I participated in a franchise draft at The Hardball Times. If we were were starting a team from scratch, the assignment read, whom would we choose as our first pick and why?
I picked 12th overall. Luckily for me, my hometown hero Manny Machado was available:
He’s a third baseman, he’ll play his age-25 season next year, and he’s tremendous both at the plate and on the field. He’s racked up 26 WAR in his short career. For context, 7,853 players in MLB history have accrued at least 10 plate appearances through age 24. Machado’s WAR total ranks 29th, or better than 99.6 percent of these guys.