Front offices, coaches and fans alike all buzz about the hype and potential of their future superstars that are waiting in the wings. They will be called up in September, right smack dab in the middle of a pennant race and lift the team up wearing a red cape and the letter "S" on the front of their shirt. They'll bring blood, sweat and tears to do whatever it takes for the club.
Their scouting report will include more credentials and tools than Babe Ruth. They'll have the "family pedigree" and the makeup... The bat speed and the base stealing speed... And everything else you can imagine as they are molded into the Superman-type prospect.
More times than not, these "future superstars" and can't-miss prospects end up fading, getting injured or simply never reaching their ceiling that are even higher than the monster home runs they're projected to hit. It is not as easy meeting the infinite expectations as guys like David Price, Joe Mauer, Prince Fielder and other former top prospects/modern stars that have made it.
However, here's your disclaimer now: It's never too late to fulfill prospect status. Consider a 2005 version of this list? Josh Hamilton would've toppled the competition as he was nearly out of baseball due to his off the field issues. Or even a 2010 list? Alex Gordon and Cameron Maybin could've helped me make the list; it sure looks like they both redeemed themselves. Last but not least, there's the 30 and up club guys... AKA, the rare Jose Bautistas of the world that are simply late bloomers.
Those primarily eligible for this list are guys branded as top prospects between 2000-2009 that were typically ranked as a Top 20 player by Baseball America. Sorry to those ineligible.
In honor of all the future superstars that just signed at the August 15th signing deadline, and in pity to all the hyped up talent that never really reached the next level, take a stroll down memory lane, take out your old scouting reports and enjoy the Top 10 ultra-hyped prospects that just never quite met expectations...