Despite all of the hype and praise, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg was bound to have a bad outing eventually. Tuesday against the Florida Marlins, Strasburg proved he's human, and continued a long line of highly-touted rookies who proved no one's perfect forever. Now the question is whether Strasburg, like those in this gallery, will be remembered not for singular failure but for the sum of his successes.
The rookie phenom and first pick of the 2009 draft walks off the mound after his first major league shelling. Over 4.1 innings against the Florida Marlins Tuesday, Strasburg gave up six earned runs, double that of previous season highs, and posted an uncharacteristically low four strikeouts.
Mark Prior, the highly-touted pitching Chicago Cubs prospect to whom Strasburg is often compared, underwent a similar start in his third outing. Against the Houston Astros on June 1, 2003, Prior gave up seven earned runs, the most he would give up until Aug. 10, 2004. Prior finished the season 18-6 with a 2.43 ERA.
Verlander was the recipient of the 2006 Rookie of the Year award, but wasn't without his troubles over the course of the season. On April 13, 2006, Verlander gave up seven earned runs over 2.2 innings with no strikeouts. Despite finishing the season 17-9 with a 3.63 ERA, Verlander gave up five or more earned runs five more times over the course of the year.
Price, the first pick of the 2007 draft, came off of a successful stint out of the bullpen during the Rays' 2008 World Series run to early struggles in the 2009 season. On June 17, 2009 against the Colorado Rockies, Price gave up a then-career high five earned runs over seven innings, and repeated his performance in his next start against the Philadelphia Phillies over 4.1 innings. Price is currently 15-5 with a 2.84 ERA this season.
Coghlan won the 2009 Rookie of the Year award on the back of a second-half explosion, batting .372 with a .966 over the back end of the season. His bat cooled off over the beginning of the 2010 season though, with a .195 average and .437 OPS over the course of April and March, though he has since raised his average to .268 prior to injury.
The first pick of the 2003 draft, plucked right out of high school, James scored 25 and 21 points over his first two games. The next two were a different story, as James scored only eight points against the Portland Trailblazers and seven points versus the Denver Nuggets. James was mired in single digit scoring totals only four more times during the season, with 20.9 PPG over the year.
After two seasons averaging fewer than 30 minutes per game of playing time, Bryant matured in the 1999 season, but not without some bumps in the road. On Feb. 23, 1999 against the Vancouver Grizzlies, Bryant went 5-21 shooting for 11 points, and followed up with a seven point performance against the Los Angeles Clippers. Bryant finished the year with 19.9 PPG.