The 2012 draft brought some of the rising stars we’re seeing today in the Majors. From a shortstop with Alex Rodriguez expectations to a utility man turned starter, this top-10 is loaded with premiere talent.

Houston Astros: Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy HS (PR)
Actual Pick: Carlos Correa, SS, Puerto Rico Baseball Academy HS (PR)

It was really tough to not put Corey Seager here. Give it time. Seager, the last two years is coming into his own. For right now, Correa is the number one. He’s had more time starting in the bigs and has been healthy the majority of the time. While he’s not the next Alex Rodriguez everyone predicted him to become, he’s definitely a solid defender with a big bat when you need him to be. Maybe on another club he’d thrive in the star role, but his tools are quieter than most bigger shortstops with above average bats.

Minnesota Twins: Corey Seager, SS, Northwest Cabarrus HS (NC)
Actual Pick: Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS (GA)

Jury is still out. When Seager is healthy and has all cylinders firing, there isn’t a shortstop who can touch him in the league. Last year’s postseason was a hint at that. The Twins would’ve been better off drafting a shortstop, instead of going outfield. At the time, Buxton was praised for his five-tool potential, but like all “five-tool potentials” they’re riskier. If you have a tall shortstop who can hit, you take the tall shortstop who can hit. Simple as that.

Seattle Mariners: Marcus Stroman, RHP, Duke
Actual Pick: Mike Zunino, C, Florida

Seattle tried to find their version of Buster Posey. While Zunino isn’t a bad catcher, he never quite became the bat they wanted him to become. If anything he’s become a serviceable backstop. Stroman’s game in and game out fight on the mound would’ve fit well in the northwest.

Baltimore Orioles: Jose Berrios, RHP, Papa Juan XXIII HS (PR)
Actual Pick: Kevin Gausman, RHP, LSU

Just like Seager, Berrios is another pick from this draft who could rise. He’s just become the ace of the Twins’ rotation. By 2022, we should see fireworks from him. At pick four, Baltimore would’ve found their ace to build around.

Kansas City Royals: Matt Olson, 1B, Parkview HS (GA)
Actual Pick: Kyle Zimmer, RHP, San Fransisco

As part of the supplemental first round, Matt Olson was selected 47th. He would’ve been the next Eric Hosmer for KC, had they selected him. Olson found his way with the A’s, though, and looks to be there a long time.

Chicago Cubs: Josh Hader, LHP, Old Mill HS (MD)
Actual Pick: Albert Almora Jr., OF, Mater Academy (FL)

While Almora Jr. has a lot of upside, Josh Hader would’ve been the better choice. He’s arguably the best reliever in all of baseball. Who would’ve thought the 19th round of this draft that anyone would’ve found such a gem. When he broke into the pros, there was a lot of upside of him being a starter, but as he entered the Major League ranks, it was obvious he could meet his full potential in the pen.

San Diego Padres: Lucas Giolito, RHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)
Actual Pick: Max Fried, LHP, Harvard-Westlake HS (CA)

Like Berrios, Giolito is young and there is a lot to prove still. There’s a lot to like about Giolito, but once he gets out of his own way and the injuries settle down, Giolito could be a top ace in the league. Of the few re-drafts out there, they avoid putting Giolito in their top-10. I still have faith in him. San Diego would’ve gotten a steal here had they picked him. So in a nutshell, San Diego went with the other Harvard-Westlake pitcher.

Pittsburgh Pirates: Byron Buxton, OF, Appling County HS (GA)
Actual Pick: Mark Appel, RHP, Stanford

Mark Appel made no sense in any draft he was in. Buxton was chosen higher than this, but his stellar 2021 campaign and his yearly Golden Glove pushes make him an obvious choice for my top-10. This might be the turning point for Buxton this year. We might see his full potential reached. He could become one of the best center fielders in the game. For now, he cracks my list, and the Pirates get their next Andrew McCutchen.

Miami Marlins: Joey Gallo, OF, Bishop Gorman HS (NV)
Actual Pick: Andrew Heaney, LHP, Oklahoma State

Gallo is up and down for me. A very good and polished hitter, he strikes out a lot. But brings a lot of pop to Texas’ lineup. If the Marlins selected him here, they might’ve had a little more power right now in their lineup.

Colorado Rockies: Max Muncy, IF, Baylor
Actual Pick: David Dahl, OF, Oak Mountain HS (AL)

I wanted to put Muncy higher, but this was the first year he seems to be the everyday starter for the Dodgers, instead of their utility man. Had the Rockies drafted him, he would’ve been an instant star in Colorado when Nolan Arenado was traded. Muncy can produce at the plate and in the field, and might’ve been someone next to Trevor Story and Charlie Blackmon that they could’ve built a solid foundation off of.

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