While some budding superstars such as Pete Alonso or Cody Bellinger are turning heads all across the league, some already-established superstars have fallen flat in 2019. Whether it’s in team debuts or players trying to lead their franchises to the postseason, which former stars have been the biggest disappointments this season?
Lorenzo Cain – Milwaukee Brewers
One of the most reliable players over the last several seasons, Lorenzo Cain’s bat has been silenced this season. He’s knocked just six homers with 11 stolen bases with a .250/.313/.361 slash line. From 2014-2018, the star outfielder averaged 11 homers, 25 stolen bases, and a .301/.361/.433 triple-slash. While Cain has been struggling at the plate all season, it’s at least fair to note that he’s still been a stud out in centerfield.
Jose Ramirez – Cleveland Indians
Jose Ramirez is doing everything he can to turn his 2019 campaign around, but it may be too late. In the 2017 and 2018 seasons, he combined for a .294/.380/.567 slash line with a ridiculous 94 doubles, 68 homers, 188 RBI and 51 stolen bases. He finished third in AL MVP voting both years. After knocking his ninth homer of 2019 Thursday, his slash line is up to .232/.314/.377. For reference, it was a hideous .198/.294/.292 on June 12. Even with a hot second half, the 26-year-old third baseman has been a shell of himself this season.
Edwin Diaz – New York Mets
The New York Mets thought they were trading for the best closer in baseball last offseason and even took on Robinson Cano’s horrible contract to make it work. He led the league with 57 saves in 2018, paired with an incredible 1.96 ERA and 15.2 K/9. As a Met, his ERA has ballooned to 5.06 with 12 walks and seven homers allowed in 37.1 innings. Last season, he walked just 17 while allowed five bombs in 73.1 innings. It doesn’t help that the main prospect sent back to the Seattle Mariners, Jarred Kelenic, is now a top-25 prospect after shredding Single-A at the start of this season.
Matt Kemp – Free Agent
A 33-year-old Matt Kemp turned back the clock in 2018, racking up 21 homers, 85 RBI, and .818 OPS, earning him his first All-Star nod since 2013. Over the offseason, he got shipped to the Cincinnati Reds in a massive salary/roster space dump. After 20 games with the Reds, he owned a horrid .200/.210/.283 slash line with three extra-base hits. Kemp suffered a broken rib and was released by the team not long after. The Mets signed him to a minor-league deal where he played just eight games with Triple-A Syracuse and posted an ugly .601 OPS before being released last week. Simply put, 2019 has been a trainwreck for Kemp.
Khris Davis – Oakland Athletics
Over the last three seasons, Khris Davis has been weirdly consistent at the plate. From 2015-17 he hit at least 40 homers and at least 100 RBI while registering exactly a .247 batting average each season. However, in an injury-plagued 2019, the slugger has just 16 homers and 46 RBI with a .237 average. He’s played around 80 games, still putting him on pace for fewer than 35 bombs and 95 RBI. With the way Davis can get hot in a flash, maybe he’ll find a way to turn things around. If not, his Oakland Athletics may miss the postseason while his numbers stay unappealing.