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Remember someone we don't?

Remind us of a "can't miss" Dodger prospect.

 


Remember someone we don't?

Remind us of a "can't miss" Dodger prospect.

 



Over the past twenty years or so, the Dodgers have made a habit of prematurely giving up on young talent, yet sticking with stiffs. To most fans, it's usually quite obvious which of these "can't miss" prospects really have any talent and which ones should immediately be dumped into the sea. Yet, the Dodgers continually reject trade proposals for the crappy ones, preferring instead to invest time and energy into their futile development. Below are some of these "can't miss" prospects... many of whom definitely missed—or made it big elsewhere.



> German Rivera

» Dodger debut: 1983

» Finally given up on: 1985

» The low-down: Rivera was supposedly a good-glove third baseman who would allow Pedro Guerrero to move back to the outfield. Rivera was the opening day third baseman in '84. In 94 games that season, Rivera had 15 errors and just 17 RBIs. By the '85 season, he was gone.

 

> Dennys Reyes

» Dodger debut: 1997

» Finally given up on: 1998

» The low-down: Reyes was supposed to be the next coming of Fernando, and pysically he was. But the similarities ended there. Reyes went 2-7 in limited time with the Dodgers, and was traded just before the '98 all-star break along with Paul Konerko to the Reds for Jeff Shaw. When a guy is named after a 24-hour diner, you can't expect much from him.

 

> Mike Marshall

» Dodger debut: 1981

» Finally given up on: 1989

» The low-down: In his eight seasons with the Dodgers, Marshall spent more time complaining about hangnails than he did hitting. He posted careers highs in 1985 with 28 HR and 95 RBI, but never really came close to that in any other season. During his Dodger career, Marshall fought with teammates and management, but somehow managed to hang around for almost a decade—a supposed savior who never lived up to his "potential."

 

> Angel Pena

» Dodger debut: 1998

» Finally given up on: 2001

» The low-down: Pena, once the Los Angeles Dodgers' top catching prospect, frustrated the Dodgers with his attitude and weight. He started the '99 season with the team, but hit just .208. In July of '99 he was sent down and subsequently suspended in August for "breaking a team rule." While the Dodgers did not disclose the rule, we're guessing it was "Don't eat the hitting coach." In 2000, Pena reported to spring training at 262 pounds, and despite dropping 20, never figured prominently in the Dodgers plans again.

 

> Gilberto Reyes

» Dodger debut: 1983

» Finally given up on: 1988

» The low-down: Reyes was once thought of as a bright catching prospect, but the organization eventually soured on him... after 5 friggin' years. In brief chances with the Dodgers, Reyes hit .130, and came to be considered as lazy and a poor handler of a pitching staff.


> Jack Fimple

» Dodger debut: 1983

» Finally given up on: 1986

» The low-down: For a few years in the early- to mid-1980s, Fimple was high on the Dodgers list of prospects. Fimple had a strong arm, but after batting .226 over parts of a couple seasons and doing nothing else to distinguish himself, the Dodgers let him go. Besides, there was a guy named Gilberto Reyes who the Dodgers felt deserved the starting Triple-A job.


> Juan Castro

» Dodger debut: 1995

» Finally given up on: 1999

» The low-down: Castro was the typical "good field, no hit" infielder. He spent parts of five seasons with the Dodgers, and only got above .200 once—in '95, when he had 11 at-bats. Castro is now with the Reds, and flirted with .230 the past two seasons—proof that the Dodgers gave up on him far too soon.

 

> Jose Offerman

» Dodger debut: 1990

» Finally given up on: 1995

» The low-down: If Offerman hadn't homered in his first major league at-bat, maybe the Dodgers would have given up on him sooner. But apparently his offensive potential (which he never realized until after he left the team) was enough to make the Dodgers overlook his horrendous fielding skills. In just over 5 years, Offerman made 1,600 errors.

 

> Greg Brock

» Dodger debut: 1982

» Finally given up on: 1986

» The low-down: Showing outstanding power in the minor leagues, the Dodgers banked on Greg Brock to be their starting first baseman and let Steve Garvey go. However, Brock never could fill Garvey's shoes, and was finally traded to Milwaukee for Tim Leary and Tim Crews... probably one of the better deals the team has made.

 

> Roger Cedeno

» Dodger debut: 1995

» Finally given up on: 1998

» The low-down: Cedeno never really looked like he could play ball. Yet the Dodgers stuck with him. Recently he's shown some of the talent the Dodgers thought he had, just a little too late. Cedeno hit .251 with the Dodgers, and .295 since then. Typical.

 

> Jeff Hamilton

» Dodger debut: 1986

» Finally given up on: 1991

» The low-down: Whimpy Jeff somehow stuck around for 5 years. He's probably remembered more for his inning of pitching than for his pathetic bat, never managing to hit higher than .245. After the Dodgers let him go, that was it. He never made it to the majors again.

 

> Mariano Duncan

» Dodger debut: 1985

» Finally given up on: 1989

» The low-down: The Dodgers tried Duncan at shortstop a number of times. He was not good. Duncan was eventually traded to the Reds along with Tim Leary for Lenny Harris and Kal Daniels.

 

> Billy Ashley

» Dodger debut: 1992

» Finally given up on: 1997

» The low-down: Ashley was one of the longest Dodger projects in recent memory. The monster of a man tore up the minors, but time after time floundered when given a chance in L.A. He had a horrendous knowledge of the strike zone and was a clumsy oaf in the outfield. He looked like he'd be able to hit the shit out of the ball, but hit less home runs as a Dodger than Dave Hansen. Ashley spent a year on the Red Sox and is now used to block floodwater in Italy.

 

> Wilton Guerrero

» Dodger debut: 1996

» Finally given up on: 1998

» The low-down: Wilton Guerrero was Alfredo Griffin minus the brain. Not that Griffin was a genius, but Guerrero was a moron. (Who can forget the corked bat incident.) Wilton managed to get an occasional hit or two, and the Dodgers talked about him as if he'd be around for years to come, but he completely lacked the baseball instincts necessary to make it in the majors. Finally, he was dealt to the Expos along with pitcher Ted Lilly and outfielder Peter Bergeron for Mark Grudzielanek, Hiram Bocachica, and... Carlos Perez.

 

> Dave Sax

» Dodger debut: 1982

» Finally given up on: 1983

» The low-down: OK, Steve's younger brother was never a "can't miss" prospect... in fact, he never got a hit as a Dodger, but we thought it would be a nice gesture to recognize his sorry ass.

 

> Paul Konerko

» Dodger debut: 1997

» Finally given up on: 1998

» The low-down: Paul Konerko was one of those "can't miss" prospects who the Dodgers gave up on prematurely. True, they got Jeff Shaw for him, but were the three years of Shaw worth Konerko's entire career? The Dodgers never gave Konerko a chance, and of course he's proven to be a solid major leaguer.

 

> John Wetteland

» Dodger debut: 1989

» Finally given up on: 1991

» The low-down: In November of 1991 the Dodgers threw in the towel on 23-year-old John Wetteland and traded him to the Reds along with Tim Belcher for Eric Davis and pitcher Kip Gross. The Dodgers had no confidence in Wetteland's control. So he went on to save 330 games—229 of them with other teams.

 

> Pedro Martinez

» Dodger debut: 1992

» Finally given up on: 1993

» The low-down: Here's perhaps the most distressing case of the Dodgers completely mis-evaluating talent. Pedro was brilliant working out of the bullpen for the Dodgers in his first full season in 1993. He appeared in a Dodger rookie-record 65 games, placing third among National League rookies with 10 wins and 119 strikeouts. But the Dodgers, who needed a second baseman and a leadoff hitter, felt that Pedro wasn't durable enough to become a regular starter, so they sent Martinez to Montreal for Delino DeShields. Lovely.

 

> Shawn Hillegas

» Dodger debut: 1987

» Finally given up on: 1988

» The low-down: One of the jewels of the Dodgers minor league system, this guy pitched more like a guy who had taken too many line drives in the family jewels. Hillegas was 7-7 as a Dodger, and did no better on 4 other teams, finally retiring in 1993.

 

> Karim Garcia

» Dodger debut: 1995

» Finally given up on: 1997

» The low-down: Year after year we heard about Garcia's potential. Yet in bits of 3 seasons with the Dodgers, he hit .150, worse than Hideo Nomo. Eventually Garcia was left unprotected in the '97 expansion draft and ended up with Arizona.

 

> Henry Rodriguez

» Dodger debut: 1992

» Finally given up on: 1995

» The low-down: Rodriguez was the typical Dodger prospect. They held onto him for 4 years and he sucked. So they let him go, and he hits 36 home runs in his first season with the Expos.

 

> John Franco

» Dodger debut: N/A

» Finally given up on: 1983

» The low-down: Franco was selected by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 1981 amateur draft. He was never around long enough to become a "can't miss" prospect—and in fact never appeared for the Dodgers—but he sure as hell flourished elsewhere. Since being traded to the Reds for Raphael Landestoy in 1983, Franco has gone on save 422 games.

 

> Franklin Stubbs

» Dodger debut: 1984

» Finally given up on: 1989

» The low-down: Stubbs' success in the minors was one of the reasons the Dodgers were willing to part with Steve Garvey. As Greg Brock began to show he was completely mediocre, the Dodgers gave Stubbs increased playing time. And playing time. And playing time. But despite an '86 season that saw him hit 23 home runs, Stubbs blew. He hit .194, .222, .226, .233, .223, and finally .291 in an injury-plagued '89 season. Only the Dodgers would stick with a guy so long.


> Chris Gwynn

» Dodger debut: 1987

» Finally given up on: 1991... oh wait, 1995

» The low-down: As he moved up in the Dodger minor league system, we were all told that this guy was as good as his brother. Well, they were right in one way: he was as good an eater as Tony. He never developed into more than a pinch-hitter (partially because the Dodgers never gave him much of a chance), and eventually signed with the Royals in '92. He returned for the '94 and '95 seasons, but by that time weighed about 340. Although that wasn't enough to stop him from getting a key hit as a Padre to knock the Dodgers out of the race at the end of '96.



> Remember someone we don't? If you know of a "can't miss" Dodger prospect who we've forgotten, please let us know below.

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