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June 19, 2012

Prospects Will Break Your Heart

Bring Me the Head of…..

by Jason Parks

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Prospects fail to develop for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from poor makeup, to marginal physical talent, to lack of instincts, and some only fail in our own minds, where unrealistic expectations create a world where disappointment is assured. As minor league masochists, joy can be found in the process of constructing our own torture, as we open our hearts to the allure of projection and cathedral ceilings, knowing with an intellectual mind that what we want to see as a diamond will really end up being coal. In a game built on a foundation of failure, the developmental process is the evolutionary doorman of that failure, tasked with keeping the exclusive club populated with only the best of the best, the exceptional and the beautiful over the ordinary and the ugly.

I’ve been thinking about failure a lot lately. In my personal life—which I often bring into my professional life—I’ve come upon a developmental roadblock, an imploding relationship that needs to be abandoned, much like a breaking ball that just isn’t good for my arm slot/action anymore. As I transition from the curveball to the slider, I’m going to stumble; learning a new pitch is never easy, especially when you’ve been throwing the curve for so many years. This personal obstruction is a nice companion to the articles I’ve been writing lately, the ones where I take a look at what could go wrong with a prospect based on their present level of refinement. With those pieces, I’m selling the setbacks, preparing readers for the disappointments that are not only possible, but also very likely to occur in some form during the maturation process. As I research those players in search of characteristics in their skill set that are exploitable, introspection forces me to examine the weaknesses in my own skill set, the holes in my game that encouraged failure. With that internal spelunking came perspective, and a somewhat refined approach to expectation management; when the heart hurts, it’s easy to water down the dreams in your head, finding that it's pleasurable to believe in the fairy tale, but not at the expense of your anchor to reality. You can learn a lot from failure.

All of this brings me back to expectations, and the dangers of assigning too much emotional weight and responsibility to something or someone that is designed to fall short of supreme expectation in the first place. As humans, we excel in the construction and destruction of heroes, building individuals into idols and then burning the idols to the ground when their very existence can’t make us whole or happy. Baseball is the perfect medium for idolatry, a field of superheroes at our disposal whenever we need a fix; idols playing a game that all spectators to the event wish they could play at such an advanced level. If this happens to be true, our passion for the game at the professional level has roots in our own athletic shortcomings, which for some, becomes an incubator for resentment and hostility. If we invest too much in the athlete and the athlete fails, does that not amplify our own disappointments? If the superhero of my choosing can’t even live up to my expectations, how I am supposed to live up to the hype when I’m just a mere mortal, someone who watches the games that other people play?

I’ve been trapped in my own head lately, so you will have to excuse the attempts at depth. I’m fascinated by failure, and when presented with my own, the search for answers is the only course of action at my disposal. This search extends to my day job as well, a platform where I help to establish the unrealistic expectations that I’m currently ranting against. I won’t shut up about Francisco Lindor, calling him a future All Star and savior to the starving, and if you happen to value my opinions on prospects, the expectations of greatness have been firmly established. As a result, anything short of superhero will be a disappointment, and I will wear that defeat like a badge of failure when Lindor inevitably fails to become the top shortstop in baseball.

Expectation management is my new bag, and it will no doubt paint me as a hypocrite because the world is familiar with me by my given name, which is Jason “the tools whore, ceiling-loving, projection addict, ultimate ceilings are my co-pilot” Parks. As much as I love ceiling, and as much as I love to dream of the ultimate projection—no matter how much space exists between the present and the future—being unrealistic about a prospect only adds to the problem, making the disappointments sting with more ferocity. Could Francisco Lindor become a future All Star? Yes. Will he? It’s possible, but I wouldn’t say it’s likely. Becoming a quality major league regular would more than justify his draft position and should be viewed as an accomplishment, both by the player and the developmental team that encouraged the talent to mature. But if Lindor fails to develop into a star, the established expectations won’t allow many of us to appreciate the remarkable accomplishment of becoming a major league regular; rather, we will spend more time asking what went wrong instead of celebrating what went right.

Because it’s easier to sell dreams than dread, I can take a sensational scout quote and place it on Twitter and watch the re-tweets and comments roll in. When a scout told me that Oscar Taveras could develop into a batting champion, an offensive force with a potential 80-grade hit tool, I dropped the nugget on the internet and I gained 200 followers in the span of an hour and helped establish the expectation that Oscar Taveras will win multiple batting titles, become a legend in St. Louis, and solve the financial crisis in Greece. When I used the same platform to suggest Dodgers RHP Zach Lee might not have the ceiling that some have propagated, figuring to be more of a solid-average number three/four type than a top of the rotation arm, the response was tepid; a few comments expressed disappointment, a few disbelief, and a few were hostile, but the overall reach was limited. Selling reality wasn’t nearly as successful as selling a savior. I think I even lost a follower or two when I attempted to manage the expectations of Zach Lee. Question: Since when is a cost-controlled solid-average number three/four starter a bad thing? Answer: When you bought into the idea that the player in question had more to offer. When the ultimate ceiling became the absolute truth.

This phenomenon, while not exclusive to sports, exists in abundance on the professional athletic landscape. In our everyday lives, how often do we examine and judge our ultimate potential as compared to others? This isn’t a knock on people in my universe, but I don’t know a single individual who has lived up to their ultimate potential. I sure haven’t. I love writing about baseball, and getting paid to be an active participant in a passion makes me a very fortunate person, but I have the intellectual and artistic capacity for more [I think]. I know people with advanced degrees from Ivy League schools and careers that reflect this academic prowess, but their gifts create a ceiling that even extreme accomplishment can’t satisfy. I don’t judge my friends for having faults, or falling short of hero status; I appreciate who they are, and what they are, and what they accomplish for what it is. But when it comes to athletes, my lens of judgment is magnified and my emotions about their level of success are not only intense, but they are often unforgiving. I’m having a hard time in my personal life and I’m getting a divorce, so bring me the head of Martin Perez. I have failed in my quest for comfort and contentment, so bring me the head of Manny Banuelos. I didn’t live up to my own potential, but I expect the athletes I watch on television to achieve that distinction, so bring me the head of Colby Rasmus.

This is more than just a long-winded rant from a man with a lot of clouds in his head and a lot of doubt in his heart. It’s the primer for a series of articles I want to write where I’ll take a detailed look at a few players/prospects whose expectations exceeded the reality of their skill set. I’ll take suggestions for future candidates on all social platforms, as well as in the comment section of this piece. With each prospect, we will take a look at who the player really is, what has gone wrong in the journey towards expectation, and then (if applicable), paint a more realistic picture of the player based on the available scouting, avoiding the ultimate ceiling hyperbole that can carry such an influence over our perceptions. In addition to the “What Could Go Wrong” series, which is still ongoing and offers up both the extreme highs and the extreme lows of a prospect’s developmental arc, and the “Baseball is My Stereo” series, which are scouting pieces based on eyewitness accounts, the “Bring Me the Head of…” series will focus on expectation management for the individual prospect of your choosing. If you want to know who Martin Perez really is, and why he was always unlikely to develop into a top-of-the-rotation arm that some projected, and why he has stumbled in recent seasons, and what all that means, I’ll write an article about Martin Perez. If you want to explore what makes Julio Teheran a man and not a mythical creature sent to change the fortunes of the Braves organization, I’ll write about Julio Teheran. You get the idea. Let’s explore what’s really going on with the objects of our affection, and hopefully discover that tempered expectations can be just as sexy and sensational as grandiose ceilings, the ones we build with a smile in order to frown when they fall.

Jason Parks is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Jason's other articles. You can contact Jason by clicking here

Related Content:  Francisco Lindor,  Zach Lee,  Martin Perez

66 comments have been left for this article. (Click to hide comments)

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amazin_mess

Wait a minute....Oscar Taveras is NOT going to solve the debt crisis in Greece?

Jun 19, 2012 04:41 AM
rating: 6
 
amazin_mess

I would like to nominate Shelby Miller.

Jun 19, 2012 04:49 AM
rating: 5
 
tmangell

Excellent piece, Jason. This may have been the best article you've written for BP so far. It takes bravery to dig down deep - my best to you as you continue to look within as well as outside yourself.

Also, as a Redbirds fan, I second the motion on Shelby Miller.

Jun 19, 2012 05:16 AM
rating: 3
 
Peter Hood

I think this could prove to be a very very interesting set of articles. I always welcome efforts to temper expectations about prospects as a way of getting a better handle on their value and role in both real and fantasy baseball.

Jun 19, 2012 06:00 AM
rating: 1
 
CRP13

Half of writing is 90% mental. Perhaps forcing a positive approach (Prospects That Will Cheer You Up? What Could Go Right?) would be a small step towards helping lift you out of your funk.

You're too talented to let yourself get sucked this low, and sometimes intellectually (meaning: purposefully, even if you don't feel like it) forcing your work into a different perspective can help improve the grander scheme as well.

I'm just saying.

Good article, by the by.

Jun 19, 2012 06:05 AM
rating: 1
 
NJTomatoes

Along this line, what went wrong with the underestimation, I.e. melky Cabrera?

Jun 19, 2012 12:46 PM
rating: 0
 
lipitorkid

Joba Chamberlain
Jeff Clement
Chris Tillman
Chris Carter
Domonic Brown

Jun 19, 2012 06:22 AM
rating: 0
 
dcorr82

I like the idea of not just looking prospects now but looking back at players that the we could all agree that failed to live up their projection (i.e. Andy Marte or Brandon Wood). Where did things go wrong? What did everyone avoid to look at?

Jun 19, 2012 06:50 AM
rating: 4
 
amazin_mess

Brandon Wood has to be one of the biggest busts in the last 20 years. He was supposed to hit 40 homers, win MVP and the Nobel Peace Prize.

Jun 19, 2012 07:17 AM
rating: 1
 
SteveWhite

Pretty sure that's what he is saying he's going to be doing.

Jun 19, 2012 08:23 AM
rating: 0
 
SteveWhite

That's in response to the post above .. not that Wood is going to go all Nobel on us.

Jun 19, 2012 08:25 AM
rating: 0
 
amazin_mess

Alex Escobust ...I mean Alex Escobar

Jun 19, 2012 09:48 AM
rating: -1
 
Karl Hungus

This article is akin to an intervention. I love watching a Javy Baez and picturing Baez and Castro as the Jeter and A-Rod of the Cubs for the next 20 years. If they aren't I will find another duo somewhere else, maybe in the Indians or Padres systems. It's easier to sell dreams than dread is one of the most insightful things I have ever read. This is another great article and Bring Me the Head of sounds great. While I don't think I can be cured I will definitely read. I am not sure what it would be like to fall asleep without having thought at least three or four times in the day that when Billy Hamilton learns to be an average baserunner I am guaranteed 15 years of good baseball to watch. In 5 years he may be remembered as a cheap imitation of Herb Washington but right now I think he will bring so much joy to the world that he could solve the Euro debt crisis with notes he jots down during a rain delay.

Jun 19, 2012 07:09 AM
rating: 0
 
sportspopery

"...the ultimate ceiling became the absolute truth." Absolutes are generally defecated upon by reality, and prospects are no different. As a Met fan whose baseball awareness began in the early 90s, I cannot help but read this and think of Gregg Jeffries, someone who had a pretty good career but is nevertheless thought of as a disappointment in retrospect. As far as contemporary players go, I'd be curious what thoughts you had in this regard about B.J. Upton.

Thanks, Jason.

Jun 19, 2012 07:52 AM
rating: 1
 
bcshults

Really well written and thoughtful article, Jason. Best wishes.

Jun 19, 2012 08:00 AM
rating: 6
 
mrenick

I am excited about this series. This, to me, is the most interesting piece of scouting. I love the dream of ceilings and all-stars and franchise changing talents. Yet so few prospects reach their ceilings. This seems especially true when that ceiling is All-Star level. So many prospects don't pan out at all. I'm very much looking forward to you examining what went wrong. Was it a flaw in the scouting or a flaw in the player or both? And why did one flaw mask the other? What the scouts overlooked or what they thought was there that wasn't? Just as interesting is what happened to the prospect. What tools (or lack thereof) are the root causes of failure to develop, much less blossom. This should be excellent.

Jun 19, 2012 08:05 AM
rating: 0
 
SteveWhite

"And why did one flaw mask the other?".. That, to me, is the most intriguing part about prospects and players in general. Often times it's not a single, black/white reason why a player or prospect has failed or not lived up to hype - it's usually a few things that can sometimes be connected. I'd guess that's probably the hardest part to identify as a scout - what present issues are there, and is there something more damning lurking behind it.

Jun 19, 2012 08:30 AM
rating: 0
 
timber

Jason, asking for suggestions is, well, asking for it. I predict overwhelming response.

That said, please add Mike Montgomery to the list.

Jun 19, 2012 08:09 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

I'm hoping for an overwhelming response. The people who take the time to nominate a candidate show an obvious passion for the subject. That's what this is all about. Sharing ideas and having a discussion about prospects with people who really want to have a discussion about prospects. I don't want this to be one opinion/one truth. I want a conversation.

Jun 19, 2012 08:22 AM
 
SteveWhite

As a Red Sox fan, Clay Buchholz has always been a tease to me.

Jun 19, 2012 08:33 AM
rating: 0
 
fandamage

Most overhyped/underwhelming events I can remember:

1. Star Wars: Episode I
2. Sean Burroughs
3. The Matrix II+III

Please write about one of them.

Jun 19, 2012 08:47 AM
rating: 4
 
genehuh

From P.T. Anderson to Peckinpah ... nice.

Bring Me the Head of Cameron Maybin

Jun 19, 2012 08:50 AM
rating: 1
 
gweedoh565

Felix Pie
Brandon Larson
Kosuke Fukudome

Jun 19, 2012 08:59 AM
rating: 0
 
Kyle Matte

At least north of the border, Travis Snider seems to fit the bill of the type of player you're talking about.

From the point until he was drafted until late 2010, Blue Jays fans wanted/hoped/expected for him to transform into the middle of the order, MVP-calibre slugger we were promised. At this point, however, most of us would be very happy if he could simply be an above average regular in left field.

Jun 19, 2012 09:02 AM
rating: 2
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Excellent choice. I was thinking about Snider.

Jun 19, 2012 09:09 AM
 
mmg3327

How about an article on Tim Beckham? We all lionize the Rays' front office, but this was a colossal blunder. Hell, 11 of the next 12 players selected - and 16 of the next 20 - have at least made the majors. How did a guy everyone saw as a 5 tool stud at a premium position turn into such a bust?

Jun 19, 2012 09:22 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Excellent.

Jun 19, 2012 09:32 AM
 
amazin_mess

Fernando Martinez and Adam Miller are two others.

Jun 19, 2012 09:50 AM
rating: 0
 
Leg4206

Alex Gordon. Though he is certainly serviceable, why did the minor league wow never manifest?

Jun 19, 2012 09:52 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

He has struggled this season, but the promise he flashed in the minors did manifest itself at the major league level last season when he hit .303/.376/.502, with 72 XBH. That's a robust season. It's all about adjustment with Gordon. He has the talent.

Jun 19, 2012 10:01 AM
 
Nils J

How about Homer Bailey?

And also that Bryce Harper kid, whatever happened to him?

Jun 19, 2012 10:09 AM
rating: 2
 
edn5002

I've always been interested in the Luke Hochevar/Mike Pelfrey types. They're serviceable, even valuable, but every time I see them I think of their draft slots. Perhaps they were safe picks that turned into exactly what they were supposed to be. You can't say they were busts, really, but they might make for interesting discussion.

Jun 19, 2012 10:16 AM
rating: 1
 
jalee121

Wonderful article Jason.

It's perfect timing considering I have been pondering the very same question about Gordon Beckham. Here's a quy who is playing his third position of his short big league career, and not necessarilly because he failed at the first two. He's also a guy who showed flashes right away when he came up.

Beckham has not lived up to what he was going to be. But I have started to wonder if a second baseman with a great glove, shows a little pop, and a little hit is really a failure.

Jun 19, 2012 10:17 AM
rating: 1
 
Mtn Jam

At what point do you draw the line between small sample size and a loss, or change, of talent? I'm asking because of Adrian Gonzalez. If you watched him at the plate right now, you'd never think he'd have the track record of a superstar. Has he always been off balance and falling into the plate when he swings? If you watched a prospect with that type of swing, what would you say?

Sorry for rambling. Thanks for doing what you do and I hope things settle down in your personal life.

Jun 19, 2012 10:25 AM
rating: 1
 
kddean

I've never understood how Stephen Strasburg went from settling for SDSU to being uber-stud.
I know there was a big increase in velocity, but is there more to it?

Jun 19, 2012 11:22 AM
rating: 0
 
SaberTJ

He lost a significant amount of weight while at SDSU.

Jun 19, 2012 17:31 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Geoff Young
BP staff

Strasburg didn't "settle" for SDSU. Tony Gwynn actually had to be talked by his pitching coach into taking him:

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/commentary/news/story?page=howard/100608

Jun 20, 2012 09:52 AM
 
mattseward

Hey Jason, I think an age according to league prospect would be very informative.

A couple of names spring to mind with that:

Wilmer Flores

Aaron Hicks (especially pertinent as people think the ability to walk automatically equals the ability to hit)

Then going back a bit:

Joel Guzman (body develops, and not in a good way)

Andy Marte

Jun 19, 2012 11:24 AM
rating: 0
 
hessshaun

I would prefer Dominic Brown, however, I am just happier than horse shit that you have stopped saying you can't write. Well done, that was Vertonghen shutting down Silva at White Hart.

Jun 19, 2012 11:33 AM
rating: 1
 
Asinwreck

This article could only have been written by Jason Parks, and I mean this as a compliment. Reading your recent work, I sense a film treatment in the works entitled "Divorce American League Style."

Jun 19, 2012 11:36 AM
rating: 1
 
BarryR

Divorce American League Style - lovely reference. I assume that includes a Designated Quitter.

Jun 19, 2012 12:13 PM
rating: 0
 
CRP13

Seems kind of like what the Astros are going to go through next offseason.

Jun 19, 2012 13:30 PM
rating: 0
 
APV2600

You could understand a lot about baseball by viewing it as a continual exercise in failure, differentially spaced across time.

Jun 19, 2012 12:03 PM
rating: 1
 
jmercan

As always I thoroughly enjoy your writing which is always entertaining on multiple levels.

The first two players that come to mind for me will betray my 80s-90s Orioles fandom: Arthur Rhodes and Jeffrey Hammonds.

Both players would seem to fit more in your "impossible expectations" category of players who went on to have solid, productive careers but who were hyped as much, much more.

In going to Hammonds' player page it was noted that at one point he was going to be the next Rickey Henderson. Clearly not -- and we should never have thought he would. But we did.

Rhodes was an all-star on multiple teams, but came up as an uber-hyped starter. So maybe something on failed starters who succeeded as relievers?

Of course there is also the tendency to believe that any top prospect who falls short of the Hall of Fame has failed to live up to expectations. I know that KG as well as yourself try to manage expectations, but perhaps that could be part of the series as well.

I look forward to reading these.

Jun 19, 2012 12:16 PM
rating: -1
 
19braves77

Please do something on the Son Of Maddon: Reid Brignac.

Jun 19, 2012 12:34 PM
rating: 0
 
Dave Holgado

Great article, Jason. Having recently been through what you're going through, I can not only sympathize, but also assure you that it gets better. And as a recovering perfectionist, this one hit home:

"... but their gifts create a ceiling that even extreme accomplishment can’t satisfy."

Truth. Lastly, after requesting the heads of Perez, Banuelos, and Rasmus, I expected you to go for the low hanging fruit of a Freddy Garcia reference (even if he didn't quite fit the bill). Kudos for your self-restraint.

Jun 19, 2012 13:45 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

What about a stat lover's guy like Hank Blalock? Although, I guess you are looking for guys who still have a chance to pan out such as Dominic Brown and Brian Matusz.

I wish you the best, Jason, with the next chapters in your life. Thank you for sharing your grief in your special way.

In another matter, your referring to Lindor as not likely an all-star struck me as improbable, so I looked up all the top 50 prospects (Baseball America) who were position players and were within a year of Lindor's age for 2002, 2000, 1998, 1996, and 1994. There were only 11 such players. Seven of them, indeed, became all-stars: Miguel Cabrera, Joe Mauer, Jose Reyes, Josh Hamilton, Adrian Beltre, Andruw Jones, and A-Rod. "Franchise players" better describes 6 of those 7 than "all-stars". One of the non-all-stars might make an all-star game, yet: Kelly Johnson. Another occasionally has a good year, but is struggling to stay in the Majors: Casey Kotchman. Another is still active at 33, but has never been more than a fill-in for someone injured: Darnell McDonald. And there is Ben Davis, who similarly never panned out as a solid starter. This isn't meant to be proof or a criticism, just a fact finding mission.

Jun 19, 2012 13:48 PM
rating: -1
 
Behemoth

I'd really like Pedro Alvarez, as one that hasn't been mentioned. Also, another vote for Domonic Brown.

As well, I just wanted to say that I hope you are OK, and that things work out for you.

Jun 19, 2012 15:05 PM
rating: 1
 
ccseverson

I still get sad when I think about Chad Hermansen.

Jun 19, 2012 15:46 PM
rating: 1
 
Larry Herold

Good one.

How about a combo article -- what the Rangers thought they saw in Joaquin Arias and what they missed in the man they could have had instead, Robinson Cano. Simply a case of over- and underestimating a ceiling, or something more complex? Was it avoidable? Was it a 50-50 toss-up that just went the wrong way?

Keep up the great work.

Jun 19, 2012 16:16 PM
rating: 0
 
onuhwt

What about Corey Patterson? He was supposed to be a future superstar that has basically been a 4th outfielder most of his career

Jun 19, 2012 16:41 PM
rating: 2
 
onuhwt

After posting just read this from the 2000 Baseball Prospectus

"Patterson has been called Kenny Lofton with power, but he isn't as patient as Lofton was. A better comparison might be a faster Griffey, but there's a chance that there really is nobody to compare him to"

Jun 19, 2012 16:48 PM
rating: 0
 
Sam Rothstein

Funny how the predictions degraded from there. The 2001 book noted: "Without improvement, he’ll be a mix of Garret Anderson’s and Devon White’s better skills. But he’s going to improve".

Jun 20, 2012 08:27 AM
rating: 1
 
jarjets89

What about a guy like Ra Dickey, who has surpassed the highest of expectations that people could've had for him when the mets signed him on a minor league deal 2 years ago

Jun 19, 2012 17:27 PM
rating: 0
 
SaberTJ

Matt LaPorta, Bobby Crosby, Dexter Fowler

Jun 19, 2012 17:33 PM
rating: 0
 
SteveWhite

Fowler is posting quite a season so far.

Jun 21, 2012 10:17 AM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Jason Parks
BP staff

Remarkable turnout. Tons of material for future articles. Many thanks. Participants of this site have been showing 80-grade #want lately. Stay gold, Ponyboy.

Jun 19, 2012 18:47 PM
 
gjhardy

How about Dallas McPherson? Or was I the only guy who thought he would become great?

Jun 19, 2012 19:46 PM
rating: 0
 
R.A.Wagman

Excellent. The head understands that most prospects do not approach their supposed ceilings, but the heart struggles to reconcile.
I put forth Kyle Drabek, even before last week's pop.
Andrew Miller
Eric Anthony
Looking forward to the results.

Jun 19, 2012 20:30 PM
rating: 0
 
BP staff member Josh Shepardson
BP staff

Excellent read, Jason. It's work like this that makes me proud to call BP my new writing home, even if it is in a very different capacity. That said, I'm still an avid reader of the site as well, and would like to humbly suggest a few players who throw a bit of a wrinkle into things. I'd love to see you write about Brandon McCarthy,Colby Lewis and or Ryan Vogelsong. McCarthy interests me greatly because of his failure as a prospect, before basically reinventing himself and becoming a very good major league pitcher. The travels to Japan for both Lewis and Vogelsong have been fairly well covered, but revisiting them as prospects and their projections prior to leaving the states would interest me greatly.

Jun 19, 2012 21:47 PM
 
lfkjr1

How about an old-school Braves bust, Brad Komminsk?

Jun 20, 2012 06:25 AM
rating: 1
 
BP staff member Geoff Young
BP staff

Good call on Komminsk. Sticking with the old-school theme, how about Silvestre Campusano?

Jun 20, 2012 09:54 AM
 
Eddie Bajek

I'd like to see things go the other way: guys who didn't get much pub as a prospect but exceeded their ceiling: Ben Zobrist, Curtis Granderson, Ian Kinsler, Robinson Cano, Doug Fister, etc.

Jun 20, 2012 11:41 AM
rating: 3
 
Shaun P.
(676)

Am I too late to call for the head (or at least right arm) of Dellin Betances?

All those walks have increased my bloodlust to blood#want. He didn't do this last year; which is the fluke, and which is reality?

Jun 21, 2012 07:21 AM
rating: -1
 
jfranco77

Another nod for the head... heart... achilles... whatever... of Pedro Alvarez. Brandon Wood is another good one. Maybe a contrast between Wood (who failed) and Howie Kendrick (who isn't winning multiple batting titles but has still been a valuable major leaguer).

Jun 22, 2012 13:38 PM
rating: 0
 
John Carter

Justin Smoak has surely whiffed his way to this list - and is someone you must have a stock load (whatever that is) of insight to share.

Jun 27, 2012 19:29 PM
rating: -1
 
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