Biggest Wastes Of Talent On Every MLB Team
Baseball is a weird sport sometimes especially in Major League Baseball. In the MLB, teams sign players to mega contracts expecting them to perform to the highest standards that they were playing with on their previous team. However, time and time again every fan sees that sometimes the mega-type contracts do not always pay off.
How many times do we see Alex Rodriguez-type contracts get handed out and then after a huge first year with the new team, they drop off the map at the snap of a finger? We see it plenty of times and not only with Rodriguez but players like Andruw Jones, when he left the Atlanta Braves, as well.
There is a huge problem with people and wasting their talents on the team that there are. Every team has that one person that should we doing well enough to help the team win ball games but for some reason, psychological, health, apathy, does not do that.
Even teams that do not have that big name player still has wasted talent on the team. It is extremely easy to spot. Those fans that watch a majority of their team’s games can easily spot out who is under performing and who is not earning the money that they are getting paid.
What team do you think has wasted talent on the team or who, on your team, is just a waste of talent and roster space? Tell me who is a wasted talent and if you agree with the following wasted talents on each team.
Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks
Justin Upton is probably the most well known of the Arizona Diamondbacks players, however, he is not carrying the team like he should. Upton was the center of trade talk this past trade deadline but no trigger was pulled.
Upton’s production in 2012 really slipped as he only hit 17 home runs and batted eight points worse than he did in 2011. If the Diamondbacks do decide to trade him, either Arizona or some other team would have to take on part of the four-year, $51.25 million contract he signed in 2010.
Paul Janish, Atlanta Braves
Paul Janish was once a top prospect for the Cincinnati Reds and played in 114 games for the Reds in 2011 before being traded to the Atlanta Braves. Janish has been regulated to only 49 starts at shortstop batting .186/.269/.234.
Janish is lacking consistency and his peak performance is only going to be more prolonged if he continues to be behind Andrelton Simmons in Atlanta.
Brian Roberts, Baltimore Orioles
Brian Roberts has been with the Baltimore Orioles for a long time. However, in 2012, Roberts only played in 17 games before he was regulated to the DL and never made his way back to the majors. It also showed that the Orioles did not need him at all.
Roberts has been hampered by injuries in the past three seasons and prior to the 2010 season he hit a league-leading 56 doubles. Roberts’ time in Baltimore is being wasted. It is time for Roberts to move away from the Orioles organization.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, Boston Red Sox
Daisuke Matsuzaka’s first season with the Boston Red Sox was great. His second season, even better. But since 2009, Matsuzaka has struggled with injury and command and 2012 really took the cake.
In 11 starts, Dice-K managed only to pick up one win. His ERA ballooned to 8.28 and he struck out only 41 batters. He is really far from his 2008 dominance and it looks like his welcome is wearing out in Boston.
Alfonso Soriano, Chicago Cubs
You may be shaken up a little bit to see Alfonso Soriano on this list but let me talk you through it. Soriano is a consistent power threat but up until the 2012 season, he has struggled. He’s not a speed threat on the base paths any more and prior to this season did not drive in 100 runs since 2005.
Soriano also signed an eight-year deal in 2007 with the Chicago Cubs and in that span, the Cubs have not gotten past the first round of the playoffs and have not seen playoff baseball since 2008. The Cubs are wasting their money with him and Soriano would be better off in a lineup that could protect him.
Francisco Liriano, Chicago White Sox
If it weren’t for all the injuries that Chicago White Sox left-handed pitcher Francisco Liriano suffered, he would be a top ace in the league but since his breakout 2006 season, Liriano has not been exactly the same.
He missed all of the 2007 with shoulder trouble and he went 14-10 with 201 strikeouts in 2010. He fizzled out with the Minnesota Twins and ended up being traded to the White Sox and now he sits as the No. 5 pitcher in the White Sox rotation.
This is not the way Liriano thought his career would go.
Mike Leake, Cincinnati Reds
Mike Leake has been a decent pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds winning eight games in two of his three seasons and had a season with 12 wins. However, Leake has not been invited to any of the Reds’ postseason rosters.
Leake is sitting on the major league roster and his talent is not being used. He could be a good pitcher to be used in a situation like the Reds have now with Johnny Cueto being injured. When will he get his chance?
Travis Hafner, Cleveland Indians
The bottom line with Travis Hafner is that he is always injured. Only once out of the past five years did Hafner play over 100 games and for some reason he is still on the team.
His production is down too. He has not hit over 100 RBI in seven years. Hafner is bringing the Cleveland Indians lineup down as he continues his downward slope towards the end of his career.
Jeff Francis, Colorado Rockies
Jeff Francis started his career with the Colorado Rockies and if the Rockies don’t do something to its rotation, then Francis will continue to be the ace of it. His 67-57 record with the club is not that great.
Francis went 6-7 with a 5.58 ERA in 2012. He does not have overpowering stuff and is not the man that the Rockies should have leading the rotation. Francis’ H/9 and HR/9 ratios have increased in 2012. The team is stunting the growth of pitching prospects if they do not rid of pitchers like Francis.
Anibal Sanchez, Detroit Tigers
Anibal Sanchez was traded from the Miami Marlins to the Detroit Tigers mid-season and under performed with the Tigers like he did with the Marlins. In 12 starts with the Tigers he was 4-6 with a 3.74 ERA. He ended up getting nine wins in total this season.
Sanchez usually came through with the Marlins but in this new situation with the Tigers it seems like he’s not performing like he should. Sanchez has rarely been injured but how long will his average performances last in a Tigers uniform?
Brett Wallace, Houston Astros
Houston Astros infielder Brett Wallace has had a crazy career even before he could enter a major league game. He has been traded three times before finding a home with Houston.
However, in his first three seasons, he has not been able to stay in the majors being pushed up and down by management. In 66 games with Houston in 2012, Wallace batted .253 with nine homers and 24 RBI. His average was six points fewer than what he batted in 2011. His inconsistent stays in the majors could foretell that he will not be that great in years to come.
Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
Lorenzo Cain was part of the mega Zack Greinke deal that sent Greinke to the Milwaukee Brewers. Cain was a top prospect in the Brewers’ organization and got a chance to play this year for the Kansas City Royals.
However, Cain only managed to play 61 games for the team before straining his hamstring and being shut down for the rest of the season. Is it possible that Cain’s talent is being wasted?
For now, yes, Cain’s talent is being wasted. If he wants to make an impact with a club, he will have to learn to stay healthy first.
Ervin Santana, Los Angeles Angels
Ervin Santana was once the feared ace of the Los Angeles Angels. Santana even had protection around him in the new look rotation but he still was 9-13 with a 5.16 ERA, his highest in three years.
Santana is slipping. He gave up a league-leading 39 home runs and only struck out 133 batters in 30 starts. He is really bringing the godlike rotation that the Angels have down.
Josh Beckett, Los Angeles Dodgers
Josh Beckett was involved in some major news during the end of his days with the Boston Red Sox. His apathy for pitching with the Sox after Terry Francona was fired and during Bobby Valentine’s reign grew and it ended up in a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Over the past two seasons, Beckett is 20-21 with a 3.71 ERA and is far from the 20-win talent that he was during the Red Sox’s championship runs. Beckett is past his prime and if his apathy for baseball grows he could hurt the Dodgers.
A change of scenery could help revive his career. Beckett is not totally wasted talent but he is dwindling.
Carlos Zambrano, Miami Marlins
The Miami Marlins acquired Carlos Zambrano in the off-season prior to the 2012 season. At the time it was a steal. Zambrano was coming off a 9-7, 4.82 ERA type season and spent some time on the disabled and restricted list. He had issues in Chicago but in his prime still showed Cy Young stuff. It was a great addition to the Marlins’ rotation at the time.
Fast forward a season and Zambrano only started 20 games and appeared in relief 15 times. He was regulated to the bullpen as the Marlins put faith in younger guys like Jacob Turner and Nathan Eovaldi. Zambrano once led the National League with 16 wins and now it seems like those days are behind him.
The bullpen is not where Zambrano belongs.
Nyjer Morgan, Milwaukee Brewers
Nyjer Morgan started the year at center field batting second for the Milwaukee Brewers. Then his production stopped and Morgan was regulated to the bench.. Morgan only started 66 games for the Brewers and surprisingly, we did not hear much of his mouth this summer.
Morgan batted. 304 in 2011 and it dropped all the way down to .239 in 2012. Morgan also batted in only 16 runs and scored only 44 times. He was regulated to bench work in place of Carlos Gomez.
Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
Justin Morneau has fought concussions and wrist soreness to come back at full health in the 2012 season. Morneau is still far from the MVP award-winning version of himself that we saw in 2006 with the Minnesota Twins.
Morneau’s power is not there yet and it seems like he is past his prime. In 134 games in 2012, Morneau batted .267/.333/.440 with 19 home runs and 77 RBI. Before his injuries, Morneau drove in 100-plus runs for five straight seasons.
Jason Bay, New York Mets
There was at one point of Jason Bay’s career that he was feared as a hitter. That was before the New York Mets signed him to a four-year contract, which later proved to be a terrible signing by the club.
In three years with the Mets he has hit 26 home runs and drove in 124 RBI. In two years with the Boston Red Sox, Bay hit 45 home runs and drove in 156 RBI. With the Mets, Bay’s average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage has all dropped dramatically.
We have all seen the rap that Bay gets from Internet memes and from the media, but his number do not lie.
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees
The New York Yankees gave Alex Rodriguez a huge contract and for the first half of it, the contract seemed to be worthy of A-Rod’s performance on the field. He was hitting 30-plus home runs and driving in a ton of RBIs. Now, you can say that it’s time for the Yankees to part ways with him.
Rodriguez is always under microscope, especially in the postseason. His only great performance in the postseason was in 2009 and it helped the team win the World Series. In the past two series and the current one against the Baltimore Orioles, A-Rod is batting less than .200. He could hit 1,000 home runs in the regular season but if he cannot get it done in the playoffs, he is wasting a lineup spot on Joe Girardi’s card.
Chris Carter, Oakland Athletics
Most of these slides have been in a negative light, but I will bring you at least one that has a positive connotation. Oakland Athletics first baseman Chris Carter should be the A’s full-time starting first baseman.
Carter is a young, up and coming prospect in the organization and 67 games, Carter hit 16 home runs. He does need to get his .239 batting average up though if he wants to beat out Brandon Moss for a starting spot. Carter has the tools to be an A’s starter. Keeping him on the bench now is really wasting his talent.
Domonic Brown, Philadelphia Phillies
Up and down Domonic Brown. Brown has been bounced around from the majors and back to the minors and then back again. With the departures of Shane Victorino and Hunter Pence, it really opened up an opportunity for Brown.
However, in two straight seasons with 56 games played, Brown has not had over 50 hits in either season. He batted under the .250 mark and has not used his speed as a proper tool.
Brown’s knees have been a concern for the Philadelphia Phillies. It is unknown on whether or not Brown will stay with the Phillies in the future but the fact that he’s bounced around a few times in his career makes his future with the team uncertain.
Jose Tabata, Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates locked Tabata up in six-year, $15 million deal in 2011. Tabata responded in 2012 with a month and a half long stint in the minors and a major league slash line of .243/.315/.348.
Tabata was a player that the Pirates had a lot of commitment in but after his 2012 season, how long will it be before the Buccos rid of him.
Cameron Maybin, San Diego Padres
Cameron Maybin does not have the power numbers but has shown in that he could bring speed numbers and score runs. In 2011, that is what he did. He stole career-high 40 bases and scored career-high 82 runs.
What happened in 2012? Maybin only stole 26 bases and scored 67 runs. He batted .243 and recorded less doubles and triples than he did in 2011. Is there a decline in Maybin that we don’t know about? It surely seems that way.
Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants
There is something missing in the San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum. Something is not right. After winning two straight NL Cy Young awards, he has recorded double digit losses in each of the last three seasons.
In 2012, he was 10-15 and had a career-worst 5.18 ERA. He led the league in losses, games started and earned runs, things that he never used to do.
Is he on the decline? If so, he could be holding the Giants back from a World Series title.
Chone Figgins, Seattle Mariners
Chone Figgins wants to be out of Seattle and I do not blame him. Figgins signed with the Seattle Mariners coming off a good final season with the division-rival Angels. However, his three years with the M’s have led him to bench work.
Figgins is likely to be gone in Seattle during the off-season and after a .227/.302/.283 slash line, 61 RBI and only 104 runs scored, it is likely for Seattle to say good riddance.
Skip Schumaker, St. Louis Cardinals
Skip Schumaker is batting a career .345 in the postseason with the St. Louis Cardinals and in 2012 he is regulated to the bench behind Jon Jay and company. The Cardinals used Schumaker as a starter in only 85 games.
However, with the fact that he could play all over the place makes him a valuable asset. He used to be a vital asset for the Cardinals but now he is a bench warmer. Three stints on the DL in 2012 does not help his cause for a starting spot.
Wade Davis, Tampa Bay Rays
The Tampa Bay Rays have some serious young pitching in its rotation. Players like David Price, James Shields and Matt Moore make any rotation look like Little Leaguers. However, they have one pitcher that has done his share of work and his regulated to the bullpen.
Wade Davis did not make any starts in 2012 after starting 29 games in 2011. He was the Rays’ setup man and in 54 appearances, he allowed 19 earned runs. It is great but Davis would be better he was pushed as a starter.
Closing is not his calling.
Roy Oswalt, Texas Rangers
Roy Oswalt was a fire ball pitcher back in his days with the Houston Astros. Now he’s barely a figment of anybody’s imagination. Oswalt is getting older and he is becoming a journeyman-starting pitcher regulated to the bullpen on most occasions.
The Texas Rangers allowed him to start nine games for the club this season but that was it. The other eight appearances were made in relief. It is almost sad to see that the once over powering started is wasting his talent in a bullpen.
Yunel Escobar, Toronto Blue Jays
Yunel Escobar is a talent the Toronto Blue Jays have at shortstop. However, he really dropped off in 2012. He batted a career low .253 and only drove in 51 runs in 145 games.
To top things off, Escobar was suspended for putting a homophobic slur in his eye black during the end of the season. It is not something that the Blue Jays need from him. The team needs production.
Jayson Werth, Washington Nationals
The Washington Nationals gave Jayson Werth a crazy deal once he hit the free agent market after the 2010 season. Werth was on pace to have a good 2012 season after a disappointing 2011 season but he spent most of the season on the DL.
Werth fractured his wrist May 7 and only appeared in 81 games for the Nationals. The problem with his performance is that there is not a huge bat around him to give him the type of hitting we saw in Philadelphia.
It may not be that his talent is wasted it could be that Werth is just over hyped.