Thursday, August 13, 2009
The nominees for most disappointing player of the yearPosted by Matt Hagen at 3:07am
If you haven't already heard, a man crush of mine, Jordan Zimmermann, is having Tommy John surgery. We're all hoping for a speedy and successful recovery. All you Top 100 followers, take note. This procedure will drop him completely from the Top 100 list, which will be updated next week. That's why it's always a bigger risk to invest in a pitcher rather than a position player.
Last week, I brought you the nominees for Minor League Player of the Year. Lets visit the other end of the spectrum, shall we? Here are your nominees for Most Disappointing Player of the Year.
Everyone had high hopes for the hard-throwing Jeffress. His velocity was through the roof. His control ... not so much. But we all did have those high hopes, didn't we? Well, Jeffress fell flat on his face, in more ways than one. His walk rate gave the Brewers' front office nightmares, and his extracurricular activities even more so. Jeffress is currently serving a 100-game suspension for testing positive for an illegal substance. One more suspension means a lifetime ban. Jeffress went from being one of the more raw, talented pitching prospects in the game to a guy that wouldn't even make an appearance on a Brewers top prospect list.
Donald was featured on many publications' top 100 list at the beginning of the year, and rightfully so. His 2008 performance pointed toward a young man with solid big league tools, including a solid glove at shortstop, average contact skills, average plate discipline, a bit of pop in his bat, and speed enough to contribute a handful of steals. All in all, his tools equaled out to an above average major league shortstop. This year, he has had a hard time staying above the Mendoza line and his power production has nose-dived. He was traded to Cleveland in the Cliff Lee deal, which means the Indians must see something in him. But in another month he will be 25 years old and finishing up a cringe-inducing Triple-A season. I don't see much to like anymore.
Skipworth's stat line says it all. Every bit of it makes me shake my head. Well, except for the seven home runs over 264 at-bats, which is a good sign for a 19-year-old catcher. I always have to keep his age in perspective, otherwise there is absolutely nothing there to like. This former first round pick is going the wrong way. The next Max Sapp, perhaps? There is still time to turn it around.
I really thought this would be Main's breakout campaign. Unfortunately, the young man took a step backward. While he is playing in the California League, a notorious hitter friendly environment, there is no excuse for a kid with his stuff putting up 45 strikeouts and 36 walks over 54 innings of work, not even the strange, undiagnosed illness he has suffered through. But there is still potential, of course.
Moustakas has not taken the step forward that everyone expected. His contact skills are still a question mark, his patience at the plate a liability, and his baserunning skills a work in progress. Combine that with his now permanent move to third base, and you have yourself a disappointing year. But the wrist speed and power are still present, and they will carry his reputation going forward.
Still in the picture: