Thomas Joseph, SF. Joseph was a boom-or-bust type of pick when he was drafted, and he is still a teenager, but I was expecting a much better debut from a young man I rated just outside my preseason Top 100. His slugging percentage is the biggest head-scratcher in his stat line.
Dishonorable Mention: Jesus Montero, NYY
Yonder Alonso, CIN. Many of the prominent college hitters selected in the first round of the 2008 draft have graduated to the major leagues, making Alonso’s struggles stand out even more. He is a patient hitter and is sporting a solid contact rate for a wannabe power hitter. But there’s just one problem with that approach: Where’s the power?
Dishonorable Mention: Brandon Snyder, BAL
Dustin Ackley, SEA. I have never been a big believer in Ackley, but Seattle selected him No. 2 overall for a reason. Plate discipline only gets you so far. He was drafted for his power/speed combination, which hasn’t translated to this point.
Dishonorable Mention: David Nick, ARI
Josh Vitters, CHC. I have been selling on Vitters for a couple of years now, with only his draft status and the tenacious insistence of Cubs supporters leaving me hope. Nothing has changed this year. He is still undisciplined at the plate with marginal power.
Dishonorable Mention: Matt Dominguez, FLA
Tim Beckham, TB. Beckham was a big overdraft in the 2008 draft due to his bare-bones skills and boom-or-bust outlook. Even still, we were all expecting signs of improvement in 2010. But his bat is still littered with holes, undisciplined and lacking power. To be fair, though, his glove is getting better.
Dishonorable Mention: Jiovanni Mier, HOU
Michael Taylor, OAK. Taylor was brought in to eventually give Oakland a sorely needed power boost. Yet his game has taken a step backward in Triple-A at the age of 24. That’s not a good sign for a player who had many experts suddenly jump on his bandwagon last year.
Aaron Hicks, MIN. Hicks hasn’t been as bad as his numbers appear on the surface. He is showing power development and great plate discipline for a 20-year-old. Yet, for as much hype as he gets, he is still playing in Low-A Beloit and barely treading water.
Fernando Martinez, NYM. Mets fans are always insistent on Martinez, but I wonder if his 2010 campaign is finally casting some doubt. His approach at the plate is grossly undeveloped, and, at this point, it is pertinent to question whether it will ever develop. The power potential is still there, of course, but where are the results?
Dishonorable Mention: Tyson Gillies, PHI, Jaff Decker, SD, and Robbie Grossman, PIT
Trevor Reckling, LAA. I have always been mildly enamored of Reckling due to his array of pitches, yet he is getting away with less and less as he climbs the ladder and may end up as nothing more than a junkballer at the major league level. Improvement starts with ball location. He’s up in the zone and missing the corners right now. But, on the plus side, ball location is a problem that 21-year-olds have battled and conquered before.
Dishonorable Mention: Hector Rondon, CLE, Aaron Crow, KC, Tim Alderson, PIT, and Eric Arnett, MIL