The 2008 MLB draft was supposed to be loaded, with a very strong 2007 collegiate national team placing seven guys in the top three rounds and what seemed like a solid crop of high school position players as well. It hasn't worked out that way, with only one true superstar coming out of this draft class, a couple of very solid every-day players, and just one consistent major league starting pitcher -- who was drafted in the 25th round.
This re-draft is based on two major criteria: the players' careers to date and my projections of value they still have to offer (though the list does include players whose careers are likely over). I did not account for signability at the time, nor did I consider a team's preference for high school or college players, pitchers versus position players, etc. In other words, this analysis is based purely on talent. The first overall pick from 2008, prep shortstop Tim Beckham, did not make the list of the top 30 players from the draft crop; he will lead off my look at the 2008 draft first-round misses. (By the way, you can see my past re-drafts for 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 as well.)
This ranking includes only players who were drafted and signed in 2008. That means some well-known major leaguers, such as Anthony Rendon, Jason Kipnis, George Springer and Gerrit Cole, who were drafted that year but didn't sign, aren't eligible for this list. Their day will come.
On to the re-drafted first round of the 2008 draft:
1. Buster Posey, C
39.5 career WAR
Posey nearly went first overall -- the Rays were down to him or Tim Beckham, and when they took the high school player, Posey went second ... no, wait, he went fourth ... no, that's still not right. He went fifth. Posey hit .463/.566/.879 for Florida State and won the Golden Spikes Award in 2008, and was a catcher -- he'd been a shortstop and reliever as a freshman before moving behind the plate full time his sophomore year -- but somehow wasn't the first college player taken or selected in the top four picks. I think it's fair to say this draft changed the future of multiple franchises, none more so than the Giants, because...