Thursday, June 2, 2011

Diamond Men Select Most Overrated Major Leaguers

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Sports Illustrated recently polled 185 Major League Baseball players asking a simple question. Who is the most overrated player in baseball? Results were released back in May. A few names will surprise, most will not.

Let's break down the TOP 10 results with a little commentary.

MLB's Overrated Team
1 - ALEX RODRIGUEZ Alex is #1 overrated. Tough choice picking a clear cut #1. Hard to argue against this one. Former steroid user who once claimed his cousin supplied PED's is once again under MLB scrutiny for possible abuses. "The Steroid Mule", cousin Yuri, has been spotted in Yankees team hotels recently despite being banned from any team related facility. Get ready for a new scandal. Putting this aside, and his legendary stats, it's obvious to Yankees fans ARod's lack of clutch hitting in key moments of games throughout a lengthy career clearly earns this guy top honors.
"I have been on that list many, many times, it will be the same next summer," said Rodriguez.
2 - JOBA CHAMBERLAIN Joba began his career in grand style giving up just 1 run in 24 innings while striking out 34 back in 2007. It hasn't necessarily been all downhill since as Joba's settles in a set up man for Rivera. #2 ranking is way out of whack here. Perhaps it's just a general anti-Yankee venom kicking in or perhaps it's the fact Chamberlain's antics haven't won over many friends on opposing teams? It's a safe bet to conclude both. Joba doesn't crack my top 10.
Chamberlain joked to that, "I guess I'm disappointed that I'm not number one again," after being voted No. 1 last season. "I don't care . . . My bills are still paid and I still have a job. You can call me whatever you want, just don't call me late for dinner. Everybody is entitled to their opinion. That's why this country is so great."
3 - DEREK JETER Third most overrated player? Really? Jeter did begin the year struggling after a lengthy and public contract battle during off-season. The Yankees captain has forever been attacked. First time I can recall fellow players dissing his play. No doubt Jeter's career is winding down. But, overrated? He's still a top 5 all around AL shortstop even with diminishing stats and big season ending slump last year. The deeper I get into these rankings the more I begin to believe they're based solely on salaries. This should be an "overpaid" top 10, not overrated! Jeter is quickly closing in on 3,000 career hits. He'll become the only Yankee in their storied history to amass 3,000 hits!
"It’s the same thing they do every year, right?" Jeter asked. DJ, SI’s 2009 Man of the Year said, "I’m focused on more positive things. How about that? There’s your quote." (
4 - JAYSON WERTH Werth is quickly remembering hitting outside of Philadelphia's tiny home park is hard. Especially in Washington. A stellar defensive RF, clutch hitter (13 HR, 24 XBH in 44 career playoff games) and very frustrated in 1st season as a National. Led NL in doubles last season (46) and big clutch performer voted onto this list based on last season? Or, strictly because of a big salary (signed 7 years/$126M)? Overrated, give me a break. 2011 is especially tough with zero lineup protection in Washington and lack of runners on base. No way close to a top 10 overrated player.

5 - JONATHAN PAPELBON Finally, a player in the top 10 I agree belongs. Papelbon was one of the games best closers only 2 short years ago. However, he no longer dominates. It's a guessing game whenever he takes the hill. Confidence shaken? Time will tell.

6 - NICK SWISHER Agreed. Swisher quickly became a fan favorite in New York. It's been a mixed bag for Nick in NY. Batted only .226 at home in first Yankee season when baseball's were flying out of their new Stadium. He played great last year so one wonders how he got here... until watching his play in 2011 (or lack thereof). Struggling big time in 2011. Nobody should be surprised if Swisher's average never rises above .230 this season.

7 - B.J. UPTON Here's a guy who could easily rank higher... perhaps #2? A projected 5 tool player has all the skills but lacks focus and consistency. Mostly low year to year batting averages, often spaces out in CF and lack of clutch performances earns B.J. a top 10 nod.

8 - DAVID ORTIZ Another former PED junkie cracks the top 10. How does a .313, 13 HR slugger make this list? Probably from back to back slow starts to 2009-10 seasons. He's no top 10. His second half performance of '10 should have wiped the slate clean. Obviously it didn't. Even Ortiz strikeout totals are way down in 2011. Perhaps some of these anonymous voters reside in the Tri-State area?

9 - A.J. BURNETT A.J. possesses great pitches from fastball to slider but command issues kept popping up until recently. Undoubtedly a top 5 in 2010. Coming on strong in '11.

10 - MANNY RAMIREZ Here's my NUMBER ONE overrated player. #2 isn't even close. Manny wore out his welcome in Boston. Connected numerous times to steroids/PED including back in April when he voluntarily retired instead of facing MLB disciplinary action for getting caught AGAIN! Injuries and suspensions highlighted his last few seasons. Tampa Bay gambled during the off-season and signed Manny as full time DH only to get burned by a player who NEVER respected the game, teammates, managers, fans and employers. A poster child for everything wrong with baseball. Good riddance!

Sports Illustrated photo gallery shows off 16 overrated players. You've read their top 10. The following are a couple of shockers....
13 - EVAN LONGORIA How in the world did Longoria make this list? Overrated? Not even overpaid! Great defense, big time offense, young player on the rise, plays with poise and produces in the clutch. What more can you want? Very surprising selection.

16 - ALBERT PUJOLS Ok, this poll lost all credibility when reading Pujols name. I defy anybody claim there's been a more consistent player over the past 11 years than Albert Pujols (career statistics). In 10 full seasons, 100 or more runs scored 9 times and scored 99 in only year below 100. Knocked in well over 100 runs every single season. Never batted below .312, plays solid defense, hits in the clutch, a team player. These are Lou Gehrig type numbers and to think anyone with any sort of baseball knowledge considers Pujols an overrated player speaks volumes to Sports Illustrated anonymous poll's credibility.

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