C: Justin O’Conner, Tampa Bay Rays
One of the Rays’ many first-round draft picks in 2010, O’Conner’s bat has developed unexpectedly slow. Despite playing two seasons for the Rays’ rookie-level affiliates, he batted only .199/.270/.359 in 96 games. Making the jump to the New York-Penn League this year, it was more of the same: .223/.276/.370, 24 extra-base hits and 73/18 K/BB in 59 games.
1B: Jared Lakind, Pittsburgh Pirates
A mid-round draft pick in 2010, Lakind continues to perform well below his naturally ability suggests. In his first season in the New York-Penn League, the left-handed hitter batted .169/.235/.210 with five doubles, eight RBI and 36/11 K/BB in 40 games.
2B: Tony Renda, Washington Nationals
Selected by the Nationals in the second round of the 2012 draft, Renda is the type of second base prospect whose ceiling is also his floor. After signing early, he batted .264/.341/.295 with nine doubles, 15 stolen bases and 33/31 K/BB in 71 games.
3B: Mitch Walding, Philadelphia Phillies
Although it was only his professional debut, I expected Walding to have more success given his smooth, left-handed stroke. However, the 19-year-old was inconsistent at the plate, batting .233/.326/.308 with 14 extra-base hits and 66/31 K/BB in 69 games.
SS: Christopher Diaz, Pittsburgh Pirates
Although Diaz hit well this past spring for North Carolina State, it didn’t translate into his professional debut in the New York-Penn League. Overall, he batted .222/.287/.280 with 10 extra-base hits and 58/19 K/BB in 67 games.
OF: Wagner Mateo, Arizona Diamondbacks
Regarded as a high-ceiling/low-floor prospect, Mateo’s highly anticipated stateside debut was a disappointment. The 6’2”, 190-pound left-handed hitter batted .194/.260/.247 with nine extra-base hits, 85 strikeouts and 15 walks in 49 games.
SP: Peter Tago, RHP, Colorado Rockies
A late first-round draft pick in 2010, Tago turned in another frustrating season this year at short-season Tri-City. The 19-year-old right-hander was 2-7 with a 5.47 ERA, 4.6 K/9 and 4.9 BB/9 in 72.1 innings.
RP: Hayden Simpson, RHP, Chicago Cubs
I’ve never understood why Simpson was a first-round draft pick in 2010, and never will. After an ugly start to season as a starter for High-A Daytona, the right-hander was moved to the bullpen and demoted to short-season Boise. The future doesn’t look bright, as the 23-year-old posted a 6.18 ERA, 10.5 H/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 43.2 innings.