If every major league ballplayer were up for grabs in a draft and you held the No. 1 pick, who would you select? Contract status doesn't matter, but there are many other factors to consider. Do you want a proven ace but who is already in his mid-30s, like Roy Halladay? Or do you go for youth and inexperience by gambling on Bryce Harper?
The answer, at least for Karl Ravech in ESPN's Franchise Player Draft, is Colorado Rockies SS Troy Tulowitzki. As Ravech explained in the chat:
The first overall selection really is a no-brainer. It’s pretty simple, considering Tulowitzki is 26, averages 28 home runs a year and 98 RBIs. And he’s only getting better. Plus, the guy play in a hitter-friendly ballpark. He has a contract already signed, sealed and delivered, so he’s not going to be one of those guys who will get distracted by the contract conversations. [...]"
A poll following the selection showed that 55 percent of voters agreed with the pick. Tulowitzki's teammate, Carlos Gonzalez, went 24th to Jayson Stark, who eliminated pitchers because of injury and wanted someone younger than Miguel Cabrera. Gonzalez also has a long-term contract that allows a team to build around him.
Oh, there are mentions about playing in Coors Field, but no one is calling either of the two creations of the park.
Bryce Harper did go No. 9 overall and Halladay found his way to No. 28 by Barry Larkin. Somehow the Nationals catcher Wilson Ramos made his way into the draft at No. 30 by Doug Glanville. I agree with SB Nation DC and other places that find it absurd that three Nationals (Harper, Ramos and Strasburg) made the team, but Ryan Zimmerman did not.