Chicago White Sox: 5 Recent Prospects Who Never Lived Up to the Hype

Todd Thorstenson@@Thor1323Analyst INovember 30, 2011

Chicago White Sox: 5 Recent Prospects Who Never Lived Up to the Hype

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    According to many critics and fans, the Chicago White Sox are now officially in a rebuilding mode.

    After losing manager Ozzie Guillen to the Miami Marlins and hiring the inexperienced Robin Ventura as the new manager, there's no doubt that the organization is heading in a different direction.

    Not only has there been a change in management, but there may also be several changes to the team on the field—however it still remains to be seen what exactly those changes will be.

    Regardless of what changes are made, the fact is that the 2012 White Sox will have several young players on their roster—and several prospects with an opportunity to make the roster.

    In recent years the White Sox have added several young prospects such as Alexei Ramirez, Gordon Beckham and Brent Morel—all of whom will more than likely be in the opening day lineup for 2012.

    Also expected to be a part of  next year's opening day lineup are two more highly touted prospects in Dayan Viciedo and Alejandro De Aza—both of whom saw action during 2011.

    So it's fair to say that the White Sox will be relying heavily on young talent going into next season.

    Now it's just a matter of each of those guys living up to their potential.

    Here's a look at five former White Sox prospects who were unable to do just that.

Jeff Liefer

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    Jeff Liefer was drafted 25th overall by the White Sox in the 1995 amateur draft, but wouldn't make his major league debut until 1999.

    In 1999 Liefer would appear in 45 games and hit .245 with no homeruns and 14 RBIs.

    The following season Liefer spent almost entirely at AAA Charlotte, where he would have a big season.

    In 2001 Liefer would have his most productive season in the big leagues.  He appeared in 83 games and hit .256 with 18 homeruns and 39 RBIs.

    After the 2002 season, in which he only appeared in 76 games, Liefer was traded to the Montreal Expos in a deal that brought Bartolo Colon to the White Sox.

    He would go on to play sparingly in the majors over the next three years, never hitting higher than .214 in any season.

    In 2008 Liefer would come back to the Sox after signing as a free agent, but would retire from baseball later that season.

Mike Caruso

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    Mike Caruso's career actually started out great and he looked like he would be in a White Sox uniform for years, but it ended quicker than expected.

    Caruso was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the second round of the 1996 amateur draft.

    He came to the White Sox in the now infamous "white flag" trade between the White Sox and Giants at the trade deadline in 1997.

    The next season in 1998 Caruso would be called up early in the season to become the everyday starter at shortstop and would appear in 131 games.

    He had an excellent rookie season at the plate, hitting .306 with 5 homeruns and 55 RBIs. But he struggled in the field with 35 errors.  He would finish 3rd in voting for the rookie of the year that season.

    In 1999 Caruso was back at shortstop and appeared in 136 games, hitting .250 with 2 homeruns and 35 RBIs.  He was slightly better defensively than the year before, but not great as he committed 24 errors.

    In January of 2000 the White Sox acquired Jose Valentin in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers and that would mean the end of Caruso's run at shortstop for the White Sox.

    He spent the 2000 season in AAA Charlotte before being claimed off waivers by the Seattle Mariners at the end of that year.

    Caruso would appear in 12 games for the Kansas City Royals in 2002 and that would be the end of his major league career.

Joe Borchard

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    Joe Borchard was one of the more hyped White Sox prospects of recent memory, but if he's on this list you know what happened.

    Borchard was drafted 12th overall by the White Sox in the 2000 amateur draft, but didn't see any time in the majors until 2002.

    When he finally did make it to the bigs, he didn't do much.  Borchard appeared in only 16 games during the 2002 season and another 16 games during the 2003 season.  During those two stints he hit .222 and .184 respectively with a total of 3 homeruns and 10 RBIs.

    In 2004 he would get more of an opportunity to show his talents as he would appear in 63 games, but he managed only a .174 average with 9 homeruns and 20 RBIs.

    Finally after appearing in only seven games in 2005, Borchard was traded to the Seattle Mariners for left-handed reliever Matt Thornton—one of GM Kenny William's better moves.

    He would go on to split time between Seattle and the Florida Marlins in 2006 and played one more season for Florida in 2007, but he would never hit above .230 for either team.

    Borchard has not played in the majors since.

Brian Anderson

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    Anderson was the 15th overall pick by the White Sox in the 2003 amateur draft and was expected to be in the White Sox outfield for years to come, but that's not how it worked out.

    He was called up for the first time at the end of the 2005 season and was on the roster during the White Sox championship run that year. But his first real opportunity would come the following season.

    When Aaron Rowand was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies in November of 2005 it gave Anderson the opportunity he was looking for to take over full time in center field.

    In 2006 Anderson was the opening day starter in center field and played in 134 games.  He hit .225 with 8 homeruns and 33 RBIs—not the kind of season the Sox had hoped for.

    The next year Anderson lost his starting job to Darin Erstad and spent the majority of the season at AAA Charlotte—he appeared in only 13 games in the big leagues that year.

    In 2008 Anderson would get another opportunity to play every day but still couldn't produce. He appeared in 109 games that year with a .232 average, 8 homeruns and 26 RBIs.

    Finally after appearing in 65 games in 2009 and hitting only .238, the White Sox traded him to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for Mark Kotsay.

    Recently Anderson tried to make a comeback as a pitcher with the Royals and the Yankees, but was released by New York early in 2011.

Josh Fields

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    Josh Fields was drafted 18th overall by the White Sox in the 2004 amateur draft and made his first appearance in the majors in 2006.

    Fields was called up at the end of 2006 and only appeared in 11 games, but he would get more of a chance to prove himself the following year.

    In 2007 Joe Crede was the White Sox everyday third baseman, but when he went down with a season ending injury, it was time for Fields to step in.

    He would go on to have a pretty good season filling in for Crede in 2007, hitting .244 with 23 homeruns and 67 RBIs in 100 games.

    However, the success would be short lived as the next season Fields would spend primarily in AAA Charlotte as Joe Crede remained the starter at the big league level. 

    In 2009 Joe Crede was gone and Fields would again get his chance as the opening day starter at third base.  However, that didn't last either as rookie Gordon Beckham would be called up to replace the struggling Fields halfway through the season.

    In 79 games that year Fields hit only .222 with 7 homeruns and 30 RBIs and was demoted back to AAA Charlotte soon after Beckham took over.

    In November of 2009 Fields was traded along with Chris Getz to the Kansas City Royals in exhange for Mark Teahen.

    He would only play in 13 games for the Royals in 2010 and hasn't played in the big leagues since.