# Thread: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

1. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Handofdeath
But my point is the ballpark doesn't "play." The players play. How can GABP be judged properly when one season it's a hitters park and the next season it's not? Because the equation says so? If x+y=z how can you tell what x is if y keeps changing? Say for example Pujols gets hurt. The whole team revolves around him and now the Cardinals get pitched differently because of it. Their whole outlook at the plate is different. How then do you judge Busch Stadium? Or say for example that Cincy has a rainy summer and the grounders start slowing up because the field is wet? The stadium is what the stadium is unless the groundskeepers start screwing with things. Math is not the problem. I know math. I think philosophy is what the problem is.

Over time, these sorts of variances balance out. Yes, the argument could be made that luck has meant the numbers for GABP aren't representative of the actual park effect. However, without any sort of evidence to back up that claim (ie. Milton pitched 25 games on the road and 7 at home), it's flaunting your assumption in the face of stats which explicitly counter you.

3. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Handofdeath
But my point is the ballpark doesn't "play." The players play.
And they play in ballparks.

Originally Posted by Handofdeath
How can GABP be judged properly when one season it's a hitters park and the next season it's not? Because the equation says so?
No, because one year they grew elephant grass and the next they kept the carpet well-trimmed, something most Reds fans on this board knew without ever having to look at a number.

Originally Posted by Handofdeath
Say for example Pujols gets hurt. The whole team revolves around him and now the Cardinals get pitched differently because of it. Their whole outlook at the plate is different. How then do you judge Busch Stadium?
The same way you'd judge any park, by comparing how the Cardinals and their opponents fared in home games vs. how they fared in away games. Unless Pujols only plays home or away it wouldn't have an ounce of effect on the park factors.

Originally Posted by Handofdeath
Or say for example that Cincy has a rainy summer and the grounders start slowing up because the field is wet? The stadium is what the stadium is unless the groundskeepers start screwing with things. Math is not the problem. I know math. I think philosophy is what the problem is.
Well, if El Nino blows into Cincinnati anytime soon, I'll be sure to take the park factors with a grain of salt. Barring that, we know exactly how the Reds and their opponents fared in the GAB as compared to on the road.

4. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Handofdeath
I disagree. The Reds led the NL in doubles last year. The Reds have been a swing for the fences all or nothing team for the last few years. That skewers any data concerning GABP. The ballpark played in has something to do with offensive production but the team that plays in it has more to do with how the ballpark is looked at. There are too many variables involved to treat these statistics as fact. Formulas are great but if it can't judge something with 100% accuracy then the results cannot be treated as fact.
Park factor has nothing to do with HOW MANY of a given thing happen (ie. doubles). It has to do with how many of those things happen at home versus on the road. The FACT is that over the last 3 years, the Reds and their opponents have hit many more homers in Reds home games than at GABP.

Now, you do sort of make a point. Given only 3 years of data, we shouldn't be drawing any sorts of conclusions about the definitive effect of GABP. However, we must take the actual events at their face value. The actual events of the past 3 years are that:

1.) The Reds and their Opponents have scored slightly fewer runs when the Reds are at home than when they are on the road
2.) The Reds and their Opponents have hit many fewer doubles when the Reds are at home than when they are on the road
3.) The Reds and their Opponents have hit many more homers when the Reds are at home than when they are on the road

Now, we can say that there are too many variables to draw any conclusions and I might even agree with you. As time progresses and we get more and more data, we'll see how the tendencies of GABP play out. But all the data we have suggests that it's basically a neutral run environment which favors homers but dampens doubles and triples. However, we cannot say "The Reds (or Dunn, etc) have been aided by a hitter friendly park" because the FACT is that there is absolutely no evidence to support that claim.

Another caveat is understanding the effect of park characteristics on certain players. Ryan Freel isn't going to hit homers anywhere and our park may actually hurt him because if the ball doesn't go over the wall, it gets caught. Again more time and ABs are needed, but the numbers show the GABP is definitely misunderstood.

5. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by M2
You, of course, realize that you're swiftly going mad, right? Randy Winn and Jason Michaels have never been anointed as anything by anyone. They play baseball for a living, better than some, worse than others. I've yet to hear anyone anoint them as anything more than that. And then you take a leap to "saber-annointed darlings," which is precious. First off, is there an official mechanism for this anointing? Does Bill James rub some sort of oil on their foreheads and give them a pointy hat?

Aside from that, you've got a bunch of guys on your overrated list that places like Baseball Prospectus have been down on (look no farther than Francouer). If you somehow think you've compiled a list of "saber-anointed darlings," I hate to tell you that you're working from a platform of extreme ignorance. For something you claim is uncommonly simple, you've made a complete mess of it.

This is where I'll suggest you rest and check your heart rate because this is a screed that I suspect is only going to make sense to you. For my part, it's a complete non-sequitor.

If you think Russ Branyan, Hee Sop Choi and Carlos Pena qualify as household names, I think you need to get out to more households. As far as them being overrated, I suggest you go and check out where the decidedly non-numbers-oriented folks at BA ranked those guys, because no one liked those three better than BA. The only "everyman sabermetrics expert" cases I've heard for them is that they might give you cheap production. I don't recall anyone on this message board, and it's the only one I frequent, claiming one of those three was headed for any type of stardom.

Yes, I think it's fair to say it was about what the casual fan/mass media perceives. Seems to me it was pretty clearly about that, thus the constant mention of high-profile players in the overrated category.

As for finding casual fans, go to a game and talk to the person next you. That person is probably a casual fan.

I'm not touching "or you don't follow it at all because you have major beefs with what the game has become" because that smacks of being a trip wire for another screed.
Somehow you managed to completely misrepresent almost every point I've made.

Why would I make a list of overrated players containing some with sabermetric darlings and some clearly not and try to pass it off as all saber-friendly players? I didn't. I don't subscribe to any particular movement, so a list of overrated/underrated players won't fall in line with any parties.

Of course Francouer & Randy Winn aren't Baseball Prospectus types. Did it occur to you that an overrated list could contain all types of players?

Who said anything about household names? I know I didn't it. Would you prefer if we change the momentum of the thread to "which perennial all-stars are overrated/underrated."

I want no part of a BA vs. BP debate. It should be clear to anyone who follows the game that neither camp has all of the answers. And I know I've made my feelings clear on the subject that I think falling in line with either party while ignoring or damning the other is foolish.

Has it occured to you that a guy could find fault with players like Choi, Pena & Branyan without toeing BA's party line. Or the same guy could find fault with Francouer without toeing BP's party line. Hey, it's not an either/or proposition here.

I've made a mess of nothing, I articulated exactly what I wanted to, and you smeared ketchup all over it. I'll thank you not to preach to me about platforms of ignorance.

6. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

You what'd be awesome? If the conversation could divert back to the original topic instead of park factors being challenged.

7. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Underrated: Scott Kazmir

8. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Overrated: Any DH getting mvp votes

I didn't really answer the question.

9. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by TC81190
You what'd be awesome? If the conversation could divert back to the original topic instead of park factors being challenged.
My fault. Some people said Dunn was better than Texieria and I felt I had to respond. I shall say no more...today

10. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
Somehow you managed to completely misrepresent almost every point I've made.
Seems to me that your larger argument here is with yourself, but we'll get to that soon enough.

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
Why would I make a list of overrated players containing some with sabermetric darlings and some clearly not and try to pass it off as all saber-friendly players? I didn't. I don't subscribe to any particular movement, so a list of overrated/underrated players won't fall in line with any parties.
Then this was a particularly odd thing to say when I noted that your overrated list looked awfully anonymous -- "On the contrary, they're not only rated, they're annointed. While it's tough to come up with a criteria for what makes one underrated or overrated, it's uncommonly simple to come up with a list of saber-annointed darlings."

You're the one who introduced "saber-annointed" into the discussion. All I said was you picked a bunch of guys with bags over their heads.

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
Of course Francouer & Randy Winn aren't Baseball Prospectus types. Did it occur to you that an overrated list could contain all types of players?
Sure, that's what I originally thought it was, until you went on your sabermetrics rant. I took that to mean that your list had something to do with the rant and that it wasn't just a tic.

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
Who said anything about household names? I know I didn't it. Would you prefer if we change the momentum of the thread to "which perennial all-stars are overrated/underrated."
Aside from pretty much everyone before you picking generally well-known, All-Star-level players, no one said anything about it. You then listed a bunch of fairly anonymous guys without any seeming common thread that would make them "overrated." If they lack any sort of large constituency thinking they're the bee's knees, how can they be overrated?

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
I want no part of a BA vs. BP debate.
So says the guy who decided to use "sabermetric" as a pejorative. Once again, I'm not the guy who typed, "it's uncommonly simple to come up with a list of saber-annointed darlings." All I did was note that you hadn't come up with any such sort of list, using a sabermetric group and a seamhead group to provide examples.

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
It should be clear to anyone who follows the game that neither camp has all of the answers. And I know I've made my feelings clear on the subject that I think falling in line with either party while ignoring or damning the other is foolish.
Thou dost protest too much. That was never the topic here. That you inserted it into the discussion ... well, that's what's speaking volumes to me.

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
Has it occured to you that a guy could find fault with players like Choi, Pena & Branyan without toeing BA's party line. Or the same guy could find fault with Francouer without toeing BP's party line. Hey, it's not an either/or proposition here.
A) Again, you're the one who stuck the "sabermetric" wrapper around what you wrote.

B) I haven't said a thing here about any of those guys as players, though I imagine Francouer will be all right in a few years when he's had the chance to more fully develop. I can imagine all sorts of reasons why someone might not be enamored with anyone on your list. What I can't imagine is the notion that any large group of people has a highly elevated opinion of them.

Originally Posted by Crash Davis
I've made a mess of nothing, I articulated exactly what I wanted to, and you smeared ketchup all over it. I'll thank you not to preach to me about platforms of ignorance.
Don't stand on one and then I won't note whats under your feet. Though I am going to get some business cards made up that read: M2, Ketchup-Crazy Evangelist.

11. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Cyclone792
Nate, while I agree with ya that Jeter is overrated, I think you're going a bit too far with this one, bud

If Jeter finishes his career with a normal aging pattern and plays at least into his late 30s, then he'll be a deserving Hall of Famer and very possible top 10 shortstop in the game's history. Of course, by that point people will probably be trying to throw his name into the top five - and thereby continuing to overrate him - but that's not happening unless he has a few more high caliber peak seasons like his 1999 campaign. Still though, as long as he doesn't flame out in next few years, he should be a deserving Hall of Famer.

Shortstops from the last 10 years greater than Jeter: Larkin and Rodriguez. Garciaparra has some peak seasons greater than Jeter's peak seasons (sans Jeter's 1999), but Nomar hasn't been able to stay off the DL and Jeter crushes him in career value. Jeter's also been a better player than Tejada so far, but Miguel's two years younger so he has a shot to change that. Guys like Michael Young, Jhonny Peralta, Felipe Lopez, Rafael Furcal, etc. have had a few good seasons, but they're all many seasons away from being able to lump themselves in with the Jeter class. That doesn't mean they can't do it, but it just hasn't happened yet.

And FWIW, Gary Sheffield's been an absolute beast his entire career. :

Ah me and my hyperbole.

I agree Jeter will be a HOF, but the idea was overrated, which it's no secret Jeter has to be at the top of any overrated player list. I'm not questioning Jeter as a HOF, in fact I think that's a lock, but I don't think he's as good as everyone makes him out to be.

I honestly think it's an issue about media market. NYC is arguably the biggest media market, so you're going to have that microscope effect for every player on the Yankees and Mets rosters. It doesn't surprise me that Carlos Beltran's name has been kicked around as overrated for a similar reason. The reason I tossed Sheffield into the mix is b/c no one really made a whole lot of noise about his stats until he put on the pinstripes. It happens that way for plenty of Yankees, and to an extent the Mets as well. Carlos Delgado is probably on his way to the overrated list b/c he plays for the Mets. I think it's an issue of being held to a different standard due to media market, as well as media exposure.

Plenty of people on this board knock ESPN all the time b/c it largely comes down to Boston vs. New York, which I think to an extent is true. They're going to primarily cover those teams b/c of the geographic proximity to Bristol, CT, as well as the surrounding fan bases.

I mean seriously, was there any reason that Doug Mirabelli getting a police escort from Logan Airport to Fenway Park was a story? Only b/c he plays for Boston.

While I may have gotten a little too excited at work earlier today, I don't feel that I'm honestly that far from the truth, except maybe for Sheffield. He can still rake.

12. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by wolfboy
Derek Jeter has certaintly been the best player on his team. I'd like to know who was better in 99. That was a WS year for the record. I'm not going to elevate the guy onto a pedestal that he hasn't earned, but I'll defend garbage arguments against him. Calling the guy a role player is where your argument failed to be logical and quickly became nothing more than personal bias. When it is all said and done, he will have a compelling argument for the Hall of Fame. One of the best ever? No. A "glorified role player"? Hell No.

Concerning Sheffield.....take the time to look his numbers up (as with Jeter). The guy has regressed as a Yankee. His best seasons were with teams in Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Miami. They were damn good years too. Yet, you claim that he had one good year for San Diego once. Next time, just come out and say I HATE THE YANKEES. I will have a lot more respect for that than some poorly thought out argument that tries to crap on anything in pinstripes.
Not true.

I think Mike Mussina should have won a Cy Young (I forget the year) while with the Yankees when instead, his teammate Roger Clemens took home the hardware.

My statement "glorified role player" stems from the roster year in and year out for the Yankees. There are no superstars on that team, although Jeter is tried to be made into one. It's no secret Alex Rodriguez is the best player on that team, yet he gets arguably the least amount of press/media coverage. Steinbrenner buys the team he wants, b/c each player has a role, thus, each player is a glorified role player. He needed a 3B after Aaron Boone blew out his knee playing hoops, so he needed a 3B to fill that role, thus, Alex Rodriguez. This year, he thought he needed to replace Tom Gordon with a setup man to get to Mariano, so he brings in a role player, Kyle Farnsworth. He needed to replace the CF, needed a legitimate leadoff hitter, another role position/player, so he signs Johnny Damon to play a role. My argument is that each player on the Yankees is in fact a glorified role player due to the fact there are no superstars on that team, they all have their role and place on the roster. This isn't the case for every team in the league. Plenty of teams have that "superstar". With the Reds, you could make an argument for Dunn, Kearns, Lopez, Arroyo, even Harang that each one could be the superstar. Look at the Angels, you immediately think Vlad. Look at the Giants, you immediately think Bonds. Look at the Cardinals, and you immediately think Pujols. I think you get the picture.

I'm sorry you couldn't see the underlying logic in my statement, so for whatever reason I felt obligated to explain how there was no personal bias in my argument, but more so an analysis of media markets and the players in each respective market.

At the end of the day, Jeter is a HOF, and that's never been in question, but he is in fact overrated in terms of his role on the Yankees, not to mention the numbers he puts up compared to historical and current day players when looking at all the hype he receives.

13. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Highlifeman21
Not true.

I think Mike Mussina should have won a Cy Young (I forget the year) while with the Yankees when instead, his teammate Roger Clemens took home the hardware.

My statement "glorified role player" stems from the roster year in and year out for the Yankees. There are no superstars on that team, although Jeter is tried to be made into one. It's no secret Alex Rodriguez is the best player on that team, yet he gets arguably the least amount of press/media coverage. Steinbrenner buys the team he wants, b/c each player has a role, thus, each player is a glorified role player. He needed a 3B after Aaron Boone blew out his knee playing hoops, so he needed a 3B to fill that role, thus, Alex Rodriguez. This year, he thought he needed to replace Tom Gordon with a setup man to get to Mariano, so he brings in a role player, Kyle Farnsworth. He needed to replace the CF, needed a legitimate leadoff hitter, another role position/player, so he signs Johnny Damon to play a role. My argument is that each player on the Yankees is in fact a glorified role player due to the fact there are no superstars on that team, they all have their role and place on the roster. This isn't the case for every team in the league. Plenty of teams have that "superstar". With the Reds, you could make an argument for Dunn, Kearns, Lopez, Arroyo, even Harang that each one could be the superstar. Look at the Angels, you immediately think Vlad. Look at the Giants, you immediately think Bonds. Look at the Cardinals, and you immediately think Pujols. I think you get the picture.

I'm sorry you couldn't see the underlying logic in my statement, so for whatever reason I felt obligated to explain how there was no personal bias in my argument, but more so an analysis of media markets and the players in each respective market.

At the end of the day, Jeter is a HOF, and that's never been in question, but he is in fact overrated in terms of his role on the Yankees, not to mention the numbers he puts up compared to historical and current day players when looking at all the hype he receives.
I respect you as a poster, and I apologize if what I responded with came across as harsh. Without further explanation, it looked like personal bias sprinkled with a bit of frustration. I just wanted to point out that Jeter was a central part of the 98-00 WS teams. They didn't field the power lineup they have now. In '99 he was the central cog to that offense. In the '00 series, he absolutely raked. That's why he's deified in NY. He may be a "role player" now. He definately wasn't when they were winning championships. Is the guy overrated? Maybe. Is he oversaturated in the media? Definately.

One of the things about the NY media is that it becomes, to a degree, the nation's media. It annoys me at times. Some accomplishments are placed on a higher pedestal than they should be. In the '90 WS, Billy Hatcher posted some monster numbers. Far better than what Jeter did in '99 Outside of Cincinnati, no one knows that. If he'd played for a NY team, they probably would.

14. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by wolfboy
I respect you as a poster, and I apologize if what I responded with came across as harsh. Without further explanation, it looked like personal bias sprinkled with a bit of frustration. I just wanted to point out that Jeter was a central part of the 98-00 WS teams. They didn't field the power lineup they have now. In '99 he was the central cog to that offense. In the '00 series, he absolutely raked. That's why he's deified in NY. He may be a "role player" now. He definately wasn't when they were winning championships. Is the guy overrated? Maybe. Is he oversaturated in the media? Definately.
One of the things about the NY media is that it becomes, to a degree, the nation's media. It annoys me at times. Some accomplishments are placed on a higher pedestal than they should be. In the '90 WS, Billy Hatcher posted some monster numbers. Far better than what Jeter did in '99 Outside of Cincinnati, no one knows that. If he'd played for a NY team, they probably would.
Ding Ding Ding!

This is the key to the whole overrated/underrated issue. Media exposure vs. oversaturation. Guys that produce, but don't get any media love = underrated. Guys that get too much media love and can't perform up to some unrealistic standard = overrated. Much of my thoughts on Jeter being overrated deal directly with his defensive ability. This is the same reason why I feel how I do about Felipe Lopez. Both Jeter and Lopez are solid at the plate, but in the field they struggle. Maybe I'm a little too demanding, but I'd actually take an Omar Vizquel type player over a Jeter or Lopez b/c I put such a high premium on defense up the middle. Ozzie Smith made a HOF career out of defense, so the playbook is out there on how to be a slick fielding light hitting SS. Jeter will be a HOF, but for far different reasons than The Wiz.

Outside of Cincinnati, not a lot of people know we are contending in the NL Central. You're absolutely right, Washington DC might be the nation's capital, but NYC dominates our nation's news, and even in world news. You think it's nuts the reception Ichiro gets in Seattle with the asian population? Imagine if he played in the Big Apple...

Thanks for slapping me around and getting me to explain myself. Too many times I assume people will think like me and follow an unstated line of logic.

Underrated player? Gomes down in TB. Bedard in Baltimore.

15. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Highlifeman =

* Jeter is a "glorified role player?" Hahahahahaa. Well, he'll probably be the first role player in the 3000-hit club. I hate him too, but not enough to blind me of his talent. Honestly - I don't feel like looking up the stats, but if you can find 4 better shortstops over the last 10 years, *please* let me know.

* Sheffield (2003) = .330, 39 home runs, 132 rbi, 126 runs, .419 obp (this was with Atlanta - not New York - and he was 3rd in MVP voting on a team with very little firepower)

16. ## Re: Most Overrated/Underrated MLB Players

Originally Posted by Highlifeman21
Both Jeter and Lopez are solid at the plate, but in the field they struggle.
Jeter has won a Gold Glove the last two seasons. I'll bet any shortstop would kill to struggle like that.

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