Former MVP Christian Yelich Is Just One of a Dozen Stars Who Have Done Disappearing Acts
Baseball has always had a sort of magic associated with it, since nearly every week features a game in which something occurs that defies all logic. A scalding line drive that almost always results in a hit somehow ends up in a glove, while a pop up then manages to elude every fielder and drop in for a single.
In a current example a team with no star players and a tiny pay roll, the Tampa Rays, manages to amass by far more wins than foes loaded with All-Stars and the highest salaries in the league (the New York Yankees). While talented front office people and a good manager can partly explain the phenomenon, there is still a certain aura of magic about the standings.
Magic in America's pastime also, unfortunately, has its down side as well, especially when it comes to disappearing acts. That stunt has been performed by nearly a dozen of the game's youngest stars over the past two seasons, downfalls that can no longer be attributed to the pandemic-shortened season of 2020.
Here are ten of those bright young stars, who just two years ago were projected to be the future face Major League Baseball. Instead, these guys have somehow not only disappeared from All-Star and Most Valuable Player considerations, but also from even among the large list of average players.
Earning the MVP honor in 2019 with 44 home runs, 97 runs batted in and a .329 average, the Milwaukee Brewers outfielder has amid a two year slide a mere nine homers and a BA of .245.
The Cincinnati Reds third baseman has managed this season only half of the 49 homers he totaled in 2019, and his BA has plummeted from .271 to .185.
National League MVP with 47 homers and 115 RBI along with a .305 BA in 2019, the Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder has been completely lost the past two seasons to bottom out this year with just nine long balls and an embrarrassing .159 BA.
The promising young slugger appeared to have put it together in 2019 when his 24 home runs more than compensated for the so-so .247 BA, which then dwindled to .204 while his homers also came less frequently.
Instead of Juan Soto being deemed Washington's young star of their 2019 World Series Championship team, everyone was talking about Robles coming off a.288 season with 17 home runs, 65 RBI and 28 stolen bases. For the two years since then he has hit 5 homers and is currently batting .203.
Yankee backstop Sanchez was considered the top at his position with 34 Hrs and 77 RBI in 2019, but since then his power has been cut in half and his BA's have been .147 and .208.
Sanchez's teammate has suffered a similar two-year slide after the 38 home run-90 RBI-.270 breakout in 2019, numbers that have fallen to 23-54-.208 this year.
Thirty three home runs and 92 RBI accompanied a respectable .257 BA for the New York Met in 2019, but now his long ball total is only a third of that with his RBIs cut in half and his average all the way down to .222.
Arizona's shortstop shined in 2019 with 19 homers with 82 RBI and a .254 BA, only to have sunk to five homers with 24 RBI and a .221 BA in 2021.
Tom Lohr from Magdalena, NM on September 26, 2021:
That’s why I would never pay over $15M for a “superstar.” Too many player disappoint after signing huge contracts.