Even to the current day, there were some players that were selected later in this draft, who could very well turn into gems down the road. While there is a lot of movement in my re-drafts, this one to date was by far the hardest to decide. There are so many breakout stars in 2021 that appear on this list, but I look for longevity for my re-draft selections, not just a single good season.
- Arizona Diamondbacks: Alex Bregman, SS, LSU
Original Pick: Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
Few doubted that Bregman would turn into a star. With a move to third, he’s one of two stars left on their team since their 2017 championship run. He was also essential to that run.
- Houston Astros: Walker Buehler, RHP, Vanderbilt
Original Pick: Alex Bregman, SS, LSU
Buehler? Buehler? Sorry, I had to. While Buehler was chosen in the back half of the first round, he clearly should’ve been a top-three selection. But the Astros pick of Bregman paid off. This is one re-draft they don’t want a do-over on!
- Colorado Rockies: Cedric Mullins, OF, Campbell
Original Pick: Brendan Rodgers, SS, Lake Mary HS (FL)
Like many picks in this draft, I have faith in Brendan Rodgers. It’s just taking him a little slower to come on, but there is still hope for him. Regardless, however, knowing what we know now, Mullins was the obvious choice all along. Easy to say now, right? Chosen with the 403 pick in the 13th round, Mullins fought and clawed for every opportunity that was given to him and is now a star in Baltimore. I feel this isn’t a flash in the pan season for him and, barring injury, Mullins could very well become the foundational piece the Orioles can build on. If he was in Colorado, the same scenario would’ve applied.
- Texas Rangers: Ke’Bryan Hayes, 3B, Concordia Lutheran HS (TX)
Original Pick: Dillon Tate, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
I’m a huge fan of Ke’Bryan Hayes. His star potential is through the roof. Repeating above, if the Rangers knew now what we all know, then Hayes would’ve been selected at four, instead of with the 32nd pick in the Compensatory Round. If Hayes stays healthy, he could become the star Pittsburgh so desperately needs.
- Houston Astros: Brandon Lowe, 2B, Maryland
Original Pick: Kyle Tucker, OF, H.B. Plant HS (FL)
Brandon Lowe broke on the scene in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays. He’s been very consistent. So much in fact that he was selected for the 2019 All-Star game and was named to the All-MLB Second Team in 2020. He probably should be listed higher, but I think he’s hit his ceiling, if I’m being honest.
- Minnesota Twins: Mike Soroka, RHP, Bishop Carroll HS (AB)
Original Pick: Tyler Jay, LHP, Illinois
Though he’s out with an injury in the 2021 season, Soroka was one of the few bright spots in Atlanta’s rotation the past three seasons. In those three seasons he’s pitched in only 214 innings, but he maintains a 2.86 ERA with 171 strikeouts. 2019 was his best to date, where he was named to the All-Star game and like Lowe, made the All-MLB Second Team.
- Boston Red Sox: Dansby Swanson, SS, Vanderbilt
Original Pick: Andrew Benintendi, OF, Arkansas
I think we’ve seen Swanson’s ceiling. True, he’s only 27 and has plenty of baseball ahead of him, but so far he hasn’t lived up to the number one pick in the 2015 draft. He’s a career .250 hitter with 10-15 homer power. He doesn’t drive in too many runs, mostly because he bats near the bottom of the lineup, but he’s just not that kind of player. He’s still a very serviceable shortstop. Who knows, maybe if the Red Sox selected him he would’ve had a much different career. I will say though, his career has turned out far better than Benintendi’s.
- Chicago White Sox: Jake Cronenworth, 2B, Michigan
Original Pick: Carson Fulmer, RHP, Vanderbilt
I know, I know. Cronenworth? Really? Hear me out. Much like Mullins, I believe Cronenworth is more than a flash in the pan. This kid can play. He’s been a revelation for San Diego. He is their second baseman, err, first baseman, well, utility infielder of the future. In 2020, he wound up second in all Rookie of the Year votes in the NL. And after posting a .285 batting average with 82 total bases in just 54 games played, he picked up where he left off this season. He made his first ever All-Star game and hit for the cycle. I believe we’ve seen just the tip of the iceberg from Cronenworth.
- Chicago Cubs: Kyle Tucker, OF, H.B. Plant HS (FL)
Original Pick: Ian Happ, OF, Cincinnati
There are other re-drafts out there that don’t even have Tucker in their top-10. I think this is wrong. While he’s not a top-five guy, yet (like he was originally selected in this draft), he does possess many of the attributes Houston was hoping would materialize in the bigs. He’s putting together a solid 2021 as a first time full-time starter in the outfield. He’s hitting .289 with 22 homers and 74 RBIs and maintains a .869 OPS. The future is bright for Tucker. It just took us a while to see him, because up until this year the outfield was jammed.
- Philadelphia Phillies: David Fletcher, SS, Loyola Marymount
Original Pick: Cornelius Randolph, SS, Griffin HS (GA)
I’ve thought about this for a while now, but this season has solidified my stance on David Fletcher. He’s a gamer. Remember when the Angels had Tommy LaStella? Yeah, well, I consider him a younger, improved version. Since his arrival in 2018, Fletcher has proved he belongs to the everyday lineup. Trout and Ohtani aside, he’s about the third most valuable person on this squad. He has .300-a-year potential and is starting to showcase his speed on the base paths. He’s not going to get you 15-20 home runs a season, but what he will do is get on base and move around. The Phillies could’ve used a talent like him at pick 10. The Randolph pick … ouch.