|Rockies fans, he could've been yours. (Getty Images)|
You can take any draftee who, a.) pans out exceptionally well and, b.), wasn't the top overall pick, and pinpoint any number of teams that should've drafted him. It's too easy, and it's usually a lazy way of making a point.
But in the case of the Rockies and Evan Longoria (who, of course, recently signed a lengthy contract extension with the Rays), it goes a bit beyond the usual associations. It turns out the Rockies' scouting department really, really wanted to nab Longoria out of Long Beach State with the second overall choice of the 2006 draft, but ... well, let Jeff Aberle of Purple Row summarize what came to light during a recent appearance by GM Dan O'Dowd and co-owner Dan Monfort on the Dave Logan Show:
Also revealed in the interview was that the Rockies' scouting department was all set to draft Evan Longoria in 2006 but the Monforts overruled them because Colorado had too many third baseman (sic). Ack!
Too many third basemen. There, in the shell of a nut, is why owners should let their baseball people make the baseball decisions. It's the baseball draft, in which there are layers upon layers of challenges between "being selected" and "succeeding at the highest level." In other words, "best available" is always the wisest approach.
Still, that could've made for a pretty nifty left side of the infield in Colorado ...
Who did the Rockies choose instead? Stanford right-hander Greg Reynolds, who has a career ERA of 7.47 in 94.0 major-league innings. He was traded to the Rangers prior to last season and then non-tendered earlier this month.
In sports, it's often lamented that you can't fire the players. It's also worth remembering that you can't fire the owner, either.