Prospects are valuable to every Major League Baseball team, but sometimes, even the most highly touted prospects fail to live up to the hype.
The Cincinnati Reds have been lucky to hit big on a lot of first-round picks from the past decade. Ten of the team's first-round picks since 2003 have made it to the majors, although two made it to the majors with other organizations. Only one top pick during that span has yet to reach the big leagues.
However, the Reds didn't have much luck with their top picks from 1992 to 2002. Outside of outfielder Austin Kearns, there wasn't really anyone to speak of in terms of success in Cincinnati. That could explain why the team, outside of a one-game playoff in 1999, did not make the postseason from 1995 to 2010.
Teams are hesitant to trade away prospects, even for established players. Yet prospects can be used as valuable pieces to acquire big-name players, as the Reds have found out in recent years.
The players on this list—most of whom were first-round picks—never lived up to expectations.
*All stats are via MLB.com