Discussion

Former prospects about to bust

Chances are dwindling for these top picks from the 2008 draft

Updated: February 1, 2013, 2:25 PM ET
By Paul Swydan | FanGraphs

In every major league draft, there are stars and busts. There are solid players and role players. But there are also those players who occupy that space in between. You might call them the "perpetual letdown" players -- guys who keep getting shots to contribute in a meaningful way year after year because of past glimmers of potential but who consistently fail to deliver on their promise. For the members of the 2008 draft, this is the year we can start coming to some conclusions on who will occupy that perpetual letdown space.

To get a sense of what we're talking about, let's take a look at the first five picks of the 2006 draft, as that sets up what we mean fairly well. At the fifth spot, you have Brandon Morrow, who has been worth 10.8 wins against replacement (WAR) thus far in his major league career. The fourth pick was Brad Lincoln, and at 0.6 WAR he has been a role player. The third pick was Evan Longoria, and at 29.3 WAR he is a certified star. The second pick, Greg Reynolds, is our bust, as Reynolds never even threw 100 major league innings, "accumulating" -0.6 WAR in the process.

And at No. 1 overall, we have our perpetual letdown in Luke Hochevar. Much was expected of Hochevar, but to this point he has totaled just 8.9 WAR -- nearly two wins less than Morrow despite the fact that he has thrown 123 more innings. Has he been awful? Certainly not. Has he been all that the Royals wanted him, and expected him to be? Not even close.

As we head into 2013, the lines are beginning to be drawn for the 2008 draft class. No. 5 pick Buster Posey is the star, while No. 1 pick Tim Beckham appears to be the bust. How we view the following five players is still open for debate.

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