All 30 MLB Farm Systems' Most Disappointing Prospect in 2013
With minor league seasons ending and rosters expanding, a good deal of attention is given to the game's top prospects in the month of September.
However, not all prospects have the benefit of wrapping up the 2013 season on a high note, and every team has at least one highly-regarded farmhand that failed to live up to expectations this year.
With that in mind, here is a look at all 30 MLB farm systems' most disappointing prospect for the 2013 season.
*Note: All prospect rankings within the article refer to Baseball America Prospect Handbook preseason rankings.
Baltimore Orioles: SP Dylan Bundy, Double-A Bowie
(Has not played: Injured, Tommy John surgery)
The top pitching prospect in the game and No. 2 prospect in baseball behind only Jurickson Profar, expectations were high for Dylan Bundy entering the season, and most expected him to join the Baltimore rotation by midseason, at the latest. Instead, arm problems shut him down early and eventually ended his season before he ever took the mound after undergoing Tommy John surgery in June.
Boston Red Sox: RF J.C. Linares, Double-A Portland
(.266/.344/.425, 8 HR, 52 RBI, 50 R)
A 28-year-old Cuban defector, J.C. Linares posted an .874 OPS with 16 home runs and 62 RBI in his first full season in the minors last year. He then followed that up by going 10-for-29 with a pair of home runs this spring. Early struggles in Triple-A earned him a demotion to Double-A, though, and it now appears that his big-league debut is still at least another year away.
New York Yankees: RP Mark Montgomery, Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre
(29 G, 4 GS, 2-3, 3.38 ERA, 25 BB, 59 K, 45.1 IP)
One of the biggest questions surrounding the Yankees organization is who will replace Mariano Rivera in the closer role after this season.After posting a 1.65 ERA with 30 saves and a 14.6 K/9 mark over his first two pro seasons, Mark Montgomery looked like he could potentially be that guy. Instead, he's battled injuries and has been far more hittable this year, and if nothing else, it looks like he still needs more time in the minors before he's ready to make a big league impact.
Tampa Bay Rays: LF Josh Sale, Low-A Bowling Green
(Has not played: Suspended indefinitely)
Taken with the No. 17 pick in the 2010 draft, Josh Sale had an incredibly high ceiling thanks to some tremendous raw power, and he posted an .855 OPS with 10 home runs in 239 at-bats in 2012. He has yet to set foot on the field this year, though, as he was suspended indefinitely for "conduct detrimental to the team" after an incident at a strip club in May.
Toronto Blue Jays: SP Matthew Smoral, Rookie League Blue Jays
(15 G, 5 GS, 0-2, 7.01 ERA, 26 BB, 27 K, 25.2 IP)
An early first-round talent, Matthew Smoral fell to the No. 50 spot in the 2012 draft after suffering a foot injury during his senior year in high school. The big 6'8" left-hander did not pitch after signing last year, and he has been limited once again this season, struggling at the Rookie League level. The potential is still there, but it looks like it may be a long road to the majors for Smoral.
Chicago White Sox: CF Courtney Hawkins, High-A Winston-Salem
(.178/.249/.384, 19 HR, 62 RBI, 48 R, 10 SB)
One in a line of toolsy outfielders that the White Sox have drafted in recent years, Courtney Hawkins was taken with the No. 13 pick in the 2012 draft, and he entered the season as the No. 55 prospect in all of baseball. He's flashed a good mix of power and speed this year, but his 29/160 BB/K ratio is horrible, and his overall approach at the plate still needs a lot of work.
Cleveland Indians: SP Trevor Bauer, Triple-A Columbus
(22 G, 22 GS, 6-7, 4.15 ERA, 73 BB, 106 K, 121.1 IP)
Trevor Bauer dominated minor-league hitters in his first full pro season last year, going 12-2 with a 2.42 ERA and 10.8 K/9 in 22 starts. However, his attitude ruffled more than a few feathers in Arizona, and he was traded to the Indians in a three-team deal this past offseason. Pegged by some as the favorite for AL Rookie of the Year honors, he's instead struggled to the tune of a 5.29 ERA in four big league starts after spending the bulk of the season putting up pedestrian numbers in the minors.
Detroit Tigers: CF Austin Schotts, Short-Season Connecticut
(.212/.278/.277, 2 HR, 30 RBI, 47 R, 31 SB)
A third-round pick out of high school in the 2012 draft, Austin Schotts hit .310/.360/.449 and stole 16 bases in 42 games after signing last year, and he entered the season as the Tigers' No. 5-ranked prospect. He opened the year at full-season West Michigan, but he was demoted to short-season ball after hitting just .192/.248/.249 in 59 games.
Kansas City Royals: CF Bubba Starling, Low-A Lexington
(.241/.329/.398, 13 HR, 63 RBI, 51 R, 22 SB)
A two-sport star in high school who was slated to play quarterback at the University of Nebraska, Bubba Starling gave up football when the Royals took him with the No. 5 pick in the 2011 draft and gave him a $7.5 million signing bonus. He hit .275/.371/.485 with 10 home runs and 10 steals in rookie ball last year, but he's struggled mightily at the next level this year, and his 53/128 BB/K ratio is largely to blame. The five-tool ability is still there, but he may take a little longer to develop than some envisioned.
Minnesota Twins: SS Levi Michael, High-A Fort Myers
(.229/.331/.340, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 40 R, 21 SB)
Levi Michael slipped a bit further than expected in the 2011 draft, and the Twins were happy to scoop him up with the No. 30 overall selection after he turned in a terrific career at the University of North Carolina. Expected to move relatively quickly through the system, he hit just .246/.339/.311 in his pro debut last year, and his numbers have been even worse this season in his second go-around at the High-A level.
Houston Astros: 1B Jonathan Singleton, Triple-A Oklahoma City
(.230/.351/.401, 11 HR, 44 RBI, 42 R)
Were it not for a positive marijuana test earning him a 50-game suspension to open the season, Jonathan Singleton would likely have gotten a chance at winning the starting first base job out of spring training. The big slugger hit .284/.396/.497 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI as a 20-year-old in Double-A last season, but he has yet to get things going this season and may be further from making a big-league impact than initially thought entering the year.
Los Angeles Angels: 3B Kaleb Cowart, Double-A Arkansas
(.221/.279/.301, 6 HR, 42 RBI, 48 R, 14 SB)
The No. 1-ranked prospect in an incredibly thin Angels farm system entering the year, Kaleb Cowart hit .276/.358/.452 with 16 home runs and 103 RBI while reaching High-A as a 20-year-old last year. He's been over-matched in Double-A this year, though, and like many other young hitters, plate discipline has been the issue, as he holds a 38/124 BB/K ratio.
Oakland Athletics: 1B/3B Miles Head, Double-A Midland
(.196/.264/.264, 2 HR, 8 RBI, 13 R)
Acquired from the Red Sox in the deal that involved Andrew Bailey and Josh Reddick, Miles Head put up monster numbers between High-A and Double-A last year, hitting .333/.391/.577 with 23 home runs and 84 RBI. He's battled shoulder issues this season, though, and he's been terrible in the 40 games he has been on the field, striking out 42 times in 148 at-bats.
Seattle Mariners: LF Leon Landry, Double-A Jackson
(.216/.262/.303, 6 HR, 37 RBI, 43 R, 22 SB)
Acquired from the Dodgers last year in the Brandon League deal, Leon Landry hit a combined .341/.371/.584 with 13 home runs and 27 steals between the two team's High-A affiliates last season. The 23-year-old has spent the entire season in Double-A in 2013, but he has struggled mightily at the plate, with his OPS dropping nearly 300 points.
Texas Rangers: SP Cody Buckel, Arizona Rookie League
(8 G, 7 GS, 0-6, 21.09 ERA, 35 BB, 13 K, 10.2 IP)
A second-round pick in 2010, Cody Buckel went 10-8 with a 2.49 ERA and 155 strikeouts in 144.2 innings of work between High-A and Double-A last season, and he looked to have a bright future ahead of him heading into 2013. He opened the 2013 season in Double-A, but after walking a whopping 28 hitters in 9.1 innings of work, he was sent down to rookie ball and was eventually shut down to work on his control issues outside of game situations.
Atlanta Braves: SP Sean Gilmartin, Triple-A Gwinnett
(21 G, 20 GS, 4-8, 5.06 ERA, 65 K, 91 IP)
The Braves first-round pick in 2011 out of Florida State, Sean Gilmartin looked to be on the fast-track to the majors last year when he posted a 3.84 ERA and 1.22 WHIP in 157 innings between Double-A and Triple-A. He's dealt with injuries this season, though, and has taken a step back in his overall development. He'll look to position himself for a 2014 call-up with a bounce-back season next year.
Miami Marlins: CF Kolby Copeland, Short-Season Batavia
(Has not played: Suspended, refused drug test)
A third-round pick out of high school in 2012, Kolby Copeland signed early and played 62 games last season, hitting a solid .280/.330/.397 over 239 at-bats and getting a leg up on his development. That development was brought to an abrupt halt in March, though, when the 19-year-old was suspended 50 games for refusing to take a drug test. He has not seen the field since, and he will look to get his career back on track next season.
New York Mets: SP/RP Jeurys Familia, High-A St. Lucie
(7 G, 1 GS, 0-1, 1.13 ERA, 7 K, 8 IP)
Signed as an 18-year-old out of the Dominican Republic, Jeurys Familia has seemingly been a top Mets prospect forever now, and 2013 was the year that he was finally expected to make an impact at the big-league level. He did, in fact, make eight big-league appearances early in the season, posting a 3.48 ERA in 10.1 innings of work, but tendinitis has sidelined him since early May, and this has essentially been a lost season for the now 23-year-old
Philadelphia Phillies: 1B/OF Larry Greene, Low-A Lakewood
(.213/.306/.303, 4 HR, 28 RBI, 45 R)
The No. 11-ranked prospect in the Phillies system entering the year, Larry Greene was a Supplemental Round selection in the 2011 draft on the strength of his offensive potential. He debuted last season with a .272/.373/.381 line at short-season Williamsport, but he's struggled at the full-season level this year, putting up a dreadful 55/163 BB/K ratio over 400 at-bats.
Washington Nationals: RF Destin Hood, Double-A Harrisburg
(.224/.278/.327, 4 HR, 40 RBI, 44 R)
A 2008 second-round pick out of high school, Destin Hood made a name for himself in 2011 when he hit .276/.364/.445 with 13 home runs and 21 steals at High-A. Those numbers dropped to .242/.301/.339 last season, and he dropped from the team's No. 11 prospect to No. 17 as a result. More struggles at the Double-A level this season could leave him outside the top 20 the next time the rankings are released.
Chicago Cubs: SP Dillon Maples, Short-Season Boise
(21 G, 16 GS, 5-4, 4.93 ERA, 50 BB, 75 K, 76.2 IP)
The easy choice here would have been Brett Jackson. But after he struck out a total of 217 times in 527 at-bats last year, his struggles this year were more expected than disappointing. Instead, the choice is Dillon Maples, who was taken in the 14th round of the 2011 draft but was given $2.5 million to sign. He entered this year with just six career appearances under his belt, and his first extended showing as a pro has been less-than-impressive. He has ace-caliber stuff, but the control just is not there yet for the 21-year-old.
Cincinnati Reds: SP Daniel Corcino, Triple-A Louisville
(28 G, 23 GS, 7-14, 5.86 ERA, 73 BB, 90 K, 129 IP)
Daniel Corcino looked to be on the cusp of making a big-league impact entering the season, having gone 8-8 with a 3.01 ERA as a 21-year-old in Double-A last season. Ranked as the No. 94 prospect in baseball heading into the season, he opened the year in Triple-A, where he has seen his walk rate rise (4.1 to 5.1 BB/9), hit rate climb (7.0 to 9.8 H/9) and strikeout rate drop (7.9 to 6.3 K/9). Those peripheral numbers tell the story, as he simply has not been the same pitcher this season that he was last year.
Milwaukee Brewers: 1B Hunter Morris, Triple-A Nashville
(.247/.310/.457, 24 HR, 73 RBI, 61 R)
After hitting .303/.357/.563 with 28 home runs and 113 RBI last season in Double-A, Hunter Morris was expected to make a run at the everyday first base job in Milwaukee at some point this season. That pursuit was made even easier when Corey Hart was lost for the season with an injury. However, the 24-year-old has not made the transition to Triple-A smoothly, though, and despite the vacancy at first base, he remains in the minors as a result.
Pittsburgh Pirates: SP Kyle McPherson, Triple-A Indianapolis
(2 G, 2 GS, 0-1, 19.29 ERA, 4 BB, 2 K, 4.2 IP)
He didn't enter the season with the hype of some of his fellow Pirates pitching prospects, but Kyle McPherson had a legitimate shot at winning the No. 5 starter job out of camp after posting a 2.73 ERA over 26.1 innings in a big-league audition last year. Instead, Jeff Locke wound up winning the job, and McPherson landed on the DL after just two minor league appearances. Tommy John surgery shortly thereafter effectively ended his season.
St. Louis Cardinals: 3B Patrick Wisdom, High-A Palm Beach
(.235/.313/.401, 15 HR, 73 RBI, 62 R)
A Supplemental Round pick out of St. Mary's last season, Patrick Wisdom signed early and went on to hit .282/.373/.465 with 32 RBI and 40 runs in 65 games at short-season Batavia. That was enough for the 22-year-old to open 2013 in full-season ball, but he has been over matched all season, and will likely repeat the High-A level next season.
Arizona Diamondbacks: C Michael Perez, Low-A South Bend
(.208/.261/.343, 7 HR, 38 RBI, 41 R)
An athletic backstop taken out of Puerto Rico in the fifth round of the 2011 draft, Michael Perez impressed with a .293/.358/.542 line and 10 home runs in 225 at-bats in rookie ball last year, and he entered the season as the Diamondbacks No. 12-ranked prospect. He jumped to High-A to open the year but struggled to a .173/.223/.307 line in 47 games before being dropped down to Low-A. He will undoubtedly be brought along slowly from here.
Colorado Rockies: CF David Dahl, Low-A Asheville
(.275/.310/.425, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 9 R, 2 SB)
David Dahl was taken with the No. 10 pick in the 2012 draft, and he wasted no time making a name for himself as a pro, hitting .379/.423/.625 with 41 extra-base hits (9 HR) in 280 at-bats to win Pioneer League MVP honors. This season has been the polar opposite, as he was demoted to extended spring training for disciplinary reasons in April and then suffered a torn hamstring shortly after returning to the Asheville roster.
Los Angeles Dodgers: LF Bobby Coyle, High-A Rancho Cucamonga
(.234/.285/.417, 15 HR, 34 RBI, 37 R)
A 10th-round pick back in 2010, Bobby Coyle was not on the prospect radar entering last year, but a .370/.403/.580 line in 238 at-bats between High-A and Double-A changed that, as he entered 2013 as the Dodgers No. 15 prospect. Back at Double-A to open the season, Coyle hit just .171/.244/.207 in 42 games before being demoted to High-A, where his numbers are a more respectable .267/.307/.529. Still, you never want to be moving backwards through the organization.
San Diego Padres: SP Casey Kelly, Double-A San Antonio
(Has not played: Injured, Tommy John surgery)
The key piece the Padres received in return for Adrian Gonzalez prior to the 2011 season, Casey Kelly ranked as the No. 45 prospect in baseball entering the year. He was limited to just 16 starts (eight for San Diego) in 2012 before being shut down with elbow inflammation. He opted for rehab over surgery last season, but when the issue popped back up this past spring, he went under the knife for Tommy John surgery and was lost for the year.
San Francisco Giants: 2B Joe Panik, Double-A Richmond
(.257/.333/.347, 4 HR, 57 RBI, 64 R, 10 SB)
Taken with the 29th pick in the 2011 draft, Joe Panik signed in time to hit .341/.401/.467 over 270 at-bats at short-season Salem-Keizer and looked set for the fast track to the majors. His numbers weren't quite as impressive last year, but he held his own in full-season ball with a .297/.368/.402 line. That was enough for him to enter the year as the team's No. 2 prospect. Things have not gone as well for the 22-year-old in Double-A this year, though, and his ETA in San Francisco has been pushed back as a result.