2010 MLB Draft Redraft: Would Bryce Harper Still Top Potential All-Time Class?

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Editor’s note: The Major League Baseball draft is this week, starting Thursday and running through Saturday. NESN.com is revisiting the top drafts of the last 10 years and redrafting those drafts.

There’s a really good chance, in about 10 to 15 years, we look back at the 2010 MLB Draft and consider it one of the best of all time.

In re-examining the 2010 draft, we’ll likely give plenty of credit to a handful of teams at the top of the draft who identified talent, drafted the right player and developed those players. Among the first 13 players drafted, there already have been 11 All-Star selections, a number that should jump this summer with Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Chris Sale likely locks to play in the Midsummer Classic.

In addition to being top-heavy, though, there was no shortage of great finds in this draft. Just ask the New York Mets. They were able to grab not only Noah Syndergaard in the supplemental round but also Jacob deGrom … in the ninth round. Both are integral pieces to the best young rotation in baseball.

Of course, not everyone hit it out of the park. The Los Angeles Angels had three first-round picks and whiffed on all of them. The Boston Red Sox, with some shrewd maneuvering, were able to get a compensation pick for Billy Wagner, who appeared in just 15 games in 2009 for Boston. However, the player they picked with that first-round comp pick retired in 2014 without ever sniffing the big leagues.

With all of that in mind, NESN.com’s Mike Cole and Ricky Doyle revisited the 2010 MLB Draft, giving each team a do-over. Had it shaped out like their redraft, things would look a lot different today.

They alternated picks with Ricky winning a coin toss to earn the top selection.

1. Washington Nationals — Bryce Harper, OF
There’s nobody in baseball — outside of maybe Mike Trout — I’d rather start a major league franchise with. Harper is young, marketable and one of the best players in the game. Easy pick for the Nats then. Easy pick for the Nats now. -RD
Actual pick: Bryce Harper

2. Pittsburgh Pirates — Manny Machado, SS
It doesn’t matter where you put Machado; he’s going to be one of the best players in the game. He’s got one of the best infield gloves, and the emerging power we’ve seen in the last two seasons is enough to warrant making the Trout/Harper debate a Trout/Harper/Machado debate. -MC
Actual pick: Jameson Taillon

3. Baltimore Orioles — Chris Sale, P
There are several pitchers worth a look, but Sale’s consistent dominance is unmatched. He’s finished in the top six in American League Cy Young voting each of the last four seasons and has shown no signs of slowing down. -RD
Actual pick: Manny Machado

4. Kansas City Royals — Noah Syndergaard, P
From a pure stuff standpoint, few pitchers bring more to the table. Blessed with a fastball that consistently sits in the upper 90s, Syndergaard is the kind of guy who you build your entire rotation around. -MC
Actual pick: Christian Colon

5. Cleveland Indians — Jacob deGrom, P
Let’s make it three pitchers in a row — two who currently pitch for the New York Mets — and go with deGrom, who’s about as filthy as they come. deGrom has pitched like an ace since breaking into the majors in 2014 and any pitching staff would be lucky to have him. -RD
Actual pick: Drew Pomeranz

6. Arizona Diamondbacks — Christian Yelich, OF
If Yelich played in New York or Los Angeles, he’d be considered a growing star. He’s excellent defensively, and he’s increased both his batting average and OPS — while cutting down on strikeouts — in each season since 2014. -MC
Actual pick: Barret Loux

7. New York Mets — Jameson Taillon, P
The Mets could stick with their original pick (Matt Harvey) and be perfectly content. But Harvey’s Mets tenure hasn’t been without hiccups, so let’s roll the dice and see if New York can land someone even better in Taillon, who’s just now dipping his toes in the big league waters. -RD
Actual pick: Matt Harvey

8. Houston Astros — Matt Harvey, P
The injury issues are a concern, and Harvey hasn’t done much to inspire confidence this season. But at his best, Harvey is a top-of-the-rotation talent, and that’s too much to pass up at this spot. -MC
Actual pick: Delino DeShields Jr.

9. San Diego Padres — Aaron Sanchez, P
Sanchez has looked legit in his first full season as a starter. The possibility of him spearheading the Padres’ rotation for the foreseeable future is too good to pass up, even with some intriguing position players available at No. 9. -RD
Actual pick: Karsten Whitson

10. Oakland Athletics — Andrelton Simmons, SS
Simmons arguably is the best defensive shortstop in baseball, and while he’s not a slugger, he’s displayed the ability to get you somewhere between 35 and 40 extra-base hits per season. -MC
Actual pick: Michael Choice

11. Toronto Blue Jays — Joc Pederson, OF
Pederson still has some kinks to iron out. He strikes out a lot, doesn’t hit for average and has really struggled against left-handed pitching. But he has the tools to be a perennial All-Star. -RD
Actual pick: Deck McGuire

12. Cincinnati Reds — Nick Castellanos, 3B
While you’d love to see Castellanos cut down on the strikeouts, there’s plenty to love about the outfielder. He’s gotten better every season, and he’s still only 24 years old. You can do worse than an infield of Castellanos, Zack Cozart, Brandon Phillips and Joey Votto. -MC
Actual pick: Yasmani Grandal

13. Chicago White Sox — Vincent Velasquez, P
This is an upside pick with the proven starters off the board. Maybe he won’t be a front-line starter in the long run like Chicago’s original pick here (Chris Sale), but Velasquez’s strikeout prowess suggests he’ll stick around and make an impact. -RD
Actual pick: Chris Sale

14. Milwaukee Brewers — Taijuan Walker, P
Walker hasn’t quite lived up to top prospect expectations so far. But here’s the thing: He’s 23 years old. He’s got an easy, repeatable delivery, which bodes well for the future, and a performance like his June 8 start (eight innings, three hits, 11 stirkeouts) show how good he can be. -MC
Actual pick: Dylan Covey

15. Texas Rangers (compensation for unsigned pick) — Drew Pomeranz, P
Pomeranz now looks like a capable starter after initially struggling in the role. The hope here is that he’ll remain in the rotation, but the Rangers can pick him at No. 15 knowing they’ll at least end up with a good reliever if all else fails. This seems like a safe pick as far as pitchers go. -RD
Actual pick: Jake Skole

16. Chicago Cubs — Kole Calhoun, OF
The Angels made a mess of the 2010 draft early, but taking Calhoun in the eighth round was a great pick. The Cubs jump on him here, though, taking a Gold Glover who can hit 25 to 30 home runs and has improved every single year in the majors. -MC
Actual pick: Hayden Simpson

17. Tampa Bay Rays — Adam Eaton, OF
Eaton can impact the game with both his bat and his glove. He also has speed, making him a good leadoff option worth selecting in the middle of Round 1. -RD
Actual pick: Josh Sale

18. Los Angeles Angels (compensation for Chone Figgins) — Yasmani Grandal, C
Grandal’s 2015 All-Star selection probably was a bit of an aberration, but he’s still a legitimate big leaguer with some pop. Much more than the Angels can say for anyone else they drafted in the first round in 2010. -MC
Actual pick: Kaleb Cowart

19. Houston Astros (compensation for Jose Valverde) — Corey Dickerson, OF
Dickerson’s numbers definitely were inflated by playing his home games at Coors Field. His .910 OPS in 712 plate appearances between 2014 and 2015 is nothing to sneeze at, though. His offensive upside surpasses that of any other position player avaiable. -RD
Actual pick: Mike Foltynewicz

20. Boston Red Sox (compensation for Billy Wagner) — Drew Smyly, P
Just about any pick here would be better than Kolbrin Vitek, who retired in 2014. Smyly’s injury issues obviously are a concern, but when he’s healthy, he can be really good. You don’t think this Red Sox team, with the pitching issues they have, wouldn’t take a chance on a left-hander averaging more than 10 strikeouts per inning? -MC
Actual pick: Kolbrin Vitek

21. Minnesota Twins — Kevin Kiermaier, OF
Kiermaier doesn’t bring much offense to the table. But that’s OK. His glove work more than makes up for it. -RD
Actual pick: Alex Wimmers

22. Texas Rangers — Evan Gattis, C/1B
Gattis was born and raised in Dallas, so that’s a nice little fit. He also made his big league debut in 2013, hitting 21 home runs as a rookie. Maybe that would have been enough to keep the Rangers from trading Ian Kinsler for Prince Fielder — and his contract — after the 2013 season.  -MC
Actual pick: Kellin Deglan

23. Florida Marlins — Jedd Gyorko, 2B
Gyorko can play three infield positions and add some pop despite suspect on-base numbers. The pickings are slim in the position player pool, so he’s worth grabbing here given that he actually has a major league track record. -RD
Actual pick: Christian Yelich

24. San Francisco Giants — James Paxton, P
The Giants have a bit of a history when it comes to developing pitchers, and maybe that’s enough to help Paxton realize his potential. Regardless, putting him in spacious AT&T Park and in the National League West helps, too. -MC
Actual pick: Gary Brown

25. St. Louis Cardinals — Jesse Hahn, P
We still don’t know how Hahn will hold up over the course of a full major league season, but he’s shown enough upside in his two-plus seasons between San Diego and Oakland to justify bringing him aboard in St. Louis. -RD
Actual pick: Zack Cox

26. Colorado Rockies — Chad Bettis, P
At the very least, the Rockies know what they’re getting here. In 2015, Bettis’ first full season as a starter, he posted a 3.85 FIP, which is considered average. An “average” starting pitcher is worth more than you might realize, especially considering what we’re choosing from at this point. -MC
Actual pick: Kyle Parker

27. Philadelphia Phillies — A.J. Griffin, P
Griffin missed two full seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery, so the injury concerns are fair, as are concerns about his propensity for surrendering home runs. Still, his overall production between 2012 and 2013 gives him an edge over the other pitchers available with big league experience. -RD
Actual pick: Jesse Biddle

28. Los Angeles Dodgers — Robbie Ray, P
Given the spot, this could be a steal. There’s enough to like about Ray’s last two seasons — like his 3.53 FIP in 2015 and his 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings in 2016 — to take him here, especially considering he’s just 24 years old. -MC
Actual pick: Zach Lee

29. Los Angeles Angels (compensation for John Lackey) — A.J. Cole, P
Cole entered the 2016 season as Washington’s No. 7 prospect, according to MLB.com. He has very little major league experience, but there aren’t any proven starters left to pluck. Let’s get weird. -RD
Actual pick: Cam Bedrosian

30. Los Angeles Angels — Jimmy Nelson, P
Nelson made 30 big league starts in 2015, while some guy named Chevy Clarke — the Angels’ actual pick in this slot — played seven games in the independent Atlantic League. Nelson isn’t anything special, but he’d be a good piece for the banged-up Angels right about now. -MC
Actual pick: Chevy Clarke

31. Tampa Bay Rays (compensation for unsigned pick) — Josh Rutledge, IF
Rutledge is a servicable major leaguer capable of playing several positions. That’s more than can be said for most of the players still kicking around at this stage of the draft. -RD
Actual pick: Justin O’Conner

32. New York Yankees — Shawn Tolleson, P
By making this pick, you’ve got to hope 2016 is the aberration for Tolleson, not 2014 and 2015. -MC
Actual pick: Cito Culver

Thumbnail photo via Brad Mills/USA TODAY Sports Images

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