10 ROY winners who didn't turn into stars

After taking home hardware, these players faded from memory

November 15th, 2021

Take a look back at the Rookie of the Year Award winners in each league dating back to when the first honor was given to Jackie Robinson in 1947, and you'll notice there are some seemingly surprising names on the list -- players you either forgot about or never knew in the first place.

Winning a Rookie of the Year Award is a great honor that signifies you're going places. Whether you get to those places is another matter entirely.

So here's a look at 10 Rookies of the Year you might have forgotten about.

, Marlins, 2009
The Marlins drafted Coghlan 36th overall in 2006, and he made a rapid ascent through their Minor League system. Within three years, he found himself at Triple-A New Orleans, where he slashed .344/.418/.552 with three home runs and nine steals in 25 games. The Marlins called him up and he made his MLB debut on May 8 against the Rockies at Coors Field. He went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles in an 8-3 victory.

Coghlan went on to hit .321/.390/.460 in 128 games that year, winning the National League Rookie of the Year Award and even garnering some MVP votes. But things didn't go as well after that, though he did post a .793 OPS from 2014-15 for the Cubs. And then there's always his tremendous leap-frog move to score over Yadier Molina a few years ago.

, Athletics, 2004
There's a case to be made that this award should've gone to the Royals' Zack Greinke, but Crosby took home the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 2004 after hitting .239/.319/.426 with 22 homers for Oakland. He was limited to 84 games the next year, but put together a solid batting line -- .276/.346/.456 with nine home runs. Since then, injuries and lack of production have relegated Crosby to a name from the past that we remember once it's brought up because, hey, he was good as a rookie.

, Royals, 2003
Berroa was a shortstop out of the Dominican Republic who was originally signed by the A's in 1997 and traded to Kansas City in 2001. He made his MLB debut on Sept. 18 of that year and appeared in 35 games through the 2002 season. In '03, he became an everyday player and hit .287/.338/.451 with 17 homers and 21 steals to win the AL Rookie of the Year Award. But that was his apex in the game -- over the final six seasons of his big league career, he posted a .644 OPS for the Royals, Dodgers, Yankees and Mets.

, Rockies, 2002
Jennings had a strong rookie season for Colorado, not an easy task for any young pitcher entering the Majors. He posted a 4.52 ERA over 32 starts, and that came after a tremendous Major League debut in '01, when he tossed a five-hit shutout and homered against the Mets. He had one other strong season as a starter in '06, when he had a career-best 3.78 ERA (130 ERA+) over 212 innings. Colorado traded him to the Astros that offseason and over his final three seasons (one with Houston and two with the Rangers), he posted a 6.01 ERA in 69 appearances (24 starts).

, Blue Jays, 2002
It's a clean sweep for 2002 on this list, with Hinske taking home AL honors. The .845 OPS he posted that year, as well as the 24 home runs he hit, would end up being career highs. Hinske wasn't altogether unproductive -- he ended up playing 15 seasons in the Majors with 137 homers. But he never did replicate that rookie season.

, Dodgers, 1996
Hollandsworth became the fifth straight Dodger to win the NL Rookie of the Year Award when he was selected for the honor in 1996. Eric Karros won in '92, Mike Piazza in '93, Raul Mondesi in '94, and Hideo Nomo in '95. But unlike the players in that quartet, Hollandsworth didn't have much success following his strong rookie campaign. In '96, the 23-year-old outfielder hit .291/.348/.437 with 12 home runs and 21 steals.

Bob Hamelin, Royals, 1994
Hamelin had a spectacular rookie season, slashing .282/.388/.599 with 24 homers in just 375 plate appearances to capture the AL Rookie of the Year Award. Nine years before Berroa flamed out with the Royals, Hamelin's production declined immediately after his rookie campaign. Over the next two seasons, he hit .215/.341/.378 with 16 homers in 541 plate appearances, spending some time in the Minors. Kansas City released him, and after trying to catch on with the Tigers and Brewers, Hamelin retired at age 30.

, Brewers, 1992
Listach was a speedy shortstop who stole 54 bases while hitting .290/.352/.349 in 1992, earning the AL Rookie of the Year Award (Milwaukee was in the AL back then). But that was as good as it would get for him. Injuries and declining numbers hampered him the rest of his career, and he called it quits in 1998 when he was 30 years old.

Joe Charboneau, Indians, 1980
Charboneau belted 23 homers and posted an .846 OPS over 131 games for the Tribe in 1980, winning the AL Rookie of the Year Award. But he only hit .210/.247/.362 with four home runs in 48 games the following year, which he spent part of in the Minors. Injuries and further decline led to a premature end to Charboneau's career. He did leave his mark, though -- legend has it he was able to open beer bottles with his eye sockets, and he played a teammate of Roy Hobbs in the 1984 movie "The Natural."

, Braves, 1950
Jethroe was a superstar in the Negro Leagues, on par with players like Jackie Robinson and Satchel Paige. He actually had a tryout along with Robinson and Marvin Williams for the Red Sox in 1945, though none of the three players was signed at that time. By the time he made his Major League debut, Jethroe was already 33 years old, but still a great player. He was named NL Rookie of the Year in 1950, stealing an MLB-best 35 bases and posting a .780 OPS with 18 homers.

The next season, he was even better, slashing .280/.356/.460 with an identical number of steals and homers from the prior season (his 35 once again led the Majors). But Jethroe's production declined as he hit his mid-30s, and he played his last Major League game in 1954 with the Pirates, though he did play several more years in the Minors.