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Old 05-08-2004, 09:28 PM   #1
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Default The most Underrated players in the history of baseball

I'm sitting at work with nothing to do, so I'll waste a bit of time and go by position-

Most Underrated, by Position:

C- Ramon Hernandez, Padres: Pudge, Javy, Jorge, and Mike get all the press, but Ramon caught the A's great staff the last few years and I don't think it's a coincidence that they're struggling a bit without him and the Padres staff is thriving. Not great offensively, but I don't think that's the main attribute of a catcher.

All-Time- Mike Scioscia: Not much of a hitter, but one of the best defensive catchers ever and one of the best game callers. The last guy you'd ever want to collide with at the plate.

1B- Raphael Palmeiro, Orioles: Raphy's been getting it done since Christ was a corporal, and there are still idiot sportswriters who say he doesn't belong in the hall. 500+ HR's, soon to be 3000 hits, 3 Gold Gloves.

All-Time- Steve Garvey: It's an embarrassment that he's not in the hall.

2B- Alfonso Soriano, Rangers: Just because the Yankees dissed him so badly. The improvement to their offense is marginal, certainly not worth a quadrizillion bucks, and he's much less likely to break up their locker room than Me-Rod.

All-Time- Davy Lopes: Stole everything that wasn't nailed down, was the lead off man and catalyst for the Big Blue Wrecking Crew for a decade.

I seem to be stuck on the Dodgers for the all-times. Hmm.

3B- Adrian Beltre, Dodgers: Won't be underrated much longer the way he's tearing it up. Tremendous arm, very strong defensively (usually).

All-Time- Ken Caminiti: Didn't play long enough to go to the hall of fame, but was great with the bat and awesome in the field. One of the best 3B arms ever.

SS- Khalil Greene, Padres: Everyone will know his name soon enough. Will only be underrated for about the next 5 minutes.
Runner up- Cesar Izturis, Dodgers: Defensive wizard who seems to have found a bat this year.

All-Time- Ozzy Smith: Me-Rod, Jeter, and Ripken each being mentioned as "Greatest ever" by idiot sportscasters is ridiculous. There's only one, everyone else is a pale imitation. The Wizard, baby.

Outfield- Juan Pierre, Marlins: I'll take him over Andruw Jones any day.
Craig Biggio, Astros: He's how old now? And still getting it done.
Jose Guillen, Angels: Vlad stole the press, but he's a big addition to the Angels.

All-Time- Ted Williams: If he doesn't go off to war for 4 years at the peak of his career, Bonds would still be chasing him. And Bonds never hit .400.
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Old 05-08-2004, 09:58 PM   #2
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for one, most of the players you mentioned hasn't played long enough to accomplish anything.

Soriano is in his 3rd or 4th year, although he has power, he strikes out a ton and is mediocre at 2nd. he'll be moved to the outfied anyday now.
most underrated 2nd baseman: ryne sandberg/lou whitaker

Beltre is also in his 3rd or 4th year and is on the trading block every year. was about to be a yankee. underrated 3b: matt williams/travis fryman

Ken Camminitti was on roids so his stats are irrellavant.

khali Greene? no power, especially playing in petco park. uderrated ss: alan trammell/walt weiss

if anything Ozzie Smith is overrated. one of the best defensive ss in the history of the game, but not a good hitter. no power, singles hitter. you don't score runs with defense.

Biggio-if he gets 3000 hits, hall of fame, he's around 2500 but he's pushing 40 he's only been playing outfield for a few seasons.

pierre and gullien see beltre.

steve garvey? maybe underrated but his numbers aren't hall of fame numbers. don mattingly has the same problem. great stats but not good enough. most overrated 1B is Mark Mcgwire. a home run hitter only, less than 2000 hits, has more strikeouts than hits. also took performance enhancing drugs.

i don't really think ted williams is really underrated considering the prestige he recieves. he is 234 homers off Aarons' record, he would have to average 50+ homers in those 4 years which would be tough to do with the era's pitching. underrated: yogi berra-10 WORLD SERIES RINGS
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Old 05-08-2004, 10:32 PM   #3
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Yeah, their youth is one of the reasons they're underrated. If they had been doing what they're doing for a while, they would be all stars. They haven't, so although they play to an all star level, they're underrated. Get it?

Soriano's playing much better in the field this year and striking out less. And how can you call Sandberg underrated? He'll be in the hall next year, and is almost everyone's choice for their all-time team. As to Whitaker- again, who underrates him? One of the best offensive 2B's ever.

How does Beltre being on the block affect whether he's over- or under- rated? In fact, I'd say the Yankees' interest in him supports my argument. Matt Williams? He'll be a first-ballot hall of famer and is clearly one of the best ever at his postion, hard to call that underrated. And Fryman? Good player, but never the best at his position or even close to it. And if you indict Caminiti's career for 'roids you'll have to set aside most of the stats of the 80's and 90's. The only reason Ken got the attention is that he admitted using them.

Weiss only played in over 140 games in a year a couple times. He wasn't even a full-time starter. You criticize Ozzie's offense then offer up a career .252 hitter? Trammell is a better argument, but I still think defense conquers all at SS, and Ozzie was head and shoulders above anyone else. The only reason I mention him among the underrated is that I was listening to some idiot on ESPN refer to $-Rod as "greatest shortstop ever" the other night.

You're arguments are exactly why I think Biggio, Guillen, and Pierre are underrated.

Garvey was the rock of the Dodgers' great infield of the 70's/early 80's. Great defense, great leader. I won't speak to McGwire since I was talking about underrated, not overrated.

And when people start talking about best all time and don't immediately mention Teddy Ballgame, that's underrating him. He's the best offensive player between the Babe and Bonds. And I said Bonds would be chasing him, not Aaron. He wouldn't have caught the Babe or Hammerin' Hank, but he'd have been way over 600.

And again, how can you call Berra underrated? He's the backstop on most all-time lists. I assume you listed him with the outfielders accidentally and that you know he was a catcher.
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Old 05-08-2004, 10:47 PM   #4
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ryne sandberg was passed over twice to get into the hall, hopefully he gets in this year. whitaker didn't even recieve the minimum number of votes it takes to stay on the hall of fame ballot which ithink is the biggest tragedy in all of baseball. You think matt williams will get in the hall on the first ballot? not a chance. he should but he won't. Fryman was the cornerstone third basemen on the great indians teams of the 90's and before that was an all-star with the tigers. he retired early but was one of the best two or three 3b men of the 90's. i do think that A-rod was on his way to being the greats ss of all time although espn and others bow down to him like the 2nd coming. what about a salary cap? anybody agree that there should be one? i do. i meant to say berra was the most underrated player. no way piazza is better, piazza has a bat but couldn't throw out cecil fielder trying to steal. bench is near berra but his 4 rings is 6 shy of yogi.
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Old 05-08-2004, 11:13 PM   #5
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Whitaker only had 500 or more at bats 7 times in his 19-year career, only hit north of .290 once, didn't win any of his 3 gold gloves in the second half of his career... I could go on. Sorry, my obviously-a-Detroit-fan friend, but although I think numbers are overrated as hall criteria, I don't think Lou should go in.

Ryno will get in sooner or later. They're playing the "well, so-and-so didn't get in until his 3rd year (or whatever) so he shouldn't" game.

As to Matt Williams, I think his Ring, his defense, and his leadership will make up for his numbers. He'll get in.

I don't even need to look Fryman up, here. He spent at least 3 of his years with the Indians injured and underperforming, nowhere near their cornerstone. He had some good years with the Tigers, but no great ones. Off the top of my head, I'm pretty sure he never hit 30 HR's or batted over .300, and I know he struck out alot. No way was he top 3 of the 90's.

As to the salary cap, I think baseball needs to adopt something close to the system the NFL has. A better revenue sharing system is absolutely necessary for teams like KC, Minnesota, the Pirates, etc. to compete. And a cap would be more acceptable to the players, I would imagine, with a real revenue-sharing system in place.
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Old 05-09-2004, 12:17 AM   #6
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Rafael Palmeiro might reach 600 HR 3000 hits before his career is over and has one of the best gloves at 1st I have ever seen. He has hit at least 38 HRs the last NINE years. He has to be the most underrated player in baseball.

Another guy who no longer plays has to be Cal Ripken Jr. Of course he gets his dues because of the streak but his baseball skills have always been underrated. 400 HRs, 3,000 hits, 2 time MVP, Rookie Of the Year, 2 All Star MVPs, 1 World Series, and at least 10 Gold Gloves. He would be a Hall of Famer with or without the streak.
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Old 05-09-2004, 02:09 PM   #7
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I didn't list Ripken because I don't think anyone underrates him. Until Me-Rod gets back to shortstop and plays a few more years, Ripken will remain the best offensive SS ever. 2 MVP's, all-century team, first ballot hall of famer, 2 Gold Gloves. Hard to say underrated. Like I said, the only reason I named Ozzie as underrated is the recent trend among sportswriters and broadcasters to forget him when they start talking about "best ever".
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Old 05-09-2004, 02:40 PM   #8
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don't forget ernie banks and honus wagner, both better than ripken.

here's a name for you, Josh Gibson, a negro league player who may be the best player ever. hit 69 home runs in 1934. in 1933, hit .467 with 55 homeruns. was just the second negro league player to be elected into the hall of fame. the first, pitcher satchel paige
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Old 05-09-2004, 02:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by coclarkson
don't forget ernie banks and honus wagner, both better than ripken.

here's a name for you, Josh Gibson, a negro league player who may be the best player ever. hit 69 home runs in 1934. in 1933, hit .467 with 55 homeruns. was just the second negro league player to be elected into the hall of fame. the first, pitcher satchel paige
Yeah, I admit I don't know nearly as much as I should about the old Negro League players. I always mean to spend some time reading about them, and never seem to get around to it. I think the pre-Jackie Robinson era players would be remembered in a much different light had baseball been integrated.
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Old 05-09-2004, 03:02 PM   #10
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compare career stats:

ryne sandberg: .285 ba 282 hr 1061 rbi 2386 hits 1318 runs


lou whitaker: hit .320 in 83 and hit over .280 six times .276 ba 244 hr 1084 rbi 2369 hits 1386 runs
1 world series ring

you think sandberg is a hall of famer while whitakers numbers are just as good and whitaker doesn't belong? please.
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Old 05-09-2004, 05:55 PM   #11
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Whitaker: As I mentioned, seldom played a full season (it takes 502 at-bats just to qualify to have your average count as an official season- he only qualified 7 times) never exceeded 85 RBI & only averaged 57, averaged about 13 HR per year, only scored 100 runs twice. Three Gold Gloves, all early, none over the last decade of his career. He collected his home run and RBI numbers by longetivity. As I said, a quality player, one of the best offensive players at his position, but not such stunning offense that it overcomes the fact that for most of his career he was a mediocre defender at a defensive position.

Sandberg: Played a lot more (had 600 at-bats more times than your boy had 500) 20 HR and 70 RBI per season with 100 RBI twice, scored 100+ 7 times, once hit 40 HR. Won an MVP. And here's the salient part- 9 Gold Gloves and indisputably one of the best defensive players ever at his position to go with his far superior offensive numbers.

How can you support Whitaker for the hall based on his career numbers yet not support Donny Baseball or Steve Garvey?
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Old 05-22-2004, 12:35 AM   #12
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i dunno man, imma hafta back up suger on the arguments over whitikar and sandbyrg... now in my opinion of the players listed:
Ted williams : How can anyone say he was underated? To this day people still talk abut him and his career.
Soriano is overrated so far, and he does break up a locker room, if ya havent heard how he pretty much thinks he should do wutever he wants and not listen to management, i dunno to me thats a poor team player he was supposed to play the field in texas but refused to be moved, and texas was ready to get rid of him...
Ozzy Smith? you got to be kidding me, he had an amazing ability to feild his position, great ss coulda been better hitting, But still far from underated.
Big Mac.. Def Overated dont need to get into that one
im not to sure wut i think about the rest of the listed... so i wont commenet toher than Mattingly should make the hall, so will palmerio
juan pierre needs a few more years under his belt

Id like to add one,
as much as i hate boston, i kinda think Jason Varitek is underated, hes one of the only sox players that shows some class and doesnt get the notation that other catchers have gotten, tho i dont think hes nearly or even close to as good as pudge, and i def think posada is much better, but varitek def deserves more attention
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Old 06-15-2004, 07:20 AM   #13
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Underrated?

Some you may not have considered.

1B/2B/3B/DH-Paul Molitor (MIL/TOR/MIN). Well over 3,000 hits. Great lead-off hitter, fantastic basestealer. Hit for power, clutch run producer. Overcame injuries late in his career and won two titles with Toronto and was World Series MVP.

SS/CF-Robin Yount (MIL) 20 Seasons in Milwaukee. Only third player to win MVP awards at two positions. Clutch hitter, could do it all except throw (shoulder surgery 1984).

OF-Duke Snider. Hall of Famer. 407 career home runs and played a terrific centerfield in a tough ballpark (Ebbets Field) for most of his career.

SS-Pee Wee Reese. Captain of the Dodgers during his career in Brooklyn and Los Angeles. More power than you'd expect. Terrific basestealer. Very good defensively and a leader.

1B-Willie McCovey. 521 Bombs, same as Ted Williams. Overshadowed by Willie Mays.

SP-Catfish Hunter. Played on five World Series champions with Oakland and New York. Ace of seven pennant winners. Pitched perfect game in 1968. Good hitter.

C-Roy Campanella. Two-time Brooklyn Dodger MVP. Hit a ton of bombs and was a rock behind the plate. Career ended early after being paralyzed from the neck down following a car crash.

Current underrated players:

CF-Carlos Beltran. On the verge of superstardom. Plays in small market with terrible television contract. Great speed/range/arm. Smooth hitter, high average, above average pop, terrific basestealer. Will break the bank in the off season.

1B-Jim Thome. Hit career home run 400 last night, yet is fourth in All-Star balloting and hasn't been named to the game since 1999. He and ARod have hit the most home runs in MLB (118) since 2002.

C-Victor Martinez. Rookie catcher Cleveland. Top ten in AL RBI's. Terrific behind the plate. Team already talking about moving him to extend his career.

RP-Jeremy Affeldt (KC) Absolutely filthy stuff. Just moved into closer's role. Missed significant time with blisters on pitching hand. Can be unhittable if he stays healthy.

Utility-Chone Figgins (ANA) Great speed. Plays multiple positions. Has done super job replacing Troy Glaus.
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Old 06-15-2004, 12:28 PM   #14
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how can you say all of those old-time players are underrated when they're all in the hall of fame?

you can't say a rookie is underrated because they havn't done anything yet or played enough seasons.

Thome is a God in philly just as he was in cleveland. he just strikes out too much.

Beltran will definately be traded this year to either the yankees or the dodgers. i don't think he's underrated, just not known of because of playing in KC
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Old 06-15-2004, 06:08 PM   #15
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They may be HOF'ers, but they're not remembered for how great they really were.

For example, when was the last time you heard anything about Roy Campenella? When catching is discussed, in an historical context, you hear first about Bench, then Fisk and like an earlier post, Josh Gibson. All great players, and all deserving of praise. But what about Campanella?

Shortstops. Ripken, ARod, even Ozzie Smith for heaven's sake. Nobody talks about Yount, who was AL MVP in '82 as a shortstop. Maybe it's because he played the last half of his career in the outfield. But Yount was clutch. A terrific defensive shortstop who hit .332 with more than 30 bombs for a pennant winner.

Catfish Hunter is NEVER mentioned anywhere as a great pitcher. In his era, the guys you hear about are Ryan and Carlton. When WAS the last time you hear Cat mentioned among the best of his time?

As for the rookies, specifically Martinez. He's driven in 47 runs already. He's been the big run producer for a resurgent Indian team that's challenging for the division lead. Why he's being pitched to as much as he is, is a mystery. Obviously he's not Bonds or Pujols, but why are teams letting him beat them? A mystery.

And as for Thome, I think he might be the MOST underrated player in the game. Sure he whiffs a lot. But he walks more than 100 times a year too. He has a great swing and uses the whole ballpark, and has light-tower-power from foul line to foul line. And Thome isn't going to hurt you defensively like a Garvey (no range, no arm) did. Garvey didn't make many errors, but had less range than your dishwasher, so didn't get to many balls.
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Old 06-15-2004, 10:10 PM   #16
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catfish hunter was a dominant closer and there aren't too many closers in the hall. he was a great closer and deserves to be in there. Bert Blyleven has over 3000 strikeouts and 200+ wins and not in the hall. he's the most underrated from that era

roy capenella played on some great teams. sometimes being overshadowed by robinson, snider, and koufax. he's definately one of the best catchers of all time along with yogi berra, johnny bench, ivan rodriquez, carlton fisk, and mike piazza

yount played 3-4 positions throughout his career, he went into the hall as an outfielder. i still say alan trammell is the most underrated.

Cleveland has a ton of young talent like Martinez, Gerut, Cliff Lee, Lawton, Blake, C.C. etc... they will be a force in a couple of years.

the most underrated 1b is Keith Hernandez. the greatest defensive 1b ever. 11 gold gloves, an MVP, world series champ, and seinfeld guest starr. if ozzie smith went in the hall as a defensive ss, then Hernandez deserves the same.
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Old 06-16-2004, 02:40 AM   #17
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Catfish Hunter was actually a starter. After he established himself in the majors, he was exclusively a starter.

Yount is listed as a shortstop and centerfielder. I have the inscription from his Hall of Fame plaque in my office. Players don't go in by any specific position. To the best of my knowledge, Robin never played another position (except maybe an occasional DH appearance) more than a few times. Can't argue with Trammell being underrated. Terrific player.

I agree with the choice of Hernandez. Wonderful defensive first basemen who made a very mediocre Mets infield much better. Clutch hitter. Hit for average and was co-MVP in 1979, I think.

Another nice defensive first basemen, who arguably belongs in the Hall is Gil Hodges. Good power numbers, very good defense and an almost unmentioned player for a successful franchise.

Here's another underrated player. Sal Bando. Captain of the A's World Series champion teams in '72, '73 & '74. Great third baseman. Hit for power. An undenied leader in Oakland and later Milwaukee (where he was a god-awful GM).

Outfielder Vada Pinson. If you compare his career numbers with Robin Yount's they are nearly identical. Only Pinson didn't cross the 3,000 hit plateau.

Outfielder/First Baseman/DH Al Oliver. I believe Oliver hit .300 for his career with good power. Played on crappy teams throughout his career. A hitting machine.
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Old 12-17-2005, 11:59 AM   #18
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Angry What about Munson?

In the 70's (yeah, I'm over 21) there were 3 top catchers, Johnny Bench, Thurmon Munson and Carlton Fisk (in that order). I still haven't seen any better one since.

Bench was a freak and the best of the 3 (probably of all time) hands down. But how the hell does Fisk get in to the Hall and not Munson? Becuase he didn't die young and held on and played past his prime on wounded knee? Munson is to be penalized becuase he died young? In his shortened carrer, his stats kicked ass. In post season play he batted over 400. He was tough to steal on. He was Mr. RBI. Rookie of the Year. Three MVPs. Golden Gloves. First Yankee Captain since Lou Gehrig. Ron Guidry attributed Munson for his 20 plus game winning rookie season. Many other Yankee pitchers attriubted their sucess to #15. The guy was tough as nails. He even threw hands with Fisk who was quite a bit bigger.

Yogi Berra, who I respect, is in the Hall. I know he has 10 rings, but look at the teams he was on. Talent wise he couldn't carry Thurm's jock, and I bet he'd agree.

The knock on Munson is that he was surely with the press in NY and could be a prick at times. Well, the same could be said for the NY press. I thought evaluation was based on accomplishments, not on sex appeal.

Oh by the way. Fuck Reggie Jackson. Yeah, he could hit the long ball, but he was such a fuckin' hot dog and dis his team captain upon arriving to NY "... I'm the straw that stirs the drink." How bout a Bronx cheer for Mr. October. But I digress.

Munson's absence in the hall is a disgrace. I attribute it to not sucking NY media cock and not being "sexy" enough. "Image is everything"... UGHHHH!
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Old 12-18-2005, 02:13 AM   #19
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I agree but not on all terms..

Thurman Munson is forever going to be remembered as the only yankee catcher. Jorge is doin good, but will never be the same caliber preformer as thurman was. He was incredible. His career was cut short tragically which is why he is not in the hall. You cant be pissed at that. Its the same as if a player hits 325 for 6 years straight.. gets over 100 rbi and 30 homers for those years, than injures his shoulder which requires near career ending surgury.. and he never plays or produces the same numbers again. Do you think that guy makes the hall?? Im a huge Yankee fan ( since birth) but you cant say a guy should be in the hall cause he died young. You dont know what coulda been...either way you look at it.
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