The MLB Draft doesn't get as much hype as the NFL or NBA draft might. But, the MLB draft has certainly had its fair share of success stories as well as its failures. A guy like Mike Trout has blessed the Los Angeles Angels organization with a player that is consistently up for MVP awards and is being viewed as the face of the MLB by some. Then, there is a star in Boston by the name of Mookie Betts. Betts was the AL MVP runner-up in 2016 and one of the front-runners for the award this season. The Red Sox are extremely lucky they selected Mookie and have watched him grow and develop in the minors before he made his difference for the Red Sox in the big leagues. But some organizations are not as lucky as the Red Sox or Angels in keeping high quality talent that they drafted.
Some teams select players in their drafts that look to be a sure thing in the near future. Whether it is because of age, lack of production, or the chance to obtain a Major League ready player to reach closer to the goal of a World Series title, some prospects find themselves on the move quickly. It is always fun to imagine what certain prospects would have done if they were still with the original teams that drafted them. But who are some of the players that fall into this category? Let's take a look at 30 MLB players who haven't played for the team that drafted them.
30 Drew Pomeranz - Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians already have a solidified rotation with Corey Kluber at the top. They made a move to get Drew Pomeranz in the 2007 MLB draft, however, he didn't end up staying very long.
Pomeranz was with the Indians organization from 2007-2010 before getting traded to the Colorado Rockies.
Since then, he has made stops in San Diego where he was All-Star and now is with Boston as they prepare to try to make a World Series run. Pomeranz has been demoted to the bullpen and will likely stay there if he makes the postseason roster. The Indians might have lucked out with trading Drew Pomeranz.
29 Michael Kopech - Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are on the verge of making a World Series run with their high scoring offense and rotation which is led by ace Chris Sale. Of course, the Red Sox traded for Sale to become their ace, meaning they had to part ways with Minor League pitcher Michael Kopech. Kopech was the Red Sox first round draft pick in 2014, 33rd overall, who had a fastball that can top out at over 100 miles per hour.
Kopech found his way to the White Sox in 2018, but his season was cut short when it was announced he needed Tommy John surgery. Kopech will be missed by avid Red Sox fans and loved by White Sox fans for years to come.
28 Aaron Judge - Oakland Athletics
You have to wonder with the kind of hype and attention Aaron Judge gets, just how would his star power have been affected if he had signed with the Oakland Athletics? The A's were the team that initially drafted Aaron Judge, back in 2010. He was a 31st round pick, primarily because he was still a high schooler, but the A's felt his upside was there. However, Judge elected to continue playing baseball at Fresno State. Three years later, he was taken 32nd overall by the Yankees. Seeing the star he's become, the A's must be pained to see how good Judge is.
"As scouts, in a lot of cases, what we do is dream," A's scouting director Eric Kubota said. "And when we dreamed about Judge, this is probably what we thought about."
27 Justin Turner - New York Yankees
Justin Turner has turned into a steady producer over at the hot corner that is third base for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
He was originally a 29th round draft pick by the Yankees back in 2005.
He was drafted again in 2006, this time by the Cincinnati Reds in the seventh round, and made his way to the Minor Leagues. Turner made his way to the Orioles via trade in 2008 and has since been with them, the Mets, and now the Dodgers. He has found a good home in L.A. as he was an All-Star in 2017 and the NLCS MVP.
26 David Price - Los Angeles Dodgers
David Price is enjoying getting back to the David Price of old lately. He was originally taken in 19th round of the 2004 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Like Sonny Gray, Price elected to go to Vanderbilt and it paid off as he was taken first overall in 2007 by the Rays. Price has since been a five time All-Star as well as winning a Cy Young award in 2012. Price will hopefully be helping this October and get the "can't pitch in the postseason" monkey off his back.
25 Edwin Encarnacion - Texas Rangers
Edwin Encarnacion is without a doubt one of the more explosive power hitters in the MLB. He has a big, long swing that does wonders when he connects. He was taken by the Texas Rangers in the ninth round of the 2000 MLB draft. He was then immediately traded to the Reds. He made his way through Cincinnati, Toronto, and is now with the Cleveland Indians. He is a three time All-Star and was the RBI leader in the American League in 2016. Imagine if he had stayed in Texas and had his trademark "Edwing" running around the bases all of the time.
24 Josh Donaldson - Chicago Cubs
Josh Donaldson is coming off of an injury and is hoping to bring a bit of his former self to Cleveland in their pursuit for their first World Series title since 1948.
Originally, he was drafted by the Cubs in 2007 in the first round as a catcher.
He then went to Oakland and was recently with the Toronto Blue Jays before finding himself in Cleveland. Donaldson is a three time All-Star and was the 2015 American League MVP as well. Donaldson could have been doing that in Chicago. But if he was, what would have happened to current third baseman Kris Bryant?
23 Kris Bryant - Toronto Blue Jays
In the 18th round of the 2010 MLB draft, the Blue Jays went with little known Kris Bryant. Bryant elected to not sign and go to college at the University of San Diego. In the 2013 MLB draft, the Cubs selected Bryant second overall and have not regretted it since. Bryant was a very big part of the Cubs reversing their curse in 2016. He is a two time All-Star, World Series champion, and the 2016 National League MVP. The Blue Jays are probably upset they couldn't draft Bryant again during the 2013 MLB draft.
22 Anthony Rizzo - Boston Red Sox
Like we mentioned before, the Red Sox have adequate first basemen heading into the playoffs. They once had that with left-handed hitting first baseman Anthony Rizzo. He was then sent to San Diego as part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade that brought him to Boston. Rizzo is now a three time All-Star along with being a Silver Slugger award winner and a Gold Glove winner in 2016. Rizzo can share the corner infield spots comfortably with Bryant as they gear up for several more postseason runs.
21 Trea Turner - San Diego Padres
The 2014 MLB draft saw the Padres with the 13th overall selection. They decided to go with Trea Turner out of North Carolina State. Turner was known as an infielder with speed and could also hit for average.
The Padres however ended up trading Trea Turner to the Washington Nationals in a trade package that also included a third team in the Tampa Bay Rays.
Turner has not made an All-Star team yet, but has hit for the cycle before. Turner could be an integral piece to the Washington Nationals if and when Bryce Harper decides to leave Washington for good.
20 Noah Syndergaard - Toronto Blue Jays
The Toronto Blue Jays might have made a big mistake with letting Noah Syndegaard go when they did. The Mets right-handed pitcher was originally selected by the Blue Jays in the first round of the 2010 MLB draft. In December of 2012, the Blue Jays traded Syndegaard to the Mets in the deal that brought R.A. Dickey over. Syndegaard was a 2016 All-Star and has a career ERA near 3.00. The proof is in the stats, Syndegaard could have given the Blue Jays an ace they could rely on for many years.
19 Corey Kluber - San Diego Padres
One of the best pitchers in the game right now is Corey Kluber. Just don't remind the San Diego Padres that. The Padres selected Kluber in the fourth round of the 2007 MLB draft. They then proceeded to trade Kluber to the Indians in July of 2010 and the rest has been history. He is a three time All-Star and two time Cy Young award winner as well. Corey Kluber looks just as dominant now as he did in his early days as he prepares the Indians for another quest for the World Series crown come October.
18 Adam Ottavino - Tampa Bay Rays
One reliever in the game right now for the Rockies that is helping them in their quest for the National League crown is Adam Ottavino. He was taken by the Tampa Bay Rays in the 30th round of the 2003 MLB draft.
He decided to go play collegiate baseball at Northeastern University and then was selected by the St. Louis Cardinals in 2010.
He has 452 career strikeouts and has a 2.15 ERA this season with the Rockies. The Rays bullpen could have been even better if Ottavino signed.
17 Michael Fulmer - New York Mets
The New York Mets have a duo of Jacob DeGrom and Noah Syndegaard that makes for a very intimidating one-two punch. Imagine if they had Michael Fulmer as a third piece? Fulmer was taken by the New York Mets in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft.
In 2015, Fulmer was traded to the Tigers and the Mets might regret it a little bit. He was an All-Star in 2017 and looks to lead the Tigers in their rebuild. If the Mets had Fulmer, it could have been different for them.
16 Charlie Blackmon - Miami Marlins
A key player to the Colorado Rockies recent surge in the National League West was outfielder Charlie Blackmon. Blackmon was actually drafted twice before, once in 2004 by the Marlins, and once in 2005 by the Red Sox. He didn't sign either time, but finally signed when the Rockies drafted him in the second round of the 2008 MLB draft. He is a three time All-Star and was also the National League batting champion in 2017. If the Rockies punch their ticket into October, Blackmon will be a key piece to their run.
15 Mike Clevinger - Los Angeles Angels
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim have not had a lot to cheer for over the past decade or so, with the exception of superstar outfielder Mike Trout. They could have used somebody like Mike Clevinger to be a steady arm in the rotation.
The Angels had Clevinger at one point, when they drafted him in the fourth round of the 2011 MLB draft.
He was traded to the Indians in 2014 and has been a solid starter. He has a career ERA under 3.50, something the Angels probably wish they had for their own rotation.
14 Sean Newcomb - Los Angeles Angels
The Angels probably are also regretting getting rid of Sean Newcomb as well. Newcomb was taken in the first round of the 2014 MLB draft by the Angels. The Angels then traded Newcomb to the Braves and he is helping a young Braves team start establishing their dominance over the NL East for years to come. The Braves can keep developing Newcomb while the Angels can only watch from afar and ask themselves, what if they decided to keep him?
13 Justus Sheffield - Cleveland Indians
The Cleveland Indians have a very good overall pitching staff from the starting rotation to the bullpen. They have Andrew Miller who is one of the best relievers in the game. That wouldn't have happened if the Indians didn't trade Justus Sheffield though. Sheffield was part of the trade to the Yankees to send Miller to Cleveland. He has had an ERA in the low threes at every Minor League level he has been at with the Yankees. He could be very significant to their bullpen next year and be a help for the Yankees to go back to the World Series.
12 Dansby Swanson - Arizona Diamondbacks
Imagine being the first overall pick in the MLB draft. Now, imagine being that number one overall pick and not even a year later, you are with a different team. Dansby Swanson went through that exact same situation.
He was the number one overall pick in 2015, selected by the Arizona Diamondbacks, and also given a $6.5 million signing bonus.
He was then traded to the Braves in December of 2015 and has been with the Braves since. His glove is as advertised, but his bat has been lacking a bit. Luckily, he is only 24 and has many more years ahead of him.
11 Stephen Piscotty - Los Angeles Dodgers
The Los Angeles Dodgers are fighting for a postseason berth, which is weird considering they went all out to get Manny Machado and Brian Dozier into the fold to help increase their chances. The Dodgers could have had Stephen Piscotty along for their ride as well. The Dodgers drafted Piscotty in the 45th round in 2009. Not coming as much of a surprise, Piscotty declined to sign and went to Stanford to play baseball there.
He was then drafted by the Cardinals in the 2012 draft and played for a few years until he made his way to Oakland this year. Stephen Piscotty could have helped the Dodgers during their chase for the pennant.
10 Brandon Belt - Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox probably would not be minding having the services of Brandon Belt for the playoffs. Belt was originally drafted by the Red Sox in the 2006 draft in the 11th round. Belt has won two World Series titles with the Giants and also was an All-Star in 2016. He was also drafted again by the Atlanta Braves the following year, but chose not to sign for the second time. Belt could have given them the consistent bat that a guy like Mitch Moreland or Steve Pearce might not bring.
9 Chris Davis - New York Yankees
The New York Yankees were probably right when they chose Chris Davis with the third to last pick in the 2004 MLB draft.
Davis obviously declined and then was in the draft again the next year by the Angels.
He once again didn't sign. The third time was the charm as he was drafted in the fifth round of the 2006 draft by the Texas Rangers. Davis is having one of the worst offensive seasons and the worst part is that Davis has four years and $92 million on his contract. However he was once a 50-home run hitter.
8 Sonny Gray - Chicago Cubs
The Chicago Cubs have went out and gotten pitchers to help their rotation over the last five years such as Jon Lester and Cole Hamels. The Cubs also had Sonny Gray after they drafted him in the 27th round of the 2008 MLB draft. He declined and then to Vanderbilt. After his college career, he went back in the drafted in 2011 and was taken 18th overall by the Athletics. He was an All-Star in 2015 with the A's and is now with the Yankees. Gray could either have been a huge help or a big disappointment for the Cubs if he'd signed.
7 Hunter Pence - Milwaukee Brewers
The Milwaukee Brewers have made some enormous strides in recent seasons and have proven to be a threat to the Cubs in the NL Central. One piece the Brewers could have used for veteran presence is Hunter Pence. Pence has made a name for himself in San Francisco as he is a three time All-Star and two time World Series champion. He was originally taken by the Brewers in the 40th round of the 2002 MLB draft and he didn't sign. The Brewers could certainly use his career .280 average to help the Brewers make it to playing in October.
6 Matt Harvey - Los Angeles Angels
Another pitching prospect that the Los Angeles Angels let fall through the cracks was Matt Harvey. Harvey was selected by the Angels in the third round of the 2007 MLB draft.
Harvey chose to go to the University of North Carolina and then was the seventh overall pick in the 2010 MLB draft.
He had several successful seasons with the Mets and helped bring the Mets to the World Series in 2015. Harvey is now with the Reds as his career looks to be ending fairly soon. The Angels could have used Harvey during his prime pitching years.
5 Ben Zobrist - Houston Astros
Ben Zobrist has seen his way around the Major Leagues in many different roles. His first role came as a draft pick in the the sixth round of the 2004 draft by the Astros. The Astros then traded away Zobrist to the Rays and that was the start of his long journey. He is a three time All-Star and two time World Series winner, including being a vital part of the Cubs breaking their 108 year curse. Zobrist could have been helpful with the Astros if he stayed there his entire career.
4 Gerrit Cole - New York Yankees
The New York Yankees took a big chance on Gerrit Cole in the 2008 MLB draft, taking him 28th overall. Although the Yankees were ready to give him a big signing bonus, he ultimately settled for going to UCLA. After his career as a Bruin ended, he was the number one overall pick in the 2011 draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was an All-Star in 2015 with the Pirates and he was an All-Star with the Houston Astros in 2018. As the Astros attempt to win another World Series, Cole will be a huge piece to their success.
3 Adrian Gonzalez - Miami Marlins
The Marlins had Adrian Gonzalez in their future plans when they selected him first overall in the 2000 MLB draft. He was then traded to the Texas Rangers as the Marlins were trying to obtain pitching to help them in their quest for a World Series in 2003, which they later ended up winning.
Gonzalez has made his way around the Majors and looks like he is on the verge of calling it a career.
He is a five time All-Star and two time Silver Slugger award winner. The Marlins could have used him as they now see what he became as his career progressed forward.
2 Addison Russell - Oakland Athletics
The Oakland Athletics surprised many people this season, earning a wild card spot. One guy that the Athletics could have had for their run was Addison Russell. In fact, they had Russell in their farm system after they selected Russell 11th overall in the 2012 MLB draft. Russell was Oakland's top prospect before he was traded to the Cubs in 2014. He has been with the Cubs ever since and he got an All-Star selection in 2016 along with a World Series title to add to it as well.
1 Patrick Corbin - Los Angeles Angels
Patrick Corbin has made a name for himself as a steady starter in the Arizona Diamondbacks rotation. Once again, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim could have had him still with them in the rotation today. Corbin was taken by the Angels in the second round of the 2009 MLB draft. He was then traded in 2010 to the Diamondbacks and hasn't looked back since. He is a two time All-Star, including getting the nod for the 2018 All-Star game.