The “Can’t-Miss” prospect. Sometimes they go on to all the glory that is expected of them – LeBron James and Alex Rodriguez are a couple that immediately come to mind. But sometimes they simply can’t handle the hype that surrounds them from an early age, and they flame out before they ever reach greatness.
Maybe the pressure is too much, maybe they get mixed up in drugs, or maybe they simply aren't as good as everyone thinks.
The sport with the most prospects touted as “can’t-miss” is undoubtedly baseball. Whether it’s the current Orioles’ catcher, Matt Wieters, who was recently called up, or the expected No. 1 pick in Tuesday’s MLB Draft, pitcher Stephen Strasburg (surprise – both represented by Scott Boras!), it seems baseball is always looking for its next all-time great. People are already expecting Strasburg to save the Nationals, and he hasn’t even signed his name to a contract yet.
But Strasburg isn’t even the youngest can’t-miss star fated to save a baseball franchise. Bryce Harper, the 16 year-old high school catcher, is already assumed to be the No. 1 pick in the 2011 MLB Draft, and was recently on the cover of Sports Illustrated, with the title of the greatest prodigy since LeBron. But again, he’s hardly the first to find himself shackled with lofty expectations.
Tony Mandarich, Freddy Adu, and Sebastian Telfair have all received glowing compliments from SI, only to never live up to their hype. And they are just three of the Top 10 Can't Miss Prospects Who Missed.