Philadelphia Phillies: Matt Holliday, 10 Impact Players Passed For Draft Busts

January 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Fan News

Ah, what could have been.

The MLB’s Rule Four Draft, better known as the First Year Player Draft, is not a simple process. Teams spend months preparing for the annual June draft, setting aside a budget, ranking a player’s sign-ability and preparing alternatives in the event that their planned player is not available with their pick. If the draft were as simple as taking the best player available, imagine what baseball could look like today.

However, there are a pantheon of variables that each team “on the clock” must face. For example, do you take the safe route and draft a college senior who is more likely to sign, or do you draft a high school senior with high upside and a commitment to college? The first players is almost guaranteed to sign with you. But the second player, who could become the better major league player, could turn you down, attend college, and re-enter the draft in a few years, unless you offer him a large amount of money, of course.

Those variables, combined with this year’s free agent class, really got me to thinking. A quick glance at the free agent market shows an interesting fact: the Tampa Bay Rays own 12 draft picks in the first two rounds of the draft. If they draft the best player available with all 12 of their picks, they could easily replace players like Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena and Grant Balfour, and then some. However, they must factor in those aforementioned variables.

In my mind, that raised the question—”What if the Phillies had done just that?”

A look at the current Phillies’ roster usually earns them a “get out of jail free” card. With names like Chase Utley, Ryan Howard and Cole Hamels all coming up through the Phillies’ system, people often forget that once upon a time, the Phillies’ had done a terrible job drafting.

Having to worry about sign-ability, money and potential certainly factors into some of their decisions, what if none of those variables were on the table?

As they say, hindsight is 20-20, but looking back sure is a whole lot of fun. With that in mind, what could the Philadelphia Phillies look like today if they were able to go back in time and re-draft some of their team? In the long run, they make look a little something like this.

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Article Source: Bleacher Report - Philadelphia Phillies

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