This year, there are high expectations for Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. And there are more highly touted prospects in the Red Sox farm system pipeline. But not every rookie lives up to those expectations.
A look at some recent highly regarded, homegrown Red Sox prospects who fell well short of making the expected impact on the major league roster:
Brian Rose, SP
Acquired: 1994 third round (75th)
Red Sox minors: 92 app., 43-22, 3.56 ERA, 1.233 WHIP
With Red Sox: 46 app., 11-15, 5.73 ERA, 1.482 WHIP
Rose had the added pressure of being a local star from New Bedford. He was the International League’s Most Valuable Pitcher in 1997, going 17-5 for Pawtucket and getting his first taste of the bigs. Given a starting job in ’98, Rose made eight uninspiring starts, didn’t resurface in the majors until the next season, and in 2000 was jettisoned in a trade package for Mike Lansing.
Andrew Yount, SP
Acquired: 1995 first round (15th)
Red Sox minors: 13 app., 1-3, 5.15 ERA, 1.875 WHIP
With Red Sox: No appearances
One season into his professional career, reviews from the Gulf Coast League put Yount on the same trajectory as fellow league pitchers Roy Halladay, A.J. Burnett, and Kerry Wood. With a fastball that hit 97, Yount struck out 47 batters in his first 50 innings. Then he suffered a severe cut to his hand that required several surgeries. Two comebacks with other franchises failed.
Wilton Veras, 3B
Acquired: 1995 free agent (Dominican Republic)
Red Sox minors: 792 games, .269/.309/.378, 52 HRs, 394 RBIs
With Red Sox: 85 games, .262/.297/.340, 2 HRs, 27 RBIs
Veras was a free swinger who would’ve never fit the Sox’ current prospect mold — he walked 12 times in 306 major league plate appearances. But he did hit above .280 for three straight seasons and that earned him a promotion from Double A Trenton straight to Boston. Minor rookie success led to a meager sophomore start until he lost his job in the big leagues for good.
Craig Hansen, RP
Acquired: 2005 first round (26th)
Red Sox minors: 80 app., 4 saves, 2.61 ERA, 1.339 WHIP
With Red Sox: 74 app., 2 saves, 6.15 ERA, 1.674 WHIP
Hansen was an All-America closer out of St. John’s who dropped in the draft because of negotiation concerns with his agent, Scott Boras. The Sox gave the big righthander a four-year, $4.4 million contract (with a $1.3 million signing bonus) and many thought he would be the most successful member of a Sox draft class that included Jacoby Ellsbury, Clay Buchholz, and Jed Lowrie.
Jason Place, OF
Acquired: 2006 first round (27th)
Red Sox minors: 432 games, .234/.315/.390, 47 HRs, 203 RBIs
With Red Sox: No appearances
Scouts thought Place had five-tool potential when he was drafted out of high school, and that praise seemed accurate when the athletic outfielder produced a .292/.386/.442 slash line in rookie ball. Then his bugaboo emerged: strikeouts. Place whiffed in 32 percent of his ABs over the next three seasons, his production fell off, and he was released in 2011.
Greg Blosser, OF
Acquired: 1989 first round (16th)
Red Sox minors: 744 games, .247/.331/.427, 104 HRs, 371 RBIs
With Red Sox: 22 games, .077/.200/.103, 0 HR, 2 RBIs
The fact Blosser played professionally until 2008 belies his journeyman ride. The Floridian was expected to team with Mo Vaughn (selected seven picks after Blosser) and carry the middle of the lineup for years. The problem was, Blosser was rushed up the ladder, the Sox lost patience, and Blosser migrated through the minors and Japan.
Jose Malave, OF
Acquired: 1989 free agent (Venezuela)
Red Sox minors: 574 games, .294/.350/.494, 94 HRs, 379 RBIs
With Red Sox: 45 games, .226/.248/.368, 4 HRs, 17 RBIs
Malave hit .309 from 1991-93 before his power really emerged (24 homers in Double A, 23 in Triple A). He got an early promotion in 1996 and drove in four runs in his fifth game. But he slumped by July and was sent back down, logged just four big league ABs in 1997, and spent the rest of his career in Japan, Mexico, and independent leagues.
Frankie Rodriguez, SP/SS
Acquired: 1990 second round (41st)
Red Sox minors: 94 app., 28-32, 3.63 ERA, 1.285 WHIP
With Red Sox: 9 app., 0-2, 10.57 ERA, 2.022 WHIP
The Sox drafted Rodriguez out of high school and signed him as a JUCO MVP, giving him a huge bonus. He started out in the organization as a shortstop, then after one season was shifted to pitcher. His live arm produced a lot of K’s, but a lot of walks too. Rodriguez ended up as the key trade chip for the Twins’ Rick Aguilera in 1995.