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Athletics Missed Out on Some Greatness in 2010 MLB Draft

The Oakland Athletics took outfielder Michael Choice with the 10th pick in the draft a decade ago. The players they passed up for a player who has been out of MLB since 2015 included some of the game's best, including starter Chris Sale, outfielder Christian Yelich, starter Jacob deGrom and shortstop Andrelton Simmons.
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As we prepare for the 2020 draft’s first round tonight, it’s a good time to look back at one of the most productive drafts in history.

The draft of 2010 produced as many or more stars than any draft in memory.

The first pick, of course, was Bryce Harper, who helped build the Nationals in to a World Series contender as a Rookie of the Year, MVP and six-time All-Star. Ironically, when the Nationals actually won the World Series last year, Harper had cast his lot with the Phillies.

The third pick was Manny Machado, tabbed by the Orioles. A shortstop-turned-third baseman-turned shortstop, he’s been a four-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glover and won a Platinum Glove as well.

Fourth pick Christian Colon helped the Royals win the World Series as a sophomore in 2015, when he hit .290, but he’s slipped badly since then.

Matt Harvey, the seventh pick, was an All-Star in his first full season with the Mets, but injuries have cut his impact.

For the record, the A’s took outfielder Michael Choice with the 10th pick in the draft. He made it to the big leagues in 2013, after which Oakland dealt him to the Rangers. He played for Texas for two years, but hasn’t appeared in the big leagues since. He’s become a world traveler, though, playing a couple of seasons in Korea and has since moved on to Mexico.

Sports Illustrated’s Emma Baccellieri has taken the time to go into a redraft of the 2010 draft that you can look at here. What the story underscores for A’s watchers is just how much talent the A’s passed up a decade ago.

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Oakland was never going to get Harper, Machado or any of the top picks. But the players the A’s could have gotten with the No. 10 choice are pretty stellar.

Left-handed starter Chris Sale wound up with the White Sox, who chose him with the 13th pick. Sale has the best WAR of any player from the draft. He’s been a seven-time All-Star and has finished in the top three in the Cy Young Award voting six times in the last seven years. That would have played pretty well in Oakland.

So, too, would Christian Yelich, the 23rd overall pick taken by the Marlins. He’s won two batting titles, is a three-time Silver Slugger winner, owns a Gold Glove, an MVP award and is a two-time All-Star.

Add to the mix the 272nd pick, Jacob deGrom, who has moved up from winning a Rookie of the Year award for the Mets to add two Cy Young Awards to his collection. And shortstop Andrelton Simmons, tabbed by the Braves with the 70th pick, who is as good a defensive shortstop as there is in the game with four Gold Gloves and one Platinum Glove.

There’s still more. Noah Syndergaard, the 38th pick of the Toronto Blue Jays, who had become a staple of the Mets’ rotation. And there’s catcher J.T. Realmuto, the 104th pick by the Marlins, who has developed into one of the best catchers in the game as a two-time All-Star and a two-time Silver Slugger winner.

This just goes to show what can be won or lost in the draft. The A’s need to do better today than they did 10 years go. Much better.

Follow Athletics insider John Hickey on Twitter: @JHickey3

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