There's a new Sports Illustrated poll of 470 Major League players asking who are the most overrated and most underrated players in baseball. Stuff like this is incredibly subjective as someone may consider one player underrated while the other considers that same player overrated. My assumption is that the player's perspective would be how they feel the media and fans view the player and that will influence their opinion on whether or not they consider someone overrated or underrated. So here's the Top 10 for both lists with my comments on what I think of each player and I throw in a name at the end of who I considered the most overrated and most underrated players of last season.
1. Derek Jeter - Too obvious but facts are he is overrated by New York media/fans and major media outlets like ESPN. I have said in the past though that I feel Jeter is almost slightly underrated by non-Yankee fans at this point. You can tell Jeter is overrated just by how the New York media and ESPN are all up in arms (well from what people are saying on the board) over him topping the list as some how it is inexcusible that Baseball Jesus is on the list at all.
2. Carlos Beltran - This seems a bit odd to me, I suppose probably because of the contract he signed and he had a bit of an off year last season. Coming into this season though I'd consider him underrated by how much criticism he was getting.
3. Alex Rodriguez - Truly laughable for him to be this high. One of the true elite players in the game yet he typically doesn't get the credit he deserves and any failure he has in the "clutch" his magnified ten fold. Sure no player deserves the contract he got but not his fault the Rangers were stupid enough to give it to him.
4. J.D. Drew - Again no reason for him to be on the list and he is almost certainly underrated. He's a great hitter but is always hurt and many discard anything good he has done due to his injury problems. He showed in 2004 the type of numbers he can put up in a full season.
5. Nomar Garciaparra - How can he be underrated when he's be the subject of ridicule due to his injury problems? What because he was once great and now isn't that makes him overrated? Really makes no sense.
6. A.J. Burnett - Have to agree on this one but he's a "victim" of starting pitchers being overrated in general.
7. Jason Kendall - A common theme seems to be obscene contracts and Kendall certainly isn't worth what he makes. I doubt many still view Kendall as a good player anymore so my guess is the general view of him currently is probably neither overrated or underrated. Trust me though A's fans know he sucks.
8. Kerry Wood - Man players are just cruel as at least according this poll any player with a history of injuries is overrated.
9. Josh Beckett - Interesting. Maybe a tad overrated because of the 2003 postseason which tends to happen to any player who has a strong postseason.
10. Johnny Damon - I'd agree to a certain extent though his last two years he really was good but this also comes from the contract he signed. Probably more overrated circa 2003 than he is now.
My 2005 Most Overrated Player: Scott Podsednik - Remember he tought the White Sox how to bunt so they won the World Series. We don't need those meaningless homeruns!
1. Michael Young - See now this is a player who I could see being overrated a couple of years from now. Players who everyone says is underrated eventually go the other way.
2. Bobby Abreu - Certainly not nearly as underrated as he was two or three years ago. I'd say he's probably fits into neither category.
3. Garret Anderson - Now this what I was talking in term of Young as personally I view Garret Anderson as overrated now. A few years back I considered him underrated. He gets on base at a poor rate and he has below average power for a corner outfielder.
4. Mark Loretta - Probably true to a certain extent. His great 2004 season went largely unnoticed. He's on the Red Sox now so he'll probably be overrated by the end of the year.
5. David Eckstein - Okay very good 2005 season no doubt by the "scrappy" Eckstein is probably a bit overrated because he's "scrappy."
6. Bill Mueller - I'd say he doesn't fit either category.
7. Chone Figgins - I'd say neither tilting towards slightly overrated.
8. Vernon Wells - You know he really hasn't done a whole lot at the plate the last two seasons, although off to a great start this year. He does get his just due when it comes to his defense.
9. Raul Ibanez - What? He's had a couple of good years by far from a star. I don't know do most view him as a scrub or something? Very odd he's on the list.
10. Melvin Mora - I'd agree with this one although his numbers were down last year, still were pretty good and his name doesn't really come up often when talking about the better 3rd basemen in the league.
My 2005 Most Underrated Player: Brian Giles - I ranked him as the best right fielder in baseball last season but because he plays in a park that is death to hitters his counting numbers just didn't look impressive.