RICK ANKIEL, SP, CARDINALS 2000
Ankiel’s story is a popular one. As a 20-year-old rookie for the Cardinals the lefty made 30 starts and finished with a 3.50 ERA in 175 innings. He finished second in Rookie of the Year voting and was supposed to be the savior for a staff that had suddenly gotten old and mediocre. But then the playoffs happened.
Ankiel couldn’t throw strikes that postseason and never again regained his pitching form, giving up entirely after a failed comeback in 2004.