3. Manny Alexander
No player seemed to linger as a “can’t-miss” prospect in the Baltimore system longer than the Dominican shortstop, who was the next man up after Juan Bell as the envisioned replacement for Ripken at shortstop.
Alexander first surfaced on the Orioles’ top 10 prospect list as a 19-year-old in 1990 and kept showing up there on a yearly basis through 1995 before showing little as a major league player. Receiving extensive time at second base in 1995, Alexander hit .236 in 268 plate appearances and appeared at a crossroads with the organization entering 1996.
Manager Davey Johnson shockingly moved Ripken to third base for six games and inserted Alexander at his natural position in July 1996, but the experiment was scrapped quickly and the little infielder finished his final season in Baltimore with a .106 average. In addition to briefly taking the shortstop position, Alexander was called on to pinch-run for Ripken late in a key game against the Yankees that season and was promptly picked off in an infamous scene you can relive below. Alexander hit only .206 in his unsuccessful run with the Orioles over four major league seasons despite the organization lauding his potential for years.
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