Since I have been a fan, there have been several players with huge expectations in the Red Sox minor league system. Some of these players, such as Mo Vaughn, Nomar Garciaparra, Trot Nixon, Jon Lester, and others meet those expectations. Others are not as fortunate.
After Garciaparra exploded into the Major Leagues, there was a lot of hype about a player that was supposed to fill the position next to him. Donnie Sadler was expected to be just as good of a contact hitter, steal a lot more bases, and play sparkling defense. Sadler was originally drafted as a shortstop but moved to second when he was blocked by the meteoric rise of Nomar.
Sadler rose through the minors quickly. He was drafted in 1994 and was already in AAA by 1997, but that's where he started to stall. He never really found his stroke there, although he did develop some power and he was stealing bases at a high rate.
Sadler made his debut in 1998 with the Red Sox, starting the year out with the team. However, he only hit .226/.276/.395/.671. He played only 58 games that year. He improved a bit at the plate in 1999, but still only played 49 games. He did the same in 2000. For his Red Sox career, Sadler hit .242/.283/.352/.635 with four home runs and nine stolen bases. Not the numbers he was expected to put up. Sadler was traded with Michael Coleman for Chris Stynes.
Sadler bounced around a few organizations, never playing regularly and never really learning to hit well. He last appeared in 2007.