Several MLB teams are rebuilding in 2021, seeing that they don’t stand a chance to compete.
But rebuilding is a challenge, and it’s not as easy as it sounds.
There three teams have been having issues restocking the farm and developing MLB-ready talent.
3. Colorado Rockies
If we talk about botched rebuild processes, the Colorado Rockies take the prize with some difference.
They have, over the last couple of years, developed a reputation for hiring mediocre veterans to take valuable at-bats from the promising young prospects such as Brendan Rodgers, Garrett Hampson, and others.
They monumentally botched the Nolan Arenado trade and virtually paid the St. Louis Cardinals to take him, and received a middling package in return.
They have the worst offense in MLB, with a 74 weighted Runs Created Plus, or wRC+ (where 100 is considered average).
Their best starter, Jon Gray, has a 3.71 ERA, while the other four members of the rotation have an ERA comfortably over four.
At 4.81, they have the fifth-worst ERA in MLB.
Their closer, Daniel Bard, has a 4.50 ERA and has blown several save opportunities in 2021.
They haven’t developed a respectable pitching prospect in years.
They only have a single prospect in MLB Pipeline’s top 100 list: outfielder Zac Veen, at 42, and he is years away from the majors.
And there is, quite literally, no help on the way.
System-wide the red flags here are sky-high K rates (only Vilade & Romo are below 27%) and low batting averages.
Cumulatively, Rockies are hitting:
AAA – .226
AA – .224
A+ – .203
A – .248
— Luke Hall (@OakTreeStatus) May 28, 2021
Colorado hasn’t developed a respectable pitching prospect in years.
The organization is in very bad shape, and risks losing its best player, Trevor Story, at the deadline.
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
Unlike the Rockies, there is some hope for the Pittsburgh Pirates in the near future.
However, the rebuild has been stalled in 2021 for several reasons.
The Pirates’ best prospect, third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes, has been out virtually all year with a wrist injury.
He is approaching a return to action but has already lost valuable development time.
Phillip Evans has also missed time with injury.
The single most promising arm, Mitch Keller, has struggled mightily in the rotation.
Keller has a 6.54 ERA in 42.2 frames so far in 2021, and while he remains young, he hasn’t shown he can take the next step yet.
Perhaps the best outfield prospect in the organization, Jared Oliva, is also hurt.
Pittsburgh as a whole has had terrible luck with injuries and a lack of progress from top prospects.
1. Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles’ presence in this list is more about the young players on the big league team than the farm system.
Mountcastle has a disappointing .225/.255/.358 line with a whopping -0.7 Wins Above Replacement, or WAR.
Among starters, only John Means has been respectable (more than that, actually, with a 2.05 ERA).
Dean Kremer struggled again, Ryan Mountcastle left with injury, and the Orioles lost their eighth straight. They brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth. They’ve dropped 15 of 17.
FINAL: Twins, 7. Orioles, 4.
— Joe Trezza (@JoeTrezz) May 26, 2021
In any case, they have the benefit of time, as the Orioles won’t be competitive in 2021 and probably 2022.NEXT: 3 Surprise MLB Buyers Through The Month Of May