Here is the All-Dud team of failed prospects since
I’ve been playing Scoresheet Baseball. The first number in the parentheses represents the highest ranking achieved in
Baseball America’s Top 100 Prospects of the Year. Actually, in order to fill
out a regular at each position I did not have to go past no. 10 in any year. A top 10 prospect of all teams combined is surely
expected to have a long solid career. Anyone ranked first or second was likely counted on to be a star.
Just a few specific notes before we get to the All-Disappointment Team:
Ryan Anderson only achieved a no. 7 ranking, but he was considered the top pitching prospect
of his draft (as was Matt White), and in Baseball America’s top 10 three
years in a row as he dominated each level of the minors rising to AAA. There were chinks only in his attitude which may have
prevented him from achieving a top 2 status. Some see this as part of why he never recovered from shoulder surgery.
Ben Grieve just barely qualifies as a top 10 overall prospect, and had a respectable
career during his four years in Oakland. However, after playing so well in the Majors at such a young
age, it seems he deserves to make this list.
Of course, if it were not for his sudden excellence this year, Josh Hamilton would be
at the top of the outfielder list. Even if he remains an impact outfielder for several years, Tampa Bay must consider their considerable
investment in him an absolute failure.
SP Brien Taylor (#1 ’92) NYY-Cle
pitched well in AA then hurt his arm defending his brother in a bar fight.
SP Ryan Anderson (#7 ’99) Sea-Mil
146 K in 104 AAA Ing. until he tore his rotator cuff.
SP Matt E. White (#4 ’97) TB-Cle
shoulder and back injuries arrested any promotion beyond AAA. Do not confuse this rhp10
million dollar bonus baby with lhp Matt J. White the billion dollar rock quarry owner.
SP Kiki Jones (#6 ’90) LAD-TB-Tex
reached AA, but not effective past Rookie League.
SP Tyrone Hill (#10 ’93) Mil-Ana
effective in low A mid-west, but never found control before shoulder surgery. He is four
years younger than the famous basketball player of the same name.
P Todd Van Poppel (#1 ’91) Oak-Det-KC-Tex-Pit-ChC-Tex-Cin
merely one fine season as a reliever at age 29.
Honorable Mention :
Each of these players pitched in the majors, but never had much impact for a full season.
Benes came close with an outstanding season at 25, however cut short on July 31 with a torn rotator cuff and never returned
P Frank Rodriguez (#9 ’92) Bos-Min-Sea-Pit-Cin
SP Allen Watson (#9 ’93) StL-SF-Ana-NYM-Sea-NYY
SP Paul Wilson (#2 ’96) NYY-TB-Cin
SP Alan Benes (#5 ’96) StL-ChC-Tex-StL
C Ben Davis (#10 ’96) SD-Sea-ChW-NYY-LAD
peaked at age 24 his only full season as a regular (.694 O+S).
1B Travis Lee (#8 ’98) Arz-Phi-TB-NYY-TB-Was
given 8 years as a regular in the majors, but produced only a .745 career O+S.
Mark Lewis(#9 ’91)Cle-Cin-Det-SF-Phi-Cin-Bal-Cle
converted from SS at 26 and had three years as a regular (.692 career O+S).
SS And˙jar Cede˝o (#2 ’91) Hou-SD-Det-Hou-NYY
Major League career seemed to be progressing nicely at 23, then stopped hitting at 25.
3B Sean Burroughs (#4 ’02) SD-TB-Sea
career peaked at ages 20-22; career MLB O+S: .698 in 440 games
utl Pablo Ozuna (#8 ’99) StL-Fla-Col-Phi-ChW
peaked as a utility player at age 31, but broke leg next year.
OF Ruben Rivera (#2 ’95) NYY-SD-Cin-Tex-Bal-SF-Sea-NYY-ChW
hit >.900 O+S in four levels of minors including AAA at age 19-21, career MLB: .700.
OF Karim Garcia (#7 ’96) LA-Arz-Det-Bal-Cle-NYY-Cle-NYM-Bal-Phi
peaked as a part-time outfielder at ages 26 and 27 – pitifully bad MLB trials before
OF Ruben Mateo (#6 ’00) Tex-Cin-Phi-Pit-KC-Mil-
broke leg at 22 just as he was establishing his MLB career, then he got fat and his lost
DH/OF Ben Grieve (#10 ’95) Oak-TB-Mil-ChC-Pit-ChW
looked like a young MLB star at 21, but never improved; went downhill at 25. Perhaps,
had enough success, though, for it to be unfair calling him a “failed prospect”.
Must not leave out:
OF Eric Anthony (#8 ’90) Hou-Sea-Cin-Col-Tex-LAD
hit in low .700s when given full time job at 24 & 25; never given another real chance.
OF Josh Hamilton (#1 ’01) TB-Cin
derailed by injuries and drugs until coming to life at 26; injuries still a problem.