Youngsters who will bounce back

Expect bigger and better things from Justin Upton in 2013. John Williamson/MLB/Getty Images

One of the hardest labels for a young player to shake is that of disappointment. Even Hall of Famers, such as Roberto Clemente and Lou Brock, were generally considered to be underachievers early in their careers. When it comes to talented players in their early 20s, fans tend to expect a bumpless road to stardom, but reality is seldom that neat and tidy.

Some of baseball's young stars did live up to their hype and reputation in 2012, most notably excellent seasons from shoulda-been-MVP Mike Trout, Bryce Harper, and Stephen Strasburg. But inevitably, not all of baseball's most talented younger players excelled in 2012 and like many players before them, will seek to shed the mark of disappointment in 2013. With nearly a foot of snow in my driveway taunting me into exertion -- and I'm certainly not alone -- this is a good time to make some predictions about which of 2012's young flops will have warmer 2013s.


Justin Upton, RF, age 25