If MLB gave out awards for the most mishandled prospect during a regular season, Brandon Belt would've won the award in 2011, and it would've been an unanimous decision.
Belt was a human yo-yo in 2011, as he was never able to settle into the major leagues after being sent down and recalled to the major leagues three separate times.
That's a tough thing for any human being to endure, let alone a 23-year-old prospect that is trying to become accustomed to the different nuances of the game at the major league level.
Even when Belt was in the majors—which was once in a blue moon—he found himself watching from the bench as the unmotivated and out of shape Aubrey Huff took his at-bats and started at first base.
Moreover, the spotlight was shining bright on Belt, even long before Opening Day arrived. He was the most talked about player during spring training, and that was well-documented Showtime's series The Franchise: A Season with the San Francisco Giants.
Lastly, as if the two previously mentioned excuses weren't enough to distract Belt, Buster Posey set the bar too high for future rookies.
Posey helped lead the Giants to their first World Series championship in 2010, which was his rookie season in the major leagues. He was awarded with the NL Rookie of the Year honors for hitting .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBI in just 108 games.
That was simply a magnificent season for Posey, and not many rookies have the ability to produce like that so early in their careers.
So in stepped Belt, the 23rd-overall prospect, according to Baseball America, months after Posey was bestowed the Rookie of the Year award.
Giants fans were spoiled with Posey's rookie performance, and it was simply unrealistic to expect Belt to do produce anything even comparable to Posey's 2010 season.
Heck, they even forced Belt to play in left field at times, which certainly put more on his already crowded plate. It's tough enough to learn how to hit in the major leagues, let alone learn how to play a completely different position.
Belt was overwhelmed in 2011, and he even openly admitted that to Julian Levine in his interview that can be listened to here.
There is no doubt that Belt's mismanagement affected his performance in 2011.