Monday, March 3, 2008
posted by Grizzly Adam at 7:34 PM | Permalink
Brook Fordyce
Brook Fordyce, 1991 Upper Deck

Debut: 4/26/95
Final Game: 10/2/04

Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Career Line: .258/.309/.388

It is spring training time, and for many young prospects it marks a chance to win a spot on the big club. I thought I'd take a look at some prospects of the past, and how they did in the Major Leagues.

Baseball cards are notorious for labeling players. Especially young prospects. "Future Star", "Top Prospect", "Rated Rookie", "#1 Draft Pick" and other labels are often plastered on the front of these player cards. As if expectations are not already high enough for these players, card companies raise the bar by telling all of us with the use of fancy graphics, that "hey you better hold onto this card, because this kid is going to do great things!" It is great marketing. And in hindsight, these sort of cards are some of my favorites. Because the fact is, most of these so labeled players are lucky if they live up to the hype. Many fade away, and still some have legitimate careers. I love finding old prospect cards, and taking a closer look at the careers these players had.

I came across this card of Brook Fordyce. I remembered the name, but nothing of his career. A little research revealed why. His promising career never really happened. He bounced around the league, scoring multi-year contracts and promises of a starting job, but never really caught on. He was hampered by injuries, he didn't hit for power, he didn't walk much, but didn't strike out much either. He had 148 career extra base hits. His career OPS+ was 82.

He said, after signing a 3 year deal with Baltimore in 2001:

“I love the game, I have a lot of enthusiasm. I play the game hard. I come to play every day. That’s the way the game should be played. As long as you’re in the field, you don’t want to embarrass yourself. You should want to play hard. Hustle is part of the game.”

That's the same quote we hear a lot from mediocre players. Talk of hustle, hard work, playing the game "right". The fact is however, Fordyce just wasn't all that good. His best season was 2000, the year he split between the White Sox and Orioles. He hit .301/.341/.507 with 14 home runs and 49 RBI--all career highs.

He hung on for one more year with Tampa Bay after that 3 year deal expired in 2003, but it was his last in baseball. By age 34 he was done.


At January 15, 2009 at 12:46 PM, Blogger steve

great guy too. he owns a paint company in stuart, fl. I used to be ASST. Manager and used to sell him paint all the time.