I did a list of overrated prospects a couple years ago.
If you make a list of "overrated prospects", your chances of being right some of the time are pretty high. They were Kyle Gibson, Oswaldo Arcia, Joe Benson, Liam Hendricks and Dave Bromberg. Most prospects are overrated since ceiling is always part of the evaluation and most players never reach their projected ceiling. I also did a list of underrated prospects, Chris Parmelee, Trevor Plouffe, Deolis Guerra, Carlos Guttierez and Bobby Lanigan. That was February 2011 and two years later most of those are still up in the air.
Here is an updated list:
According to a local reporter today, "Sano is clearly on the fast track to get to Target Field in the not-too-distant future." There is actually little, if any evidence for this. It appears Sano will start the year at Fort Myers. How fast he will get to the big leagues is an open question.
Sano is a great prospect because of his power potential. But he strikes out a lot and has yet to play above low A ball. He hasn't shown that he can hit a curve ball. In short, he is a great prospect because he could be an outstanding major league power hitter. Those are rare. But there are a lot of players who had that potential who never achieved it, much less doing so in the "not-too-distant-future" after their first year in a full season league.
Sano's expected time of arrival at one step per year is 2016. And most power hitters take longer than that to really achieve their potential. Justin Morneau is a good example. He was 25 when he broke out and he did not show Sano's problems with strike-outs early in his career. Morneau also hit for far better average.
Then there are the questions about his defense and how long he will stick at third base. If he ends up as an all or nothing power hitter at first base, he won't be anything really special.
May came to the Twins along with Vance Worley in exchange for Ben Revere. A lot of people seem to think he was the key to that trade, but he looks more like a throw in. May is the guy who could make this a winning trade for the Twins. But it was the established young starter, Worley, that made giving up Revere acceptable.
May struggled at AA last year. He is certainly still a good prospect, but he didn't look ready to make the jump to the big leagues. He may well start the year back at AA. But even if he starts at AAA, he is unlikely to contribute this year. In fact, he isn't all that likely to contribute next year either.
The question is going to be whether he can adapt to playing the infield. The possibility that he will never be acceptable defensively in the middle infield is what makes him overrated. Rosario does not really have the power to play a corner outfield spot in the big leagues. That's why the Twins are trying to move him to second base. If that fails, its not clear he can make it anywhere else.
Berrios has yet to show he can hold up as a starter over a full season and he is a relatively small right handed pitcher. He is mature for his age and impressing people with his stuff. But I am always a bit suspicious of guys labeled "mature".The danger is that "mature" means that they are as good as they will get. Berrios is may be closer to ready than many 18 year olds, but he still isn't good enough to pitch in the big leagues. He needs to get better and that usually means adding maturity, not having it.
Jones was the 130th player taken in last June's draft. He dominated as a college kid pitching in rookie ball at Elizabethton and then got promoted to Beloit. He continued to strike out almost half the batters he faced. Unfortunately, of the 25 batters who put balls in play against him at Beloit, 9 got hits. The strikeouts have a bunch of people excited, but his inability to get batters out when they make contact is not a good sign.
I want to be clear that "overrated" is not really a prediction of failure. Sano is legitimately a top prospect worthy of excitement. He is just still a long way from the big leagues. Too far away for people to start talking about him as competition for Plouffe or anyone else. The same is true of the others to an even greater extent.
May is closest to the big leagues, but even he has a lot to prove. He has the stuff to be a major league pitcher, but he has yet to demonstrate he can use it well enough to succeed.