Unfortunately, Pittsburgh Pirates fans likely remember it as the Jameson Taillon draft. That's not necessarily a terrible thing, as the right-hander is now one of the league's budding aces. However, the Pirates are the one team that had a chance to select Machado once Harper was off the board, and they opted for someone else.
As it turns out, Machado and Harper weren't the only superstars who emerged from the 2010 draft. Beyond them, several other players were destined for stardom.
Here's a breakdown using career earnings and WAR:
|8||Delino DeShields Jr.||HOU|
* - denotes player did not sign
Overall, the 2010 draft contributed to the ongoing thesis that MLB drafts are absolute crapshoots.
Seven teams passed on Christian Yelich in favor of prospects who didn't go on to play in a single major-league game.
* - Includes future earnings
For now, it's Harper and Machado's world. The pair of superstars have guaranteed themselves more career earnings than the other 22 names on this list above combined.
For perspective, Taillon - taken between Machado and Harper - has earned less than $18.5 million, as have the fourth through sixth picks, with Drew Pomeranz doing most of the heavy lifting. Barret Loux, the sixth overall pick, didn't sign, Taillon is still pre-arb, and Christian Colon has bounced around after being taken fourth overall.
However, Chris Sale hasn't hit the open market yet, and he's sure to entertain nine-figure offers next winter. Unlike Harper and Machado, who went year-to-year with their contracts before becoming free agents, Sale agreed to a five-year, $32.5-million extension with the White Sox in 2013.
The Red Sox picked up Sale's $12.5-million option in 2018 and his $13.5-million option in 2019, making him one of baseball's best bargains. While it's unlikely Sale will eclipse the contracts Machado and Harper recently signed when he becomes a free agent, it's a safe bet he'll come close to their career earnings.
Remarkably, neither Harper nor Machado have been the most productive players from their draft. Using FanGraphs WAR, Sale is the best player from the 2010 draft, and it's not particularly close.
A margin so negligible it could be considered a rounding error separates Harper and Machado. The latter has been more reliable defensively while consistently playing at a Gold Glove level. Meanwhile, some injuries have held Harper back, but he's one of the best hitters in the game when healthy and has an NL MVP on his resume.
If we combine Harper and Machado through their age-25 seasons, we get a player worth roughly the same WAR as Ryne Sandberg or Pee Wee Reese.
Amazingly, Mike Trout has already been worth more WAR than Harper and Machado combined (64.7). His contract expires after the 2020 season, and Harper's already said he'll try to recruit him to Philadelphia.
Other notable selections
The best advice to glean from this draft? Chasing defensive value with late picks isn't a terrible idea. Andrelton Simmons and Kevin Kiermaier stand out in that area, but Kole Calhoun is no slouch in the outfield either. Even Jedd Gyorko has become a versatile infielder.
It's also notable that pitching can be an incredibly lucrative craft, even if you aren't a household name. Addison Reed wasn't selected until the third round, and he's made $36.2 million. Cody Allen wasn't picked until round 23, and he's earned $32.1 million. Throwing 70 pretty good innings per year is a marketable skill.
Oh, and don't forget, reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom wasn't selected until the 272nd pick, proving that it only matters what you do after the draft.