Jacoby Ellsbury and MLB's 5 Biggest Wastes of Talent
There are plenty of major league baseball players who don’t deserve the talent that they’ve been given and Jacoby Ellsbury is definitely one of them.
There’s no debate in saying that it takes an extreme amount of talent and dedication to make it to the big leagues, but some of the players in today’s game just don’t deserve to be there. They may have worked hard to get to the big leagues, but you know that their heart just isn’t into it.
They could have bad attitudes, be constantly on the disabled list or just not be able to handle the pressure, while a veteran minor-leaguer could have that spot on the roster instead.
Here are some of these players I’ve just described and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about. Feel free to put some other suggestions in the comments section, as there’s definitely more than five.
Jason Bay, New York Mets
Can you remember the last time Jason Bay was completely healthy off of the top of your head? I didn’t think so.
Bay used to be one of the best players in baseball, especially in 2009 with the Boston Red Sox when he hit 36 home runs during the last year of his contract. He was unreal that year and then signed an unreal contract with the New York Mets.
Boy, do the Mets regret signing him to that contract now.
In a Mets uniform, he’s hit .236/.322/.369, but has been limited to just 262 games over three seasons. This season, he’s only played in 44 games due to concussion issues. Not to add insult to injury, but he was only hitting .150 in those 44 games.
Did Jason Bay used to have talent? Yes. Does he still have it now? Not even close.
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
Alex Rodriguez is still on this list despite not being born with all of the talent that we’ve seen him display over the course of his career. It’s common knowledge now that he got some of that talent from taking steroids.
A-Rod has had some tough luck with the injury bug lately, though, that hasn’t helped his overall image.
According to Baseball Prospectus, Rodriguez has missed a good amount of time this year with a fractured hand, 38 games after knee surgery last year, 14 games with a strained calf in 2010 and 28 games after labrum surgery in 2009. Need I keep going?
Rodriguez may be one of the best talents during the steroid era, but his ability to stay healthy has clearly vanished.
The New York Yankees are paying Rodriguez a boat-load of money to ride the disabled list.
Being injury-free just doesn’t seem to be in A-Rod’s vocabulary anymore.
Carlos Zambrano, Miami Marlins
Does Carlos Zambrano have the shortest fuse and worst temper in all of baseball? I sure think so.
Zambrano has been known to fight anyone that crosses his path when he’s unhappy, even if it’s his teammate.
Here’s a prime example from 2009 when he didn’t get the call he was looking for and went absolutely insane.
The Chicago Cubs finally rid themselves of the troubling right-hander, trading him to the Miami Marlins during the offseason. He hasn’t pitched that great for the Marlins, but it does seem that he’s cooled down a little bit, to say the least.
Will Zambrano go down in history as the craziest player ever? There’s a chance since he’s still got a few years left in him. That is, if Bud Selig doesn’t expel him from baseball first.
John Lackey, Boston Red Sox
John Lackey might be the best definition of a waste of talent. He’s not a good pitcher, he’s hurt and he’s awful in the clubhouse. A word we’ve heard often these days is what’s known as a “cancer” to the team.
Lackey is 26-23 with a 5.26 ERA in two seasons with the Boston Red Sox, which doesn’t include the 2012 season where he won’t pitch at all after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
The end of Lackey’s tenure could not come any soon for Red Sox Nation. There isn’t one fan out there that wants to see Lackey throw another pitch in a Boston uniform. If you find some, send them my way and I’ll straighten them out.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
If you’ve read some of my work, you’d know that I’m a die-hard Red Sox fan and that I usually give every player a chance before I start to judge them. I was a huge advocate of Jacoby Ellsbury, but now I’m at the point where I don’t care if he plays for the team tomorrow or not.
Not that the injury he suffered at the beginning of the 2012 season was his fault, but it’s about time he stays healthy. He’s had a career full of strange injuries and even though he has the potential to put up great numbers, I just don’t see 2011 happening again.
Ellsbury’s contract is up at the end of the season and someone is going to fall for it. They’ll look at his 2011 numbers, think that he can do it again and sign him to a monster deal. Hopefully, that team isn’t the Red Sox. They should’ve learned their lesson by now with the big contracts.
If Ellsbury didn’t get hurt at least once per season, it’d be a different story, but that’s not the case. He’ll get paid a ton of money in the next few years and will spend most of it on the disabled list. He’s a waste of money and a waste of talent.