As the 2009 Major League Baseball draft approaches, you just know team scouting directors and farm system heads are getting together at Chili's, chowing down on some Texas Cheese Fries, going over the past drafts, lamenting the stupid decisions they made, and regretting the ones they didn't.
Well, here's their chance to get things right, to set things straight, and to un-ruin their franchise (looking at you, Pittsburgh). Using hindsight and the past two years, let's take a look at who should have done what and who would have made excellent moves.
The Royals held the first pick in the draft and took righty Luke Hochevar over the diminutive Tim Lincecum. They get a redo here and set things right, taking the hard-throwing righty with the awkward motion, and he ends up leading a rotation with Zack Greinke and Gil Meche, making the Royals a surprise favorite every year.
The Rockies took a right-handed pitcher as well, Stanford alum Greg Reynolds, and while Cardinal hurlers have turned out in the Majors (Mike Mussina, Jeremy Guthrie, etc.), the Rockies most certainly wouldn't take Reynolds again.
Instead, they nab the super-talented outfielder Travis Snider out of a tiny high school in Washington. Snider is tearing it up in the Majors in Toronto. Imagine the damage he could be doing at Coors Field, and the Rockies need it with Matt Holliday shipped off to Oakland.
The Rays took Evan Longoria once, and it worked out pretty well for them. They stick with it and do it again, becoming the first team to repeat their pick.
The Pirates also took a college righty pitcher in Brad Lincoln. While he may be close to Major League-ready, you just know they would trade him in a heartbeat to get lefty Clayton Kershaw, who could be the ace of a 2009 rotation that would include Ian Snell, Zach Duke, and Paul Maholm.
The M's become the second team to repeat their pick, taking Brandon Morrow again.
The Tigers take the first player not taken in the first round, scooping up Joba Chamberlain from Nebraska, throwing Andrew Miller back into the pile. Chamberlain would have been a starter from day one and would anchor quite possibly the best rotation in the majors.
With Kershaw off the board, the Dodgers take uber-prospect Ian Kennedy, who gets time to develop with the Dodgers instead of being rushed to New York. He spends some more time in the minors and is able to build some confidence that will allow him to bounce back after being rocked in his first few starts, something he was not granted in the Bronx.
The Reds took Drew Stubbs in 2006, and while he's still a decent option, they go for need here and take hit master Adrian Cardenas. He fills a need at shortstop and gives the Reds a slick-fielding, hard-hitting presence near the bottom of their lineup.
The Orioles may have severely screwed the pooch by taking Billy Rowell with their first pick and are one of the teams most joyous to get a redo. They end up taking pitcher Chris Tillman, part of the package sent to Baltimore for lefty Erik Bedard.
With Lincecum off winning Cy Youngs in KC, the Giants have to settle here for pitcher Trevor Cahill, a stud in the making. He's no Lincecum, but he does have huge upside and secures a No. 2 spot in the rotation in just a few years.
The D-Backs took Max Scherzer at 11 the first time around, but they tab their second pick Brett Anderson instead on the second time around. Scherzer is good, but Anderson is a bona fide starter, something we're not really sure of with Max. Hopefully the D-Backs don't trade him this time.
Rather than taking Kasey Kiker, the Rangers adopt a more "win now" approach and pick up righty Justin Masterson here. Masterson makes it to the Majors in two years and easily finds a spot in Texas' depleted rotation.
Why wait five rounds to take Jeff Samardzija when you can have him here at No. 13? The Cubs toss Tyler Colvin, who may or may not have a future as a stud outfielder. There's no room for him there anyway.
14. Blue Jays
With their cornerstone outfielder gone, the Blue Jays try to shore up the left side of their infield, taking 3B Wes Hodges, making stop-gaps Scott Rolen, Troy Glaus, and whoever else a moot solution.
The Nationals may have missed with Chris Marrero, but who knows until the kid can prove he can stay healthy? They err on the side of caution here and take 1B Chris Davis, a kid with some serious power. With Davis and Adam Dunn splitting time at first base, the Nats have some serious power in the lineup.
The Brewers can still take Jeremy Jeffress, their actual pick, but are more intrigued by Max Scherzer, mainly because he can fill the void at closer left by Francisco Cordero. Scherzer can play a John Smoltz role, closing while the Brew Crew find someone else, then get plugged into the rotation and become a regular.
The Padres have built their team around pitching, so it only makes sense for them to trade in Matt Antonelli for Andrew Miller. Much like Ian Kennedy, Miller would have benefited from some time in the minors before being thrown to the lions...or in this case, Tigers. After a season or two of seasoning, Miller is a much more confident pitcher and a middle of the rotation stud.
The Phillies make it a hat trick in the first round, becoming the third team to re-select a guy, for them hard-throwing Kyle Drabek, who they hope will one day blossom into a Tim Lincecum clone.
The Marlins have multiple picks and can afford to use some on players who won't see the field for a couple of years. Thus, they take Jeremy Jeffress, one of the top pitching prospects in baseball. They wait for him to progress through the Majors before unleashing Jeffress' serious heat on the NL East.
Much like the Blue Jays, the Twins choose to rebuild the left side of their infield with their redraft, taking Matt Antonelli. Not only do they get a serviceable third baseman, but Antonelli's bat more than makes Twins fans forget Corey Koskie and Joe Crede.
Uh-oh. No Ian Kennedy to abuse here. Therefore, for their own good, the Yanks are forced to take Kasey Kiker here. Kiker definitely needs time in the minors, and there is no possible way the Yanks force him to the bigs before he's ready. Very anti-Yankee, I know.
With their first pick the Nats picked up a power bat infielder, and with their second they tab Hank Conger, a power-hitting catcher, who shores them up behind the plate and renders whoever plays catcher for the Nats useless.
The Astros also make a need pick, ditching another catcher in Max Sapp (don't worry guys, you'll strike it rich with Jason Castro two years later) for Chris Valaika, a standout shortstop that will provide solid defense and much more power than Adam Everett.
The Braves have young talent pretty much everywhere all over the field, so they prepare for a future without Chipper Jones, taking 3B Chris Coghlan and grooming him to replace the switch-hitting Atlanta legend.
The Halos take pitcher Daniel Bard here, and unlike the Bo Sox, they have the wisdom to immediately push him into a bullpen role, getting him to the Majors much earlier. He bides his time until K-Rod leaves and then assumes the closing duties.
Making out of the first round with Kennedy is a steal enough, but nabbing righty Brett Sinkbeil gives the Dodgers one of the best duos in the draft. I know giving up Avery Morris is tough, but getting Hiroki Kuroda makes up for it.
27 and 28. Red Sox
Back-to-back picks in this redraft is like Christmas come early. The Bo Sox clean up, taking flamethrower Chris Perez with their first and future stud Luke Hochevar with their second. If both pan out, the Sox have gotten the steal of the draft with Hochevar and a lights out setup man for Jonathan Papelbon.
29. White Sox
The Sox need pitching here and trade Kyle McCulloch for the more Major League-ready David Huff, a crafty lefty from UCLA.
Although Adam Ottavino has a really cool name, the Cardinals use the 20/20 hindsight and take a shot on Chris Marrero, hoping he can stay healthy and make good on his promise of hitting for a high average and power.
This redraft makes big winners out of the Royals, who get a future ace in Lincecum, the Tigers (Chamberlain), and the Bo Sox (Perez and Hochevar at No. 28!)—and of course, my Orioles, who don't waste their time with Billy Rowell, the potential biggest bust of this draft.
Boy, do I wish hindsight was 20/20 and that the MLB Draft was as easy to scout as the NFL version.