Every MLB team has its fair share of surprise contributors each season, but at the same time, there are inevitably a handful of players who fall well short of expectations and wind up as busts.
I'll use the same example I did in an article back in February to demonstrate how two players can put up similar numbers but, because of expectations, one can be pegged a bust and the other a surprise contributor:
- Player A: .250/.307/.432, 21 HR, 79 RBI, 73 R, 1.5 rWAR
- Player B: .251/.301/.470, 21 HR, 68 RBI, 56 R, 1.4 rWAR
Those are similar numbers across the board for two very different players.
Player A was Los Angeles Angels outfielder Josh Hamilton, who signed a five-year, $125 million deal last offseason and was expected to again be an AL MVP candidate. Player B was Chicago Cubs outfielder Nate Schierholtz, who signed a one-year, $2.25 million contract and proved to be a steal.
Hamilton was without question one of the biggest busts of 2013, while Schierholtz was a pleasant surprise in essentially a platoon role for the Cubs.
There are a number of different types of players who are most susceptible to being labeled a bust. Big-money free-agent additions, breakout players unable to duplicate their success, highly touted rookies and players slowed by injury all have the potential to bust.
With that in mind, here is my take on who will be the biggest bust at each position in 2014. I have no personal vendetta against any of these guys, and they may very well wind up proving me wrong. This is just my best guess here at the start of the season.