When we look at the baseball lows of rookie production, there are a few eras that immediately come to mind.  The early 80s and the mid to late 90s.  Those have to be some of the worst rookie crops in recent memory.  Here are some of the rookie of the years from that era:

  • 1995 – Hideo Nomo and Marty Cardova
  • 1996 – Todd Hollandsworth
  • 1998 – Ben Grieve and Kerry Wood
  • 1999 – Scott Williamson
  • 2000 – Kaz Sasaki and Raffy Frucal

The 2000s was a time when talent was coming into the league at an amazing rate, I don’t know if it was a generational leap, where the next generation of hitters and pitchers were significantly better than the players from the 1990s.  Unfortunately I really do believe that this current crop of hitters and pitchers, talent level has peaked.

These last two years the crop of rookies have been boring.  There are of course players that have come up and have dominated.  Guys like Evan Longoria, David Price, Buster Posey, Pablo Sandoval, and Stephen Stasburg.  Look at the players who have garnered the most interest from a prospecting point of view.  Guys like Pedro Alverez, Rick Porcello, Gordon Beckham, Andrew Bailey, JA Happ, and Chis Coghlan.  These players have cards that have spiraled out of control over the past few years, only to come back down to earth.

Collectors seem to be drooling for any kind of rookie prospect that they can sink big bucks into.  Of course the card companies know this and use it to their advantage signing these prospects to big card contracts and passing the cost down to the collectors. I’m not gonna lie, but I love collecting rookie cards like everyone else, but come on enough is enough.

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5 responses »

  1. R.N. Coyote says:

    Hideo Nomo wasn’t that bad. He did have few good early years. He was first pitcher to pitch a no-hitter at Coors Field and did before the balls were in humidifiers. Who else didn’t caught on Nomo-mania? I think some of the fans memory of Nomo when he was on his downside of his career. He did started the wave on Japanese players coming in the majors. Problem with his arrival was in-coming wave of Japanese players. Just like Cubans and Australian players trying to find the next big thing teams and scouts realize how overrated most of the players are.

  2. John Bateman says:

    Boring No Way – Starting in 2008 There has been a great run of rookies

    2008 – Longoria, Bruce, Gonzalez, Sandoval

    2009 – McCutchen, Coghlan, Beckham, Andrus

    2010 – This year rivals 1986 – Strasburg, Heyward, Stanton, Alzarez, Davis, Smoak, Castro, Austin Jackson, Boesch, Posey, Santana

    • chemgod says:

      Before the last 2 games Alverez has been so so, Strasburg is an above average pitcher, Heyward is the real deal, I’m still not convinced on Stanton, Smoak has been average, Jackson has been disappointing from a power perspective (of course Granderson has too), Boesch is solid, Posey will be a star, and Santana is still a question mark (injuries).

      Andrus is Vizquel (would you pay big dollars for a vizquel autograph?)
      Beckham reminds me of a less consistant Joe Randa (but Randa was better)
      Smoak is going to be a Hal Morris kind of player
      Jay Bruce is Adam Dunn all over again
      McCutchen is kind of like a Johnny Damon
      Sandoval is like a Casey Blake

      My point is, 5 years from now will these players be considered elite? Maybe Strasburg and Heyward will. The others will just be players that have moved from team to team. I’m sorry but this crop of rookies is so overhyped it’s ridiculous.

      • todduncommon says:

        Don’t forget Matt Wieters. We’re still waiting for him to live up to the “God” labels and his own personalized Chuck Norris joke website (http://www.mattwietersfacts.com). Buster Posey looks more like the real deal so far this season, compared to Wieters, and that’s just for catchers.

        This seems especially true since both of them struggled in late-season call-ups last year, but Posey has haxxored pitching so far this year, while Wieters is on the DL with a .245/6/29 line in 77 games. I guess even God can pull a hammy.

        That’s also why I’m not particularly impressed with “zOMG!!1!1! Bryce Harper Supar Long Homerun11!!! videos” on YouTube. Yes, in of itself, it is impressive to see a gifted teenager hit a baseball far, but there is zero prediction or translation of that to the MLB. Zero. I’m more impressed with Harmon Killebrew’s 520-foot homer in a game situation in 1967 (http://bit.ly/9NaEGp) than I ever will be with a PR batting practice homer with a metal bat, by anyone.

        And we shouldn’t even get started on Alex Gordon, circa 2006. I can’t think of a nicer jerk to overpay for nothing special than Keith Olbermann.

        I’m a little more interested in retro-prospecting. Guys that were 1) either supposed to be studs, and didn’t start well, but have improved, or 2) moderate prospects that got passed over for attention, and matured into studs.

        There’s a whole raft of guys in this category: Carlos Pena, Jack Cust, Josh Hamilton, Carlos Quentin, and so on. I think it’s more fun to see a guy as a stats leader today, and then find out he has a 2002 rookie auto that has been under five bucks for the last seven years or so.

        It certainly has to be more fun than gambling on a future nobody, or worse, the next Gregg Jefferies; a serviceable major leaguer that stays long enough in baseball to never let you forget how much money you wasted on his cards.

  3. Chris C. says:

    I’m in agreement with RN Coyote on Hideo Nomo. He was a soild pitcher. Garrett Anderson lost the AL ROY award to Marty Cordova. G.A.’s overall stats are better that Cordova’s during the 6 six years they were both in the big leagues.

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