The Oakland A's designated Daric Barton for assignment on May 15, eventually shifting him back to Triple-A. This made many fans happy. Why? Because the first baseman of the future back in 2004 never lived up to that status.
But he's not alone.
Like any team, the A's have had some letdowns when it comes to promising prospects who failed to live up to the hype. Going back through rosters and stat sheets, there are quite a few names that could be included. For these purposes, we'll stick with the first handful or two dating back to the turn of this century.
So what's the definition of "disappoint" here?
You'll notice these are guys who were supposed to be that "next big thing" and never came close. These aren't guys who were supposed to be superstars, got to the big leagues, did OK and stopped there. This will be made more clear in the next slide.
How else did I come to pinpoint disappointments?
First, I went year by year to see who was listed as a top-10 prospect according to various sources. For example, Player X is named within the top 10 for 2007 but never did much of anything for Oakland or any MLB team for that matter. So he makes the preliminary list. Then, I double-checked stats. Finally, I asked the question on Twitter to narrow down the list.
It also helps if there was buzz about a guy, and he was in the system for awhile. A guy is disqualified if he was here a short time and not many casual A's fans would recognize the name.
Without further ado, here is a list of some of the most disappointing prospects since 2000.