The Houston Astros have taken every good thing from the Yankees from 2017-2023. Why wouldn't MLB.com happily give them Aaron Judge, too?
In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Y̶a̶n̶k̶e̶e̶s̶ ̶s̶e̶l̶e̶c̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶J̶u̶d̶g̶e̶ in the 2013 MLB Draft, MLB chose to redraft the first round. Naturally, that means stars go to the top, the bottom of the first (where the Yankees actually selected) is packed with middle relievers, and a bunch of teams get boned by being unable to make fourth-round steals (sorry, Dodgers, you lose Cody Bellinger).
The choice was obvious for the first overall pick this time around. After all, only one man in the class has a $360 million contract and a captaincy to his name.
The worst part, of course, was that the 2013 first overall pick belonged to the mid-tank Astros, who actually selected Mark Appel, who bounced around for a while and didn't make his MLB debut until 2022 with the Phillies. Needless to say, he went unselected in MLB's reappraisal.
2013 MLB Draft: Astros select Aaron Judge No. 1 overall, Yankees left scrambling
As MLB's scribes noted, Judge wasn't a sure thing back in 2013. His power was raw, and didn't translate much in-game. Plus, as you're hearing again with Spencer Jones, how many 6'7" outfielders actually figure it out?
Answer: Who cares? This one did!
"It may not seem hard to believe now that Judge holds the American League record for homers in a single season, but he went deep just 18 times in three college seasons and several clubs questioned how well his raw power would translate into game production. It took him four more years to become a big league regular, but he's the unquestionable jewel of this Draft. A four-time All-Star, he owns an AL MVP Award, two other top-five finishes and a pair of home run titles."- Jim Callis
As for what happens to the Yankees in MLB's torture fantasy? They still get to make their three picks at the end of the first round/start of the compensation round. Instead of Judge, Eric Jagielo (future Aroldis Chapman trade participant) and Ian Clarkin (future Todd Frazier/David Robertson trade participant), the time machine gifted them Kendall Graveman, Corey Knebel and Trevor Williams.
Mitch Garver was right there! At least give us Garver!
Safe to say that none of these relievers make it to their second contract with the Yankees, even though both Graveman and Knebel would've been someone helpful during their pre-arb years alongside the Baby Bombers.
All things considered, we'll take Judge.