You know the drill; your hometown team spends big money in the offseason to either re-sign their franchise player or sign the big ticket star that will bring faith back to the fan base. Then the season starts and it all comes crumbling down. The player can’t handle the pressure and their home run power turns into strike out sadness. It’s not easy for them, and it’s not easy for fans. The bottom line is everyone is disappointed, from the player to the manager to the owner to the fan sitting on their couch yelling at the TV. These are the most disappointing players of 2018.
Chris Davis Had A Historically Horrendous Season In Baltimore
The Baltimore Orioles had a season to forget in 2018, winning 47 games and losing 115. Franchise slugger Chris Davis lead the sinking ship straight to the bottom of the ocean with his historically bad season. With 470 at bats to his name, Davis hit a pathetic .168 with 16 home runs and 49 runs batted in.
You know what’s even scarier than that? Davis struck out 192 times! If you’re following that math, that mean he had more than two times as many strikeouts as he did hits (79). He’s really earning every penny of his $150 million contract!
Adam Duvall Blew His Chance At A Big Money Contract
When the Giants traded Adam Duvall to the Reds to get Mike Leake, it immediately looked like a win for Cincinnati. Duvall quickly showed off his power, crushing 33 home runs in 2016. In 2017 he proved his power was no fluke and bashed another 31.
Then 2018 happened and it all fell apart. The Reds thought they might be competitive heading into the season, and Duvall was going to be their offensive center piece. It turns out he was just plain offensive, striking out 100 times in 105 games. Instead of the big money contract he thought was coming his way, Duvall got traded to Atlanta where he barely played.
Ian Desmond Was Underwhelming In Colorado
Ian Desmond did not have an all-time great season in his second year Colorado. He didn’t have an all-time bad season either. He was just… mediocre. Normally you would look at a player who hit 22 home runs and had 88 runs batted in and be happy. With Desmond, fans were left scratching their heads.
One scathing review of Desmond, who was supposed to fix Colorado’s first base concerns, said, “Ian Desmond’s awful warmup swing looks like he’s literally trying to ground out.” The bad news for fans is they’re stuck with that swing until 2022.
Cubs Fans Won’t Miss Addison Russell During His Suspension
In 2016, a 22-year-old Addison Russell helped lead the Cubs to their first World Series title in over 100 years. He hit 21 home runs and had 95 runs batted in. Two years later, the young star hit the skids, only hitting five home runs in 130 games.
Even worse, at the end of the season Russell was suspended 40 games by MLB after his ex-wife accused him of physical and emotional abuse. Russell didn’t deny the accusations and accepted his punishment without question. The only question now is whether or not Chicago fans will care when he comes back.
Jeff Samardzija Was A Giant Travesty
Jeff Samardzija only started 10 game for the San Francisco Giants in 2018, but boy were they 10 awful games. Three years into a $95 million contract, Samardzija seemingly lost the ability to throw with velocity or accuracy. His earned run average ballooned to 6.25 before he was finally canned for the year with shoulder problems.
Of course, if you’re a Giants’ fan, you were probably wondering why he pitched at all this year. At the end of 2017 he had shoulder problems, which then bled into 2018. He then bounced between the active roster and the disabled list until the bitter end.
The Yankees’ Brett Gardner Didn’t Bloom
Brett Gardner has been a New York Yankee for 10 years. It’s not easy to stay in pinstripes that long. You need to be consistent. For nine years, Gardner was the definition of consistency. In 2018, fans consistently were tired of seeing him on the field.
Gardner has never been a power hitter, so hitting .236 in 530 at bats is unacceptable. On most teams that number would get you designated for assignment. Somehow that didn’t happen here, although it does appear he lost his starting spot with the Bronx Bombers this postseason!
Kendall Graveman Couldn’t Have A More Fitting Last Name
Kendall Graveman was the Oakland A’s opening day starting pitcher. He was coming off a season where he one of the best pitchers in baseball. Six starts into his 2018 campaign, his ERA was an ugly 8.89. Oakland sent him back to the minors, but things didn’t get any better.
After several more questionable starts, it was determined Graveman needed Tommy John surgery. The A’s bounced back after the loss, winning 97 games and making the playoffs for the first time in years.
Sonny Gray Was Everyone’s Least Favorite Yankee
We know we talked about Brett Gardner a few slides ago, but Sonny Gray deserves a mention too. Coming off a season where he looked untouchable in pinstripes, Gray became one of the most hated Yankees in recent memory.
Appearing in 30 games (23 starts), Gray finished 2018 with a 4.90 ERA, 11 wins and nine losses. New York fans were brutal towards Gray on social media, and the Yankees appear to have gotten the message. After winning more than 100 games as a team, they left Gray off their postseason roster.
James Shields Is No Longer “Big Game James”
During his days with the Tampa Bay Rays, pitcher James Shields was known as “Big Game James.” After landing in San Diego in 2015, Shields’ penchant for dramatics began to fade. In 2016, he was traded to the Chicago White Sox, where his ERA blew up to 6.77.
The next year he finished with a 5.23 era. This year actually saw his ERA improve to 4.53, but when you’re being paid $21 million it needs to be closer to 3.50. Sorry James, the days of your “big games” are definitely over.
It Took 90 Games For The Book To Be Written On Dexter Fowler
Before the 2017 season, Dexter Fowler signed a five year, $82 million contract with the St. Louis Cardinals. His first season in red can be described as okay. He hit .264 with 64 runs batted in and 18 home runs in 118 games.
His production dropped off dramatically in 2018. In only 90 games, he hit .180 with 31 runs batted in. The bottom line is his numbers don’t justify his $82 million paycheck. Things probably won’t get better either as Fowler is no longer in his prime.
Kole Calhoun Was A Big Part Of The Angels’ Problems
The Anaheim Angels were supposed to be contenders in 2018. They signed Shohei Ohtani in the offseason and still had Mike Trout AND Kole Calhoun. Trout proved to be his typical MVP self and Ohtani was great when he was healthy.
Calhoun on the other hand, was really bad. He hit .208 in over 491 at at bats with only 57 runs batted in. The last time he had less was in 2013 as a utility player for the Angels. Maybe it’s time to make him a utility player again?
Alcides Escobar Lost His Starting Job In Kansas City
Alcides Escobar had been the Kansas City Royals starting short stop since 2011. Before the all-star break, Escobar was hitting a paltry .199. By the time the season mercifully ended, he raised it to .234. Too bad it wasn’t enough to save his job.
About replacing his long-time starter, skipper Ned Yost said, “It’s a pretty big change, seeing somebody different at short, but it’s exciting too because now you’re starting to give other younger players opportunities to see what they can do.”
Lewis Brinson Was Not The Answer In Miami
Fans in Miami knew it wasn’t going to be easy losing Christian Yelich, Marcell Ozuna, and Giancarlo Stanton in the offseason. Still, they were hopeful that 24-year-old Lewis Brinson might provide some hope. His defense, at the very least, is elite.
Brinson’s ability to hit, however, is not good. Out of 109 games in 2018 he hit .199 and struck out 120 times. He did hit 11 home runs, which isn’t bad considering he only recorded 81 hits. Still, Brinson has a lot of work to do this offseason to prove he belongs in the Marlins’ future plans.
Matt Harvey Needed A Change Of Scenery In 2018 More Than Anybody
Matt Harvey wasn’t bad in 2018 when the Mets traded him to Cincinnati. In 24 starts for his new club he struck out 111 batters and only walked 28. In his eight games in New York before that, though, he was god awful with a 7.00 ERA to prove it.
To be fair, his relationship with the Mets had been torn to shreds, and he was pitching like he didn’t care to be there. In 2017, his ERA was 6.70. The year before that it was 4.86. He wasn’t just the worst players for the Mets this year, but also the two years before. Yikes!
Gio Gonzalez Was A Capital Disappointment
Gio Gonzalez, alongside Max Scherzer, was supposed to help anchor a dominant rotation for the Washington Nationals. The team was poised to be a World Series contender. Instead, they missed the playoffs, and Gonzalez was a key reason why.
In 27 starts before being traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Gonzales had a 4.57 ERA and was walking batters at impressive rates. Surprisingly, he finished his season with the Brewers on a high, lowering his ERA to 4.21 and now has a chance to win a World Series with them!
Carlos Correa Has Been Abysmal In Houston
Carlos Correa was one of the driving forces of the Houston Astros’ World Series run in 2017. He was dynamic, hitting .315 with 24 home runs and 84 runs batted in. No one could have seen how bad his 2018 season would end up being.
To be fair, Correa spent a fair amount of time injured in 2018, but is that really an excuse for his .239 batting average? The Astros will need Correa to remember how to hit if they want to make it deep this October. The American League is stacked with talent!
Leaving Colorado Didn’t Help Tyler Chatwood
Getting out of the thin Colorado air was supposed to resuscitate Tyler Chatwood’s career. Signing with a World Series contender in Chicago should have done the trick. Instead, Chatwood raised his era from 4.69 as a Rockie to 5.30 in Chicago. It doesn’t help that he walked more batters than he struck out.
Cubs’ manager Joe Maddon said that he hopes an offseason away from the team will help: “he doesn’t know where the ball is going right now on a consistent basis. We got to get him back to that.” With $38 million invested in the pitcher, Maddon isn’t wrong.
Eric Hosmer Didn’t Shine In His First Season In Sunny San Diego
When Eric Hosmer signed signed a $125 million contract to be the franchise player for the San Diego Padres, he knew expectations would be high. Hitting .253 with 69 runs batted in in 157 wasn’t a great start. The good news for Hosmer is he had seven more years to make it right!
Having his worst professional season in his first year in San Diego is something that will weigh on his all offseason, “this isn’t the impression I wanted to make the first year, but there’s nothing I can say to make it any better. Just, I’ll be ready to go next year.”
Bartolo Colon Is Finally Over The Hill
It’s amazing to us that Bartolo Colon is still a starting pitcher at 45 years old. It’s even more amazing that just two years ago he finished the season with a 3.43 ERA in 33 starts. Today, in 2018, we declare that Colon is officially over the hill. In 24 starts with the Texas Rangers he gave up 32 home runs!
Colon’s 5.78 ERA was also one of the worst of his career. In the past, he’s been able to bounce back from forgettable seasons. We have a hard time believing he can do that again.
Robinson Cano Cost Himself Half A Season
Robinson Cano played 80 games in 2018. For those games he was great. He hit .303 with 50 runs batted in and 10 home runs. The reason he makes this list is because the other 82 games, which he didn’t play because of suspensions and injuries.
The last thing the Seattle Mariners needed was their franchise batter to get suspended for using performance-enhancing drugs. Without Cano in the lineup, the Mariners averaged 3.5 runs a game. Expected to compete in 2018, Seattle missed the playoffs entirely, in no small part because of Robinson Cano’s absence.