5 Stars The Cleveland Guardians Had And Lost In The MLB Draft

The MLB Draft in an interesting process that allows players to be selected multiple times, never signing deals. Here are five players the Cleveland Guardians nearly had, but lost to the process.
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4. Max Muncy, 2009 MLB Draft

Max Muncy
Atlanta Braves v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

In terms of offensive production,Max Muncy is probably the most accomplished player on the list. However, few expected the rise that came with his career, finishing inside the top 15 for MVP voting three times, earning two All-Star appearances, and winning a World Series ring. 

In the 2009 MLB Draft, the Cleveland Guardians organization took Max Muncy in a round that doesn't even exist anymore, the 41st. A prospect out of Keller High School in Texas, Muncy turned down the draft selection and stayed close to home at Baylor University.

The years at Baylor helped Muncy but didn't shoot him up the draft boards the way other names on this list did. Muncy didn't see the field at Baylor until 2011 but appeared in 125 games over two seasons. He slashed an impressive .322/.432/.502 with 100 RBI and 16 home runs. He worked his way up to the fifth round, going to the Oakland A's in the 2012 MLB Draft. 

It didn't exactly get smoother for Muncy from there. He played two seasons with Oakland, hitting just five home runs with an average below the Mendoza line. He was cut by Oakland before the 2017 season on March 31 and found his way onto the Los Angeles Dodgers roster on April 28, 2017, spending the whole 2017 campaign with Triple-A Oklahoma City.

The 2018 season is when things started to change for Muncy. He hit 35 home runs and earned MVP votes. He followed it up in 2019 with an All-Star appearance and another 35 home runs. He upped the ante to 36 home runs in 2021 with another All-Star appearance and then did it again in 2023. 

The road for Muncy was quite different, and it's hard to tell if the same development would have happened in Cleveland. However, the thought that he could have been part of the organization is a headscratcher for the opportunities that could have come with it.