Last week, ESPN conducted their second annual Franchise Player Draft, where they recruited thirty of their contributors to select players to theoretically build a team around. When they did this last year, we thought it was a fun idea, so (with their permission), we did one ourselves. Obviously, our guys have a slightly different perspective than many of the ESPN guys, so while the idea is the same, the theories behind the picks are not. It won’t take very long for you to see where some of the ideological differences begin to display themselves.
The draftees were given fairly simple instructions — everyone is starting a franchise from scratch, so it’s up to you to decide how to value short term versus long term wins. You’re not currently in either rebuilding or win now mode, but what pick you make might determine which path you go down. You will control the player’s rights for 10 years, and the actual contract they are signed to in MLB does not come into play. This is solely based on expected future production, so there is no cost analysis that needs to be done. That’s the game — take the guy that you would most want to build around for the next 10 years.
So, without further ado, let’s get to the picks.
#1 — Mike Axisa: Matt Kemp, OF