May 5, 2015; Boston, MA, USA; Boston Red Sox hall of famers Jim Rice and Carl Yastrzemski stand in left field as part of the pregame ceremony before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
The Boston Red Sox have had their share of Can’t miss players who did. Here is a list of sixteen.
The Boston Red Sox have a wealth of minor league talent and some will surface within the next few seasons and contribute significantly while others will never quite reach the projected promise. For every Mookie Betts, there is a Lars Anderson since sometimes can’t miss means just that – miss. What could have been but never was.
The current team has players who are either stars right now or certainly will be in the future. You can see it on the pitching staff, infield, outfield and catching. The organization is very fortunate since this certainly allows management to operate in the trade department as noted by the acquisition of Craig Kimbrel.
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I have followed the Red Sox since the early 1950s and have been a semi-regular at Pawtucket games when that team was actually in the Eastern League. Now it is the Triple-A team and has been for decades. I have seen players who I just know beyond a doubt will be stars. But something happens on that pathway – they fall short. Something happens when they reach the majors and that promise dissolves like a 401(k) in 2008. The level of talent at the MLB level? Injuries? Psyche? They just fall short of my personal expectations.
I have cobbled together a list of players who meet that criteria of disappointment for me and probably for those who remember them. Of course, I have no set rubric, but just sifting through my memories of players who impressed when I saw them in the minors and even – if briefly – in the majors. If I drifted back to the 1950s the list would be quite extensive with the numerous “bonus babies” who tanked, so the list is somewhere in the mid-1960s to early 1970s for a start and finish into the 21st century.
If I have missed a few I am sure readers can add to the list.