farm system to get Zack Greinke.
17) San Diego Padres: Alex White, RHP, D.H. Conley HS
The Padres miss out on taking Mat Latos, ten rounds earlier than they scooped him up in real-life, and see no point in redrafting Matt Antonelli, their real life first-round pick.
Instead, they opt for real life 14th-rounder Alex White, who recently made a splash for the Indians less than two years after signing as a top-ten pick in the 2009 draft.
White had great stuff at the time, but a very strong commitment to UNC, where he ended up adding some polish to his repertoire.
18) Philadelphia Phillies: Joba Chamberlain, RHP, Nebraska
They've already seen two of their 2006 real-life picks go off the board in Kyle Drabek and Dom Brown.
They take a gamble on Chamberlain here, hoping he can stick as a starter, and since he's not in New York, he actually gets that chance.
Without the added pressure of being a Yankee, he thrives and finds a nice home as the Phillies No. 2 starter for a good chunk of the next decade.
19) Florida Marlins: Chris Tillman, RHP, Fountain Valley HS
The Mariners scooped up Tillman in the second round in real life.
They barely got to witness his true potential before shipping him off to Baltimore, where he rocketed through the minors and arrived in the big-leagues just after his 21st birthday.
The Marlins, with their preference for high-school arms, ditch Brett Sinkbeil, who has been a disaster, for Tillman, getting one of the highest-upside arms in the draft.
Together with fellow big-guy Josh Johnson, the Marlins compile one of the best homegrown rotations in baseball.
20) Minnesota Twins: Kyle Gibson, RHP, Greenfield Central HS
In real-life the Twins had to wait until 2009 to add Kyle Gibson to their system.
In the redraft, they cast aside Chris Parmalee and select Gibson with pick No. 20, or 35 rounds earlier than he originally went to the Phillies.
Gibson is now one of the top pitching prospects in the minors, and it's only a matter of time before the Twins, who are struggling greatly, give him a shot in the rotation this season.
21) New York Yankees: Jake Locker, OF, Ferndale HS
With Ian Kennedy off the board, the Yankees make a huge splash, drafting, and presumptively signing uber-athlete Jake Locker, five years before the Tennessee Titans can get their hands on him.
Locker was arguably the top athlete in this draft, but slipped all the way to the 40th round, where the Angels popped him, hoping they could sway him from his football commitment to Washington.
They couldn't, but a team with deep pockets like New York could.
22) Washington Nationals: Bud Norris, RHP, Cal Poly
After taking advantage of the redraft to scoop up top prospect Dom Brown, the Nats use their second pick to take Bud Norris, one of the top young pitchers in the National League, and a break-out star for the Astros this season.
Norris slipped all the way to the sixth round in real life, where the Astros pulled the trigger on the high-upside college arm.
He took some time to develop, but fans will tell you he was worth the wait, and is a major piece in the rebuilding of Houston's franchise.
He could fill that same role for Washington.
23) Houston Astros: Dellin Betances, RHP, Grand Street Campus
After missing out on Bud Norris by one pick, the Astros get some revenge in the form of Betances, one of the top current pitching prospects in baseball.
Betances slipped to the eighth round where the Yankees picked him up, and turned him into a very impressive prospect, who is few close to the Majors, and could be one of the lucky few who actually come up with the Yankees and secure a big-league job.
The Astros real-life pick here was catcher Max Sapp, who amounted to very little for the team.
24) Atlanta Braves: Mike Minor, LHP, Forrest HS
The Braves are just one of a number of teams who, in hindsight, save themselves three years by tabbing a player that they selected three years later.
Mike Minor breezed through the minors and is just biding his time in Triple-A until a spot in the rotation opens up. It could be a pretty long wait, but not too many teams have a pitcher of his caliber waiting in the wings.
And he sure as heck blows the socks off of the team's real-life first-round pick, Cody Johnson, who has racked up more strikeouts than just about anyone in the team's minor league history.
25) Los Angeles Angels: Andrew Bailey, RHP, Wagner College
The current A's All-Star closer emerged as probably the top reliever from a very strong relief class.
He lasted until Oakland picked in the sixth-round and then began his steady progression through the farm system.
He would make an excellent addition to the Angels system after they scrap Hank Conger, a player they could likely get in the second- or third-round in a redraft.
With Bailey the team would have had no problem transitioning from Francisco Rodriguez when he left town.
26) Los Angeles Dodgers: Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Halifax County Senior HS
The Dodgers went the route of Avery Morris (who?) with their real-life first-round pick, and with a mulligan, they scoop up Jeremy Jeffress, who has one of the strongest arms in baseball.
It took him a while to find his way after being selected with the 16th overall pick in real-life, dealing with off-the-field issues that resulted in multiple suspensions and a few minor injuries.
Now pitching in Kansas City, Jeffress has emerged as a valuable late-inning weapon out of the bullpen.
27) Boston Red Sox: Daniel Bard, RHP, North Carolina
The Sox have back-to-back picks, just like they did in real life, and also just like they did, they tab reliever Daniel Bard with one of them.
It took a few years, but Bard has emerged as a very solid piece in the Sox bullpen, which is where talented starters drafted by the team end up.
He might one day unseat Papelbon as the closer, and the Sox will be in sure hands when that happens.
28) Boston Red Sox: Chris Perez, RHP, Miami
In real-life Perez went one pick after Joba Chamberlain, but in the redraft he goes in the first-round, thanks to his emergence as the Indians shut-down closer.
Assuming Bard can't handle the role, the Sox would now have another solid option to turn to in the later innings.
Perez bombed out in St. Louis before finding his way to Cleveland, where he has helped turn the team around and make it one of the American League's best.
29) Chicago White Sox: Kris Medlen, RHP, Santa Ana College
The run on relievers continues, with the Sox scooping up Medlen, a real-life tenth-round pick by the savvy drafting Braves.
Medlen emerged as one of the team's best relievers last season, and despite a major injury sustained late last season that required Tommy John surgery, he is still going to be a very good pitcher for a very long time.
The Sox had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season, but lost a lot of key pieces. Adding Medlen would help immensely.
30) St. Louis Cardinals: Luke Gregerson, RHP, St. Xavier
Over the past three seasons, there haven't been many relievers that have performed as well as Gregerson, who interestingly enough was a Cardinals pick in the 28th round back in 2006.
They spend a first-rounder on him this time, hang onto him, and watch him blossom into the role he's done so well in with the Padres.