As regulars here no doubt recall, last off season we did a community list of the 20 best prospects for future performance among players who used up their rookie eligibility during the 2008 season. I am planning on doing a similar project for 2009 prospects during the offseason, but with the 2009 mlb season just about done, I thought this might be a good time to take another look at the 2008 class as they continue to move away from being prospects. I'm going to reproduce the list below but only comment and poll on players who I think have declined as prospects for future performance over this past year. I will do a separate fan posts to discuss those players whose stock has gone up over the past year, if you don't see a comment about them below that means that I think that they have improved, or at least not declined as prospects and will be discussing them in my next post.
2. Jay Bruce- Has continued to show plenty of power, but a .210 average and 718 OPS have to be considered rather dissapointing for the #2 guy on this list.
4. Geovanny Soto- big decline in performance this year. Was this high on the list mostly because of his 2008 major league performance as he was only 48th on the community prospect list going into 2008.
5. Joba Chamberlain - He hasn't been bad by any means, but it certainly would be fair to call his performance "ordinary" which is criticism enough for the guy whom "Joba rules" were invented for.
6. Chris Davis - In some ways a similar story to Jay Bruce, although a bit lower on the list to start with, and someone whom there always was a bit of skepticism about, especially regarding his ability to make contact which is the exact problem he has had. With Smoak coming he can still make a nice career for himself but the window is at least starting to close.
7. Joey Votto
9. Alexei Ramirez- I suppose that this year has to classified as a mild dissapointment but considering that he has played every day and done pretty well for himself, with essentially no expectations going into 2008, I think the better way to think about him is that he has proved that he really is a major leaguer, as such he is certainly nott a candidate for the biggest decliner as a prospect.
10. Clay Buchholz- Another one who is very close to the line between moving up and moving down. Given his ranking going into 2008, we should be dissapointed that he he isn't a cy young candidate. But the #10 ranking at the end of the year took most of the air out of that balloon--at this point we have to be at least somewhat pleased that he seems at least pointed in the right direction in the majors--finally.
11. Max Scherzer-
12. Johnny Cueto-
13. Jacoby Ellsbury
14. Pablo Sandoval
15. Chris Volstad- The 5.00+ era has to be called mildly dissapointing, but considering that we are talking about the guy ranked #15 on the list, not that bad a season really.
16. Jed Lowrie- lost season largely due to injury. Now what?
17. Jeff Clement- First guy on this list who hasn't seen the majors this year. At times decent in the minors but we were expecting more by this point.
18. Joey Devine - Another lost year due to injury.
19. Denard Span
20. Justin Masterson
I am not listing players who ranked below #20 as it is hard to see that you could have declined all that far as a prospect if you weren't even ranked among the top 20 of your rookie class to being with. Overall, we have to be somewhat happy with this list as almost as everyone up to #15 got regular playing time.