Potential and high expectations, along with how well you perform in the minor leagues, will go a long way in determining when you are called up to the big club.
If a prospect is selected high in the first round, a lot of the time hope and money are invested in this player—and he may be sent up a tad bit early.
When a player is called up and doesn't perform up to the expectations, there are a few different scenarios that could shake out.
The player may be sent back down for more seasoning or the club might think that too much is on the line. If the respective team has nothing to lose they may leave him be to work things out as he continues his time in the bigs.
The following is a list of major league prospects who were called up and didn't quite live up to the expectations in their first year or so. Some would make the appropriate adjustments and go on to perform at a high level.
There is also a player or two on the list that weren't drafted very high and had lower expectations than most, but eventually found their way.
A majority of the players that I mention were first round draft picks. Unlike the NBA and the NFL top picks, in Major League Baseball they do not have the immediate pressure to live up to expectations—but they are expected to perform once they are are called up.
The time line used for this article is all over the place. Some players have been around for over 20 years and others are from the past 10 years. The statistics used in this article were taken from baseballreference.com.