As much as we've talked about Morgan Ensberg on here since he popped up as an entertaining blogger and TV/radio personality, one of the reasons I liked the idea of talking about him here is his prospect status.
Ensberg hit 105 home runs with the Astros, ranking him 12th on the team's all-time HR list. He's just behind a couple pretty good third baseman, with Doug Rader above him and Ken Caminiti below him on the list.
Of course, Ensberg's career was derailed because of injuries, so he could have been better than that. Alas, we'll never know what could have been in the 2005 World Series if his hand hadn't been hurt.
Back to the subject at hand. As much as Ensberg was an impact player at third, he wasn't expected to be that by prospect evaluators. Despite hitting pretty well in his minor league career, Ensberg never really gained any traction as a nationally ranked prospect. He wasn't Houston's top ranked prospect in any of his seasons down on the farm and was always older for his league.
Yet, he hit almost every year in the minors and then hit almost right away in the pros. He had power and played a decent third base, getting better as he aged. He also played a position that was tough to find quality prospects, especially guys with power.
There are a ton of reasons why Ensberg wasnt more well-thought of as a prospect. His swing was funny, just like J.D. Martinez. He was old, which doesn't help, plus he was in a system that was still well-regarded.
What Ensberg does is provide perspective, just like Ben Zobrist did. Prospects are not all the same, and the traditional opinions on guys are not gospel. There is still a chance for guys to surprise.