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07/06/2007 Archived Entry: "MLB: Top Ten Underrated Players In The Game, Quiet Greatness"
Top Ten Underrated Players In The Game: Quiet Greatness, by Chris McCartney
My version of, or shameless rip of, or whatever you want to call it, of Jayson Stark's list. I feel that a number of great players in the game are largley underrated. These are the top ten who make my list:
1. Trevor Hoffman - That's right, Jason. Hoffman IS the number one most underrated player in the game. When you're the all time leader in saves, a little more than maybe a LINE in the San Diego newspaper is what you need. This guy has no PR. And the worst part is that he hasn't even been one of those greats that are just sticking around to increase statistical totals (A la Randy Johnson). He's still been very, very good, averaging about 40-45 saves a year.
2. Roy Oswalt - One of those men who just don't get enough slack. He practically makes the group of Randy Johnson, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux. Averages about 15 wins a year, and usually gives up only a couple of runs per start.
3. C.C Sabathia - I realize some may call him overrated, but this is a guy who, even though Baseball Tonight loves to talk about him, is underrated, probably due to the fact that his stats never show how good he is.
4. Jake Peavy - Another pitcher. Again a man who may be called overrated. He's been good to above average the past few years, but this year he looks like Bob Feller, Walter Nolan Ryan with all the strikouts. Perhaps after this year he'll get his fare share of props.
5. Hanley Ramirez - Fun fact: Jose Reyes is the most similair player to this kid in the bigs. But, according to Stark's calculations, Ramirez is even better. But hey, I'd take Reyes on my team. But when this kid reaches his true prime, I may be thinking otherwise. No rip on Jose though.
6. Kevin Youkilis - With Youk looking like another Wade Boggs, I have to give him this spot. As a Red Sox fan who watches him night after night, this kid is REALLY good. A scrappy player and a man who plays great defense at first, this is a man who you'd want on your team.
7. Carl Crawford - The best player on the D-rays (even though Sal Fasono could probably be the best player on Tampa Bay), this young speed demon is looking like another Rickey Henderson. Imagine if he played on the Tigers. Then he would get his fare share of PR.
8. Joe Nathan - The Twins closer is much better than you think. This good closer in the eyes of the public has the talent of Marino Rivera in his semi-prime. The fastballer needs more respect, and the people of Minnesota will tell you that.
9. Placido Polonco - The Tigers 2B is an on base machine, and that really needs to be recognized. He may be baseball's best situational hitter, hitting for power or bunting when you need him too. A very good glove, too.
10. Mike Lowell - Four words: Deserves the Gold Glove. A very good hitter with good power, too.
By Chris McCartney