End-of-Season All-Disappointment Team for Every Minor League Level
After examining this year’s all-stars from every minor league level, I feel as though I should also break down some of the less fortunate, underachieving prospects.
Now, this isn’t an anti-all-star list. Rather, it’s more of an all-disappointment team. A prospect’s season can be considered disappointing for several reasons: if it comes a year after a breakout or encouraging season; if it comes during a highly anticipated professional debut season; or if it comes in his second year at the same level.
So, here’s a look at the members of the all-disappointment team at every minor league level.
SS Tim Beckham (TB)
C: Tony Sanchez, Pittsburgh Pirates
The No. 4 overall pick in 2009 hasn’t developed as hoped, batting .233/.316/.408 in 62 games at Triple-A this season.
1B: Lars Anderson, Boston Red Sox/Cleveland Indians
Formerly a highly touted prospect with the Red Sox, the 25-year-old struggled in every big league opportunity and was traded to the Indians at the deadline. Between both teams, he batted .250/.353/.396 with nine home runs in 111 games.
2B: Ryan Adams, Baltimore Orioles
After reaching the major leagues with the Orioles in 2011, Adams batted .224/.312/.353 in 65 games this season at Triple-A and was outrighted to the minors on Sept. 14.
3B: Chris Dominguez, San Francisco Giants
After amassing 53 extra-base hits last season between High-A and Double-A, the 25-year-old posted a .626 OPS with three home runs in 43 games at Triple-A this season.
SS: Tim Beckham, Tampa Bay Rays
After seemingly turning the corner at the end of 2011, Beckham’s season was derailed following a 50-game suspension for a second violation (marijuana) of the drug treatment program. The No. 1 overall draft pick in 2008 has batted .256/.325/.361 with 71 strikeouts in 72 games this season.
OF: Tim Wheeler, Colorado Rockies
After posting a .900 OPS last season with 33 home runs and 21 stolen bases for Double-A Tulsa, Wheeler batted .303/.357/.412 with two home runs and seven stolen bases in 92 games this season at Triple-A.
SP: Julio Teheran, Atlanta Braves
One of the top pitching prospects in the game entering the season, Teheran has regressed considerably with his command and overall effectiveness. In his second consecutive season at Triple-A, the right-hander was 7-9 with a 5.08 ERA, 10.0 H/9 and 1.2 HR/9 in 26 starts. Although he was a September call-up, he's yet to appear in a big league game this month.
RP: Chance Ruffin, RHP, Detroit Tigers
A first-round draft pick in 2010, Ruffin pitched in the major leagues last season with the Tigers and Mariners. However, the 23-year-old has struggled this season at Triple-A, registering a 5.99 ERA and 4.5 BB/9 while appearing in 50 games.
OF Destin Hood (Nationals)
Doug Benc/Getty Images
C: Kyle Skipworth, Miami Marlins
In his second straight full season at Double-A Jacksonville, Skipworth, the No. 6 overall draft pick in 2006, batted .217/.285/.414 with 143 strikeouts in 116 games.
1B: Kody Hinze, Houston Astros
After posting a .961 OPS last season between High-A and Double-A, the 24-year-old struggled in his first full season at the higher level, batting .212/.299/.365 with 11 home runs and 82 strikeouts in 83 games.
2B: Reese Havens, New York Mets
Expected to move quickly after the Mets made him a first-round pick in 2008, injuries have limited Havens to only 307 games over five seasons. Playing in as many as 94 games for just the second time in his career, Havens batted .215/.340/.351 with 113 strikeouts.
3B: Kolbrin Vitek, Boston Red Sox
Coming off a .722 OPS season at High-A in 2011, Vitek batted .242/.284/.339 with only one home run in 46 games.
SS: Jake Lemmerman, Los Angeles Dodgers
After an impressive full-season debut in 2011, the 23-year-old batted .233/.347/378 in 116 games this season and fanned 94 times.
OF: Destin Hood, Washington Nationals
Seemingly poised for a breakout campaign, Hood’s season was the exact opposite as he batted .245/.301/.344 with 89 strikeouts in 94 games.
SP: Noel Arguelles, LHP, Kansas City Royals
After a solid debut last season at High-A, Arugelles, 22, had a season to forget for Double-A Northwest Arkansas: 4-14, 6.41 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 4.4 K/9, 5.0 BB/9, 11.0 H/9 in 119.1 innings.
RP: Yonata Ortega, RHP, Arizona Diamondbacks
After posting a 2.55 ERA last season in 14 games for Double-A Mobile, the right-hander registered a 6.88 ERA and 6.9 BB/9 this season in 42 games.
LHP Jed Bradley (Brewers)
Rich Pilling/Getty Images
C: J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
One of my preseason breakout candidates after he posted an .801 OPS last season at Low-A, the 21-year-old’s .664 OPS this season in 123 games was a major disappointment.
1B: James Robbins, Detroit Tigers
The 21-year-old’s plate discipline continues to hold him back, as posted a 171/37 K/BB rate in 124 games this season.
2B: Noah Perio, Miami Marlins
In his age-19 season at Low-A in 2011, the left-handed hitter posted a .729 OPS highlighted by 144 hits and 15 stolen bases. This year, however, he batted .248/.392/.311 and made too many weak outs.
3B: Cheslor Cuthbert, Kansas City Royals
Still a highly regarded corner infield prospect, big things were expected of Cuthbert after he hit eight home runs and fanned only 65 times last season as an 18-year-old in Low-A. This year, in 124 games at High-A Wilmington, the right-handed hitter slashed a pedestrian .240/.296/.322 with 25 extra-base hits.
SS: Levi Michael, Texas Rangers
Expected to reach the majors relatively fast after the Twins made him their first-round draft pick in 2011, Michael’s professional debut was incredibly disappointing: .246/.339/.311, 20 XBH, 6 SB and 82 K in 117 games.
OF: Jake Skole, Texas Rangers
After a decent full-season debut with Low-A Hickory in 2011, Skole’s disappointing follow-up campaign featured a .548 OPS in 68 games and 50-game suspension for a performance-enhancing substance.
SP: Jed Bradley, LHP, Milwaukee Brewers
One of two college pitchers selected in the first round of the 2001 draft, Bradley wasn’t supposed to pitch the entire season at High-A. However, he dug his own grave by going 5-10 with a 5.53 ERA and 11.4 K/9 over 20 starts (107.1 IP).
RP: Connor Hoehn, RHP, Oakland Athletics
After posting a 5.21 ERA last season with a 59/12 K/BB rate for High-A Stockton, the 22-year-old repeated the level with a considerably worse result: 5.86 ERA, 1.4 HR/9, 61/40 K/BB in 58.1 innings.
SS Cito Culver (NYY) // Courtesy of MiLB.com
C: Kellin Deglan, Texas Rangers
The 20-year-old turned in a nearly identical season in 2012 while repeating High-A for the second year. Although he did hit for more power, Deglan also collected only 75 hits while fanning 96 times in 92 games.
1B: Aaron Westlake, Detroit Tigers
As a 23-year-old in Low-A, Westlake seemed poised for a breakout season. However, the 6’4”, 235-pounder managed just a .711 OPS with 105 strikeouts in 123 games.
2B: Ryan Brett, Tampa Bay Rays
After posting an .841 OPS last season as an 18-year-old in the rookie-level Appalachian League, Brett was enjoying an impressive full-season debut (.741 OPS in 100 games) when a 50-game suspension for a banned substance (along with fellow prospect Josh Sale) prematurely ended his season.
SS: Cito Culver, New York Yankees
While his advanced plate discipline has been as advertised, the switch-hitter’s bat is yet to come around. As a 19-year-old in his full-season debut, he batted .215/.321/.283 with 104/71 K/BB in 122 games.
3B: Brandon Drury, Atlanta Braves
Arguably the best hitter in the Appalachian League in 2011, big things were expected out of the third baseman in his age-19 season. He simply was not the same hitter this year, batting .229/.270/.333 with 31 extra-base hits in 123 games.
OF: Jordan Akins, Texas Rangers
It’s hard to find a player with as much athleticism and natural ability as Akins. He posted a .740 OPS last season in his second consecutive season for the Rangers’ rookie-level affiliate in the Arizona League. This season, however, Akins struggled mightily with the jump to Low-A Hickory and batted .199/.224/.323, with 28 extra-base hits, 162 strikeouts and 12 walks in 120 games.
SP: Cam Bedrosian, RHP, Los Angeles Angels
After missing the entire 2011 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Angels gave the 20-year-old an aggressive promotion to Low-A to open the year. His lack of experience was evident as the right-hander was 3-11 with a 6.31 ERA, 5.2 K/9 and 5.7 BB/9 in 82.2 innings. Even though it wasn’t exactly an encouraging season, scouting reports on Bedrosian’s stuff were positive—his command and overall feel: not so much.
RP: Demondre Arnold, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Arnold was impressive in his professional debut last season with a 1.69 ERA, 10.8 K/9 and 2.7 BB/9 in the Arizona League. In his age-20 season, the right-hander made the jump to Low-A Augustana where his command was virtually non-existent. Arnold finished the 2012 season with a 5.43 ERA, 7.2 K/9 and 7.7 BB/9 in 56.1 innings.
Class-A Short Season
Courtesy of scout.com
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.
RHP Dylan Howard (CLE) // Courtesy of PerfectGame.org
C: Zach Stoner, Chicago White Sox
A 6’3”, 200-pound left-handed hitter, I saw Stoner at an event this past winter and was impressed with his offensive upside. However, in his professional debut, he struggled, batting 171/.327/.195 with 14 hits in 30 games.
1B: Justin Chigbogu, Los Angeles Dodgers
A fourth-round draft pick this past June, Chigbogu was drafted for his powerful left-handed bat. Therefore, it was a bit of surprise that he batted only .200/.282/.313 with three home runs and 50 strikeouts in 32 games.
2B: Kenny Diekroeger, Kansas City Royals
After a poor junior season at Stanford, the Royals made Diekroeger a fourth-round draft pick in 2012—he was a second-rounder out of high school in 2009. He showed more power in his professional debut than in college, but still batted .208/.275/.366 with 60 strikeouts in the Appalachian League.
3B: Tanner Rahier, Cincinnati Reds
Rahier was another player I was big on headed into the draft, mainly for his advanced bat. Well, his bat wasn’t very advanced his professional debut in the Arizona League. He hit .192/.266/.311 in 51 games.
SS: Dickie Thon, Toronto Blue Jays
Thon repeated the rookie level in 2012 with eerily similar results: 2011: .221/.331/.309 with eight extra-base hits and 34 strikeouts in 48 games.
OF: Spencer Edwards, Tampa Bay Rays
A highly athletic and toolsy shortstop in high school, Edwards was a second-round draft pick in 2012. However, he exhibited a wide gap between his athleticism and baseball skills by batting .188/.250/.281 with 42 strikeouts and nine walks in 33 games.
SP: Dillon Howard, RHP, Cleveland Indians
A second-round draft pick in 2011, Howard didn’t make his professional debut until this season. He posted a 1-7 record with a 7.90 ERA, 14.3 H/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 41 innings.
RP: Damien Magnifico, RHP, Milwaukee Brewers
For someone who pumps upper-90s fastball with such ease, Magnifico was a mess this season in his professional debut. The 6’1” right-hander pitched in nine Pioneer League games, registering a 5.82 ERA, 10.38 K/9 and 6.23 BB/9 in 21.2 innings.