MLB's 'Least Likely to Succeed' Players for 2013

Mark MillerCorrespondent IJanuary 8, 2013

MLB's 'Least Likely to Succeed' Players for 2013

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    Major league rosters are made up of a number of different types of players, from top prospects who are set to take the league by storm to seasoned veterans who take up a substantial chunk of a team's payroll.

    For better or worse, every team has some player that just doesn't live up to their billing and ultimately falls out of favor in the eyes of both the organization and their fans.

    Sure, any player has a right to fall into a slump, but when it becomes a trend that lasts season after season, the lack of success becomes aggravating for anyone involved.

    Here are some players that could find themselves in that very same position this season.

Catcher: Miguel Olivo

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    Seattle Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo was a disappointment in 2012, posting a meager .222 batting average in 87 games and showing little power compared to previous seasons.

    Having jumped around quite a bit throughout his career, it wouldn't be at all surprising to see him in a backup role for another organization this season.

First Base: Carlos Pena

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    Carlos Pena spent the 2012 season with the Tampa Bay Rays, his second stint on a team with which he has recorded some of the best numbers of his career.

    He batted under .200 last season, but managed to go deep 19 times and drive in 61 runs for a Rays team that was in the thick of things in the AL East once again.

    This year he'll be playing for the Houston Astros, a team that finds itself in the tough AL West where succeeding will be a tall, tall order.

Second Base: Brian Roberts

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    Since signing a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Baltimore Orioles prior to the 2010 season, Brian Roberts has played in exactly 115 games, hit seven home runs and driven in 39 runs.

    To top that off, he's batted more than 30 points below his career average since signing the contract. Safe to say he won't earn much of the $10 million he's being paid in 2013, and while I guess it's never too late, it's hard to believe he'll do much to prove he's worth the money this season.

Third Base: Alex Rodriguez

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    After one of the most disappointing showings the New York Yankees have ever had in the postseason, the speculation of what the offseason will bring in the Bronx is in full force, with the situation regarding Alex Rodriguez getting much of the attention.

    We all know that his hip injury has been a big question mark, but as Yahoo! Sports has reported, A-Rod still hasn't gotten the go-ahead to have the surgery he needs, something that could very well put his status at all in 2013 in question.

    Even if he does get on the field late in the season, Rodriguez clearly isn't the player he once was and won't bring the same power-hitting bat to a team that will desperately need it with some offseason departures.

Shortstop: Pedro Florimon

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    The most glaring hole in the Minnesota Twins roster in 2012 was no doubt in their starting rotation, but the middle infield positions were just as iffy, with a number of lackluster players rotating through the ranks.

    Pedro Florimon caught on somewhat as the team's shortstop toward the end of the season and will head into spring training atop the depth chart.

    Still, he batted only .219, and with seven errors in 43 games, Florimon will be on a short leash as a number of viable infield prospects could make their way up.

Outfield: Jason Bay

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    Missing 67 games in 2010 and 39 in 2011, Jason Bay wasn't exactly the example of consistency in the New York Mets clubhouse.

    He made $16 million in 2012, but with his vesting option in 2013 not picked up, he's been reduced to signing a one-year, $1 million deal with the Seattle Mariners, where he'll be used as a reserve infielder.

Outfield: Grady Sizemore

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    At one time, Grady Sizemore was a player who appeared to represent the future of the Cleveland Indians. From 2006 to 2008, he played in nearly every game and averaged 28 home runs per season.

    Since then, he's struggled mightily to stay healthy, and after singing a one-year deal for 2012, he didn't take to the diamond and should be done in Cleveland.

    No matter where he ends up after this, it's hard to believe such a layoff from game action can yield anything resembling the potential he showed during his best days.

Outfield: Vernon Wells

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    With lofty expectations accompanying them into the 2013 season after another very active winter, the Los Angeles Angels will look to improve on a 2012 season where they failed to produce to the extent expected of them.

    Vernon Wells has been the target of criticism since joining the Halos, and with just 11 home runs and a .230 batting average last season, that is certain to continue.

    He's owed $42 million over the next two seasons, but with Mike Trout emerging in the outfield and the team signing Josh Hamilton this offseason, it's hard to believe Wells will see much in the way of opportunities to succeed.

Designated Hitter: Delmon Young

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    Despite getting off to a slow start this past season, the Detroit Tigers made a great push through the postseason before ultimately losing to the San Francisco Giants in the World Series.

    After a strong performance upon being moved from the Minnesota Twins halfway through last season, Delmon Young came back to earth a bit in 2012, though he still played some very clutch baseball down the stretch, and he even earned ALCS MVP honors.

    Young has age on his side, and as a former No. 1 pick, it's obvious that he has a great deal of talent, but with the turmoil he's found himself surrounded by already in his career, he'll always be under a microscope that can make success a difficult task.

Starting Pitcher: Ricky Romero

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    Young players who clearly have talent are often the most exciting to watch on the mound. Usually, it's just a matter of time before they succeed.

    Ricky Romero is just such a pitcher, but had a horrendous 2012 season, posting an 9-14 record with an ERA of 5.77 in 32 starts.

    With Mark Buehrle, Josh Johnson and R.A. Dickey now joining the Jays rotation, Romero could quickly lose any confidence he had if he fails to match up in 2013.

Closer: Jose Veras

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    Spending his entire seven-year career as a relief pitcher for five different teams, Jose Veras will get his first shot at closing games in 2013 as a member of the Houston Astros.

    He's seen his strikeout numbers jump to career highs of late, but also struggles with command, walking nearly six batters per nine innings.

    Control problems won't be Veras' only obstacle ahead of him next season—as finding save opportunities on a team that's lost 100 games in consecutive seasons won't be easy.