For the last four years, the panel of ESPN's baseball "experts" have conducted a Franchise Player Draft, which essentially requires them to pick any player in professional baseball they would want to start a franchise with.
With the 18th pick in the draft, ESPN Insider Chris Crawford selected Joey Votto. Votto was the only Reds player taken in the dubious draft process.
Here is Crawford's justification for the pick:
No, Votto doesn't have the prototypical power numbers for a first baseman, but no hitter in all of baseball gets on base as well as Votto does, and he's fifth in WAR since 2011. A lock for 50 extra-base hits and 100 walks is extremely rare, and that's exactly what I'm getting in Votto, along with a glove that won't kill you.
For what it's worth, Votto's position in this draft has fallen in each of the last three seasons. In 2011, Votto was chosen 4th on the heels of his MVP campaign. In 2012, Votto went 8th and last year the Canadian first basemen went 10th.
Also noteworthy about the draft is the exclusion of Johnny Cueto. The right-hander continues to be overlooked by the mainstream media as Cueto was not among the seven starting pitchers selected. Furthermore, Cueto wasn't even an option in a poll asking fans who they believed was the biggest snub of the draft for the National League.