Post-hype check-in: What to make of big-time prospects you gave up on — perhaps a little too soon
- Covers MLB for ESPN.com
- Former deputy editor of Page 2
- Been with ESPN.com since 1995
Hitting in the major leagues has never been more difficult. Though this season has brought increases in batting average and hits due to MLB’s new rules, as the great Ted Williams once said, “Hitting is 50% above the shoulders.”
Indeed, baseball is a mental game. Yet, we expect every top prospect — who are sometimes still just teenagers when they debut — to come out of the gate as rookies and turn into instant stars. It worked that way for Julio Rodriguez and Michael Harris II last season, but that’s not the usual path. Both Rookies of the Year are struggling in 2023, though we know they can do it because — well, they’ve already done it. What we don’t know is the path of some other recent top prospects who weren’t firing on all cylinders immediately.
Call it the post-hype update. Let’s check in on some former top position player prospects who are no longer rookies but are still early in their careers and looking to break out in 2023. We’ll separate them into two groups: those showing signs of success so far and those we’re still unsure about.
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