I wrote about the newly slimmed down Kyle Schwarber on Sunday, pointing out that a year after he was probably overrated by the Fantasy community at large, he has become one of my favorite values to target in drafts. This is still, after all, one of the better hitting prospects to come out of the minors in recent years, and there are still plenty of positive indicators in his 2017 numbers, even as the season as a whole was a disappointment. 

Schwarber, obviously, isn't the only example of this. We have a tendency to get really excited about young players, only to discard them when they let us down despite how many examples of great players we've seen need some time to find their way. Byron Buxton failed plenty of times before (seemingly) finding his stroke in the second half of 2017, and the Fantasy community is rightly excited about his potential again. 

So, I decided to take a look at other recent top prospects who have failed to live up to expectations and have lost the shine of upside as a result. Just because they've failed so far doesn't mean they aren't worth investing in on Draft Day, especially because they've all gone down in price in the last year. They might never live up to expectations, but at these prices, they don't need to. 

Former Top Prospects
#3 ('17)
Dansby Swanson Atlanta Braves SS
Part of the problem with Swanson is, it's not clear what exactly we should get excited about. The pedigree is obviously impressive because he went No. 1 overall in the 2015 draft and was one of the top prospects in baseball at this time a year ago. However, even when he's performed well, he hasn't exactly shown huge Fantasy potential. In 38 games in 2017 in the majors, he hit three homers and stole three bases, giving him a pretty empty .302 average in that time frame. In the minors, he didn't even do that much, hitting .274 with only 11 homers and 14 steals in 138 games. You're buying the pedigree here and little else, so it's a good thing the price is so low: Swanson's ADP is 295 overall. 
#12 ('16)
Blake Snell Tampa Bay Rays SP
Consistency is the key for most young pitchers, and Snell just hasn't found it yet. However, when he's on, he's been very good, posting a 3.10 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 61 innings in August and September last season, despite allowing 10 runs in just five innings across two of his 11 starts. Most impressively, Snell had just one start with more than four walks, and allowed just 19 free passes in that span. He's so tough to hit, Snell can be an ace if he just gets the control to around league average. At 213th overall on average, it's a bet worth making. 
#13 ('15)
Addison Russell Chicago Cubs SS
Unlike Swanson, Russell definitely gave us something to be excited about in the minors, sporting a 150-game pace Rotisserie line of .301-109-23-97-27. He was considered a potential 1-1 kind of Fantasy player when coming up, but has barely hit like a No. 1 shortstop so far. He doesn't run anymore, and hasn't really shown any kind of proficiency with the bat. On the other hand, he's still just 24 with a 20th round ADP, though this will be the last time Fantasy players give him any kind of benefit of the doubt. 
#13 ('16)
Steven Matz New York Mets SP
Matz's elbow could handle the stress from throwing his slider in 2017, and he couldn't come up with any other way to make batters swing and miss, leading to a 6.5 K/9 and 6.08 ERA in 66 2/3 innings. Matz underwent offseason elbow surgery to attempt to sort out lingering nerve issues, and it remains to be seen if that will fix what derailed him in 2017. The slider was an important weapon, and he hasn't shown the ability to pitch effectively in the majors without it. He's a major risk, but his ERA in his first two seasons (3.16) was lower than his current ADP (339), making him well worth the risk. 
#15 ('15)
Carlos Rodon Chicago White Sox SP
If Rodon was more of a sure thing when he's on the mound, it would be easy to overcome concerns about the fact that he likely won't be in the majors until June as he recovers from shoulder surgery. Rodon has a career 3.95 ERA and 1.41 WHIP, and hasn't yet shown that his changeup can be more than a "show-me" pitch, limiting his effectiveness against right-handed batters. If you play in a league with DL spots, he's worth snagging in the final rounds, however, because he can be tough for batters from either side of the plate to square up when he's right. There's still ace upside here. 
#23 ('17)
Tyler Glasnow Pittsburgh Pirates SP
Based solely off what they have done in the majors, there isn't a less exciting player on this list than Glasnow, who has a 6.75 ERA in 85 1/3 major-league innings. And based on what he's done in the high minors, there may not be more than a handful of more interesting players in baseball under the age of 25. In 245 career innings at Triple-A, Glasnow has a 1.95 ERA with a 32.9 percent strikeout rate, nearly identical to what Robbie Ray managed in 2017. He'll never have great control, but Glasnow allowed just nine walks in his final seven Triple-A starts, a sign that he might have been figuring things out. Of course, he followed that up by walking 15 of 39 batters he faced in three appearances after returning to the majors. Someone is going to keep chasing Glasnow's upside for years, and I'll be the one in 2018. 
#25 ('17)
Lucas Giolito Chicago White Sox SP
Giolito's 2.38 ERA in 45 1/3 MLB innings last season give plenty of reason to be optimistic about the future, but only on the surface. His velocity was down nearly 1.5 mph from his MLB debut, and he struck out just 34 batters, failing to display the kind of ace upside we hoped for. A 10.1 percent swinging strike rate provides some reason to think he can rack up more K's, but between his lack of strikeouts and his overall middling performance at Triple-A, Giolito doesn't look like the future ace we were promised. He's a fine roll of the dice at 235th overall in ADP, but he actually ranks relatively low among pitchers on this list for me. 
#29 ('15)
Jameson Taillon Pittsburgh Pirates SP
Taillon has never really gotten the hype some of the other pitchers on this list have, probably because he's never really had the huge strikeout upside. However, he followed up a 2.87 ERA in Triple-A with a 3.36 ERA in his first 139 innings in the majors, displaying plus control and enough bat-missing ability to limit runs thanks to his ability consistently induce weak contact. You might note his 4.44 ERA for the 2017 season as a mark against him, but considering he had his season interrupted due to a cancer diagnosis, and was back on the mound just three weeks after surgery, it seems fair to give him a pass. Taillon carries a career 3.58 FIP into his third season, and while he may not have ace ceiling, it's fair to say he has similar upside to Kyle Hendricks, who is going nearly 100 picks earlier. He's a nice value in that context. 
#31 ('17)
Reynaldo Lopez Chicago White Sox SP
We're not far from Lopez being considered a potential bullpen arm, but he deserves at least one more opportunity to prove himself in the majors before that becomes a real concern. Lopez still sits in the mid-90s with ease with his fastball, but just hasn't been able to turn his impressive velocity into strikeouts yet. Still, the stuff is there, and he should have a long leash in Chicago, so give him one more chance. 
#39 ('16)
David Dahl Colorado Rockies LF
Unlike some others on this list, Dahl's concerns aren't about his performance, because he barely played in 2017. He just couldn't get healthy after suffering a rib injury last spring, ultimately logging just 82 plate appearances in the minors. Now, we're not sure where he is going to play for the Rockies, though there aren't many who doubt his skills. If he does get on the field, Dahl still has the potential to hit .300 in Coors, thanks to strong contact abilities and enough power to hit 20-plus homers. If he earns an everyday job, expect Dahl to fly up draft boards, so if you're drafting early, take him with a late pick to get ahead of the crowd. 
#48 ('16)
Sean Manaea Oakland Athletics SP
We're more than 300 innings into Manaea's career, and he looks thoroughly mediocre, sporting a 4.12 ERA, 44.1 percent groundball rate, 20.5 percent strikeout rate, and 7.2 percent walk rate, all within spitting distance of league average. It's not that he's been bad; Manaea just doesn't really have a standout skill. However, Manaea has consistently posted strong swinging strike rates, and racked up 27 strikeouts to just seven walks in May last season, when he also threw his slider 25 percent of the time, much higher than normal. His feel for that pitch seems to come and go, but if Manaea can harness it, he's already shown it can be a weapon. Don't write the 24-year-old off as doomed to mediocrity just yet. 
#50 ('16)
Kenta Maeda Los Angeles Dodgers SP
While he'll be 30 less than two weeks after Opening Day, Maeda is still something of an unknown. He showed great upside as a rookie, but struggled in 2017, even losing his job in the rotation at times. Homers became an issue for him, but he still posted strong strikeout and walk rates, making him one of just eight starting pitchers to rank in the 75th percentile or higher in strikeout and walk rate last season; he was joined on that list by Corey Kluber, Clayton Kershaw, Stephen Strasburg, Chris Sale, Zack Greinke, Carlos Carrasco and Jon Gray (who would be a worthy inclusion to this list in his own right). You'd like to see Maeda keep the ball down a bit more, but he's shown the ability to be an impact arm before. 
#56 ('15)
Maikel Franco Philadelphia Phillies 3B
To a certain extent, Franco just got a bit unlucky last season because a .234 BABIP torpedoed his season. He is still a strong contact hitter who has cranked out 49 homers over the last two seasons, so there's a lot to like about his profile. However, he can't blame it all on luck, as he continues to be one of the most popup-prone hitters in the league, limiting his power potential as well as his batting average. If he can cut down on that just a bit, there's still the potential for Franco to emerge as a poor man's Adrian Beltre in what could be a surprisingly potent Phillies' lineup. 
#71 ('17)
Dominic Smith New York Mets 1B
Smith told reporters he lost 30 pounds in the offseason, and that's a good start as he tries to win the first base job over veteran Adrian Gonzalez. That the Mets added Gonzalez in addition to signing Jay Bruce to what was already a crowded outfield makes me think they aren't super-high on Smith after he hit just .198/.262/.395 in his MLB debut, but it's hard to ignore how good he was in his breakout at Triple-A last season. Smith hit .330 with 16 homers in 114 games, and was a career .295 hitter in the minors. The hit tool will play, and you have to like the motivation he's carrying into this season.
#79 ('15)
Stephen Piscotty Oakland Athletics RF
Piscotty wasn't nearly the prospect the other members of this list, but he has something nobody else does -- a history of legitimate major-league production. Over 216 games in his first two seasons, Piscotty hit .282/.348/.467 with 20-plus homer power. He struggled mightily in 2017, which helps explain why he is tumbling all the way to undrafted territory (270 ADP), but the track record of success was longer than his struggles. Piscotty had good command of the strike zone and enough power to get to the 25-homer range, making him a potential four-category contributor in Roto, or even an OF3 in shallower points leagues. At a price that is essentially free, I'll snag him for the end of my bench.