The 2006 MLB draft wasn't considered very good at the time it took place, but it has given us four legitimate stars -- three of them still on major-league rosters -- and plenty of players who've produced some significant big league value. It doesn't match the production of the great 2005 draft class, which already has produced five 30-WAR players and seems likely to end up with two or three more, but that '05 class was seen as great on draft day and hasn't disappointed.
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 the players' 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. Unlike the 2005 re-draft, the first overall pick from 2006, pitcher Luke Hochevar, did not make the list of the top 30 players from the draft crop; he highlights my look at the 2006 draft first-round misses. (By the way, you can see my past re-drafts for 2005, 2004, 2003 and 2002 as well.)
This ranking includes only players who were drafted and signed in 2006. That means some well-known major leaguers, such as Paul Goldschmidt and Mike Leake, 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 2006 draft:
1. Clayton Kershaw, LHP
Highland Park HS (Dallas)
WAR to date: 49.6
The Tigers were leaning toward taking Kershaw at pick No. 6, only to have the sort-of-consensus No. 1 talent Andrew Miller fall to them and make them call an audible on draft day. I think it's more fair to say that, at the time, the draft lacked a clear No. 1 (like this year's draft), and Kershaw had had a very poor showing in his final high school outing, which may have scared several teams, including the Tigers, off him for fear something wasn't right physically. Obviously, that was the Dodgers' gain. Now we'll hear every Texas high school lefty with a good curveball compared to Kershaw for the next 30 years.
Kershaw's actual draft spot: No. 7 overall (Dodgers)
Royals' actual '06 pick: Luke Hochevar, RHP, Tennessee
2. Evan Longoria, 3B
Long Beach State
WAR to date: 43.0