After a 65-97 2009 season, the Cleveland Indians landed the fifth overall pick of the 2010 draft and selected left-handed pitcher Drew Pomeranz out of Ole Miss. While Pomeranz has been in the majors since 2011, not one inning he has thrown as a pro has come as an Indian.
In July of 2011, the Indians traded the southpaw to the Colorado Rockies in a deal that landed Cleveland Ubaldo Jimenez.
Pomeranz would stick with Colorado until 2013 and after a stint with the Oakland A’s, he joined the San Diego Padres in 2016, where he’d be named an all-star before being traded days after the All-Star Game to the Boston Red Sox.
In Boston, the left-hander helped the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. He’d sign with the San Francisco Giants after the 2018 season, was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers in the Summer of 2019 and is now back with the Padres after Milwaukee traded him last offseason.
While he’s had a solid MLB career, Pomeranz is a journeyman, and Jimenez’s up and down tenure with the Indians suggests Cleveland would’ve been better off going another route with the fifth overall pick.
There are many names that the Indians skipped over in the 2010 draft that would’ve been a better pick than Pomeranz. Chris Sale, Yasmani Grandal, Noah Syndergaard and J.T. Realmuto were just some of the names to go after Pomeranz, but the one that stands out most is Christian Yelich.
Yelich was selected with the 23rd pick in the draft by the Florida Marlins. After five strong seasons with the Marlins, he was traded to the Brewers before the 2018 season and has become one of baseball’s best.
In 2018, he won NL MVP honors after slashing .326/.402/.598 with 36 home runs and 110 RBI’s while guiding the Brewers to their first NL Central title since 2011 and within one win of the World Series as they dropped a seven-game NLCS to the Dodgers.
The following year, Yelich finished as the runner up for the NL MVP Award as he slashed .329/.429/.671 with 44 home runs and 97 RBI’s.
With the Indians outfield woes the past few seasons, having Yelich may have just helped the team reach the 2019 Postseason and go further in 2020.