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Revisiting the 2008 Draft: Would You Still Draft Hosmer?

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We're almost five years out from the 2008 draft when the Royals selected Eric Hosmer third overall. Was that the right selection?

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

Jim Callis at Baseball America recently dipped into his mailbag and got this interesting question:

If the 2008 draft could be done all over again, what would the top 10 picks look like?
Sheila Marie C. Dizon
Daly City, Calif.

Good question Sheila. The Royals had the third overall pick that year. After the Rays took shortstop Tim Beckham number one overall (see, they never make mistakes in the draft!) and the Pirates selected Vanderbilt third baseman Pedro Alvarez, the Royals took Florida prep star Eric Hosmer with the third overall pick.

At the time, I remember the main debate being whether the Royals should select Hosmer or University of South Carolina first baseman Justin Smoak. There were also some that wanted Georgia shortstop Gordon Beckham or Florida State catcher Buster Posey. Smoak has been a huge bust and Beckham has been largely disappointing. Posey meanwhile, has become one of the best players in baseball.

Let's look at the first round draft class of 2008, sorted by WAR.

Name


Drafted Out Of


WAR


Actual Draft Pick


C Buster Posey

Florida State University

12.3

5

3B Brett Lawrie

Brookswood SS (Langley, BC)

7.9

16

1B Ike Davis

Arizona State University

5.0

18

IF Gordon Beckham

University of Georgia

4.9

8

P Wade Miley

Southeast Louisiana University

4.1

43

P Lance Lynn

University of Mississippi

2.4

39

P Brian Matusz

University of San Diego

1.6

4

1B Eric Hosmer

American Heritage (Plantation, FL)

1.5

3

1B Yonder Alonso

University of Miami

1.5

7

3B Logan Forsythe

University of Arkansas

1.2

46

Hosmer is down on the list by WAR, but mostly because he was so terrible in 2012. Hosmer still has more upside than a lot of names on that list, especially considering his solid rookie season in 2011. Posey and Lawrie still look like the two best names going forward, but after that its a lot more murky. Would you take Hosmer over Ike Davis? Wade Miley? Lance Lynn?

Callis argues for Hosmer's upside, claiming Hosmer is the third best overall talent from that draft, even including valuable players from later rounds like Danny Espinosa, Craig Kimbrel and Alex Avila. The scout-types still seem to believe very much in Hosmer, and the fact he at least had a very good 2011 season should give us some confidence going forward.

What do you think? Did the Royals get the third best player from the 2008 draft? If we got a re-do, and Posey and Lawrie were off the board, who would you select?