most underrated players

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prompted by a recent perusal of the statistics of active leaders in WAR, in which 19 and 20 stood out:

1. Alex Rodriguez (34) 101.50 R
2. Albert Pujols (30) 81.40 R
3. Chipper Jones (38) 80.00 B
4. Ken Griffey (40) 78.40 L
5. Derek Jeter (36) 70.00 R
6. Jim Thome (39) 69.00 L
7. Jim Edmonds (40) 68.00 L
8. Manny Ramirez (38) 67.30 R
Ivan Rodriguez (38) 67.30 R
10. Scott Rolen (35) 65.70 R
11. Andruw Jones (33) 59.10 R
12. Vladimir Guerrero (35) 58.40 R
13. Bobby Abreu (36) 57.70 L
14. Todd Helton (36) 57.50 L
15. Carlos Beltran (33) 55.40 B
16. Ichiro Suzuki (36) 53.10 L
17. Jason Giambi (39) 52.90 L
18. Johnny Damon (36) 48.10 L
19. Mike Cameron (37) 47.40 R
20. J.D. Drew (34) 46.80 L

also pondering a guy like Paul Konerko, who has been hiding away on the south side of chicago for a decade+ now and whose stats are definitely not on the same level w/other guys of his era, but who probably doesn't deserve to be forgotten come HOF voting time (by "not forgotten" i mean he deserves to stick around on the ballot for away before dropping away.)

favorite all time underrated/illest batting stance: mickey tettleton

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:22 (thirteen years ago) link

Dang, Alex has a big lead on Pujols there.

no gut busting joke can change history (polyphonic), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:23 (thirteen years ago) link

if you consider that a-rod has had 15 full seasons at the end of '10 to pujols' 10 full seasons, it's a surmountable one imo

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:25 (thirteen years ago) link

Is WAR a cumulative stat?

no gut busting joke can change history (polyphonic), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:25 (thirteen years ago) link

i think Griffey can come off that list - which would leave Posada at 20.

oreo speed wiggum (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:26 (thirteen years ago) link

oops, he sure can

also, leaders in adjusted OPS+, which has a-rod at #4 just behind jim tho-

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:30 (thirteen years ago) link

jim thome

('_') (omar little), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:30 (thirteen years ago) link

50. Matt Stairs (42)

0_o

oreo speed wiggum (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Wednesday, 18 August 2010 23:32 (thirteen years ago) link

Well, if you take WAR as gospel, the two guys who jump out at me are Scott Rolen and Andruw Jones. Jones was a big deal five years ago, but you don't hear much about him anymore; Rolen bounces around from team to team. Yet they're right there with a bunch of Hall of Famers, and ahead of much more publicized players like Helton, Beltran, Damon, etc.

clemenza, Thursday, 19 August 2010 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link

My favourite underrated player ever is Tom Henke. He was as good year-in and year-out as other relievers who got far more attention.

clemenza, Thursday, 19 August 2010 02:38 (thirteen years ago) link

hey speaking of WAR, i read a blog entry today that noted that dante bichette's career WAR was a robust 2.0 because of his horrendous fielding.

('_') (omar little), Thursday, 19 August 2010 21:13 (thirteen years ago) link

there was a blog post on baseball reference a couple of weeks ago about how is WAR was, i believe, -0.2 in the year that he finished second in MVP voting, because of his horrendous fielding

be my anchor baby (J0rdan S.), Thursday, 19 August 2010 21:17 (thirteen years ago) link

we read the very same entry in that case. i love the comments on that w/people rhapsodizing about his epic offensive numbers that year. people still don't quite get the whole notion of how such offensive contributions can be wiped out in other areas of the same player's game.

('_') (omar little), Thursday, 19 August 2010 21:19 (thirteen years ago) link

billy wagner

almost 12k per 9 innings for his career and has a shot at getting his career WHIP below 1.00 by the end of his season (supposedly his final one)

('_') (omar little), Friday, 20 August 2010 00:15 (thirteen years ago) link

i realize he's not really underrated by those who know what he's done but i feel like he doesn't get enough credit for his career sometimes.

('_') (omar little), Friday, 20 August 2010 00:16 (thirteen years ago) link

special credit for:

Wagner was a natural-born right-handed person, but after breaking his right arm twice in accidents, he taught himself to throw baseballs using his left arm by throwing thousands of balls against the wall of a barn, and then fielding the rebounds, and repeating.

('_') (omar little), Friday, 20 August 2010 00:17 (thirteen years ago) link

he's on both my fantasy teams for a reason!

oreo speed wiggum (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 20 August 2010 00:20 (thirteen years ago) link

I was just looking at Wagner's career stats yesterday and thinking, "Wow--he's a serious HOF candidate." One bad year (2000), and good-to-great-to-brilliant the whole rest of the way. The career batting average against him is 0.188. You never know where the HOF line is with relievers, but he's got to be third in line after Rivera and Hoffman, and you probably wouldn't have to work too hard to make a case that he's a better pitcher than Hoffman. (Only real negative is that he's been awful in postseason, which based on 11 innings is hardly a big deal.)

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 01:42 (thirteen years ago) link

Wagner is 100+ IP short to qualify for this:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/leaders/whip_career.shtml

Look at Pedro!

Andy K, Friday, 20 August 2010 10:43 (thirteen years ago) link

All-time WHIP leader Addie Joss' K/9 was 3.6.

Andy K, Friday, 20 August 2010 10:47 (thirteen years ago) link

Wagner was a natural-born right-handed person, but after breaking his right arm twice in accidents, he taught himself to throw baseballs using his left arm by throwing thousands of balls against the wall of a barn, and then fielding the rebounds, and repeating.

Holy $***! I had no idea.

Wagner is definitely underrated -- I remember it being a really big deal when he imploded in 2000 and he never seemed to regain his aura after that (I mean, 124 K's in 74 IP in 1999? That's insane) even though he was still a great pitcher. A huge strike against his HOF case is that he never played for a "winner". Are there any closers in the HOF who weren't considered cornerstone players on WS-winning teams? (besides Bruce Sutter, who's mainly in because he got the credit for inventing a pitch)

He not only didn't win, but he closed for a bunch of teams who are perceived as underachievers and chokers -- the B&B Astros, mid-2000's Phillies, late-2000's Mets. And he was a disaster in the postseason when his teams did manage to make the playoffs.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 20 August 2010 11:12 (thirteen years ago) link

And BTW, I think it's U&K to rely on postseason numbers to make a HOF case for a closer. A closer's job is a lot more important in the postseason (not just the importance of the games, but the fact that closers need to pitch a higher %age of their team's innings compared with the regular season).

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 20 August 2010 11:23 (thirteen years ago) link

most underrated '70s/80s player: Bobby Grich

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 August 2010 11:24 (thirteen years ago) link

Ken Singleton's also name gets mentioned for the same time period

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:00 (thirteen years ago) link

I agree that a closer's role is magnified in the postseason (everyone's is, to a degree), but I just have a hard time giving great weight to an 11-inning sample in a guy's HOF resume. I made the same point with regards to Dawson on another thread. And with Wagner, it comes down to about half of those 11.2 innings; in 5.2 of them, he gave up 11 runs. So you're looking at 5.2 innings in a 16-year career.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:16 (thirteen years ago) link

Let me put it another way: I'm a lot more in favour of using a great post-season career to make a case for somebody (again, based on a decent sample) than I am the reverse.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:19 (thirteen years ago) link

Well, if you take WAR as gospel, the two guys who jump out at me are Scott Rolen and Andruw Jones. Jones was a big deal five years ago, but you don't hear much about him anymore; Rolen bounces around from team to team. Yet they're right there with a bunch of Hall of Famers, and ahead of much more publicized players like Helton, Beltran, Damon, etc.

both these guys played all-time-great defense at their positions, especially jones, which is why their numbers are so high

ciderpress, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:23 (thirteen years ago) link

Brian Roberts seemed hugely underrated for a long time

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 August 2010 13:34 (thirteen years ago) link

That's what happens when you're competing with David Eckstein!

Andy K, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:48 (thirteen years ago) link

In the age of WAR and VORP and all that stuff, I wonder if the whole idea of an underrated baseball player is becoming antiquated. I can't see players flying under the radar anymore to the degree they might have 30 years ago. I suppose "underpublicized" will always be a fact of life, depending upon where you play, but underrated, I'm not so sure.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 13:54 (thirteen years ago) link

I agree that a closer's role is magnified in the postseason (everyone's is, to a degree)

Not really though ... I think the average closer pitches about 5% of his team's innings in the regular season. In the playoffs it's 10-11%. No other type of player gets twice as much PT in the playoffs.

Let me put it another way: I'm a lot more in favour of using a great post-season career to make a case for somebody (again, based on a decent sample) than I am the reverse.

For the most part I agree, but the outcome of a season hinges a lot more on what the closer does. The team is hurt a lot more by a blown save than by a star hitter going 0-4. And your math on Wagner's career is seriously shady ... he was brutal in more than half of his postseason appearances, that's a huge failure rate for a closer. You can't just focus on the other appearances when he didn't suck, any more than you can say that, I don't know, if you eliminate Ryan Howard's strikeouts then he'd be a .420 hitter.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 20 August 2010 14:14 (thirteen years ago) link

Well, we disagree. I don't think I'm misrepresenting his numbers, though. In 5.2 of his 11.1 postseason innings--exactly half--Wagner gave up 4 hits, 0 walks, 2 earned runs, struck out 8, saved 3, and had an E.R.A. of 3.18. Not spectactular, but pretty solid. In the other 5.2 innings, he was an absolute nightmare: 16 hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts, 11 earned runs, no saves, and an E.R.A. of 17.47. It's not an exact parallel, because there's no postseason in the education business, but when I retire in about 12 years, I hope I'm not judged by my five worst days as a teacher--I'd have been out of a job long ago.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 14:34 (thirteen years ago) link

In the age of WAR and VORP and all that stuff, I wonder if the whole idea of an underrated baseball player is becoming antiquated. I can't see players flying under the radar anymore to the degree they might have 30 years ago. I suppose "underpublicized" will always be a fact of life, depending upon where you play, but underrated, I'm not so sure.

in terms of quantified, context-neutral baseball value you might be right, but there's plenty of other ways to 'rate' a player imo

ciderpress, Friday, 20 August 2010 14:50 (thirteen years ago) link

xpost it's not just his five worst days, it's *half* of his postseason record. You can't pick and choose the half that happens to support your case, the bad half counted just as much.

And ten appearances aren't a huge sample size, but it's spread over a number of years. He had a bad year every year!

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 20 August 2010 15:20 (thirteen years ago) link

Ciderpress: We're probably coming from the same place here. I'm not especially hung up on WAR/VORP; I'm a stats guy, but more traditional OBP/SA stuff. (Hah--now OBP and SA are "traditional.") And I hope you're right; not being able to argue about over/underrated players would be a big loss to what it means to be a fan. But I think it's much more unlikely that a Bobby Grich would happen today. Anyone who keeps reasonably well informed would know all about him; Neyer and Posnanski and Baseball Prospectus would make sure of that. More casual fans would miss him, so maybe you're right--maybe things haven't changed that much after all. (I've gotta be honest: I'm looking at Grich's lifetime stats, and Bill James and Morbius notwithstanding, I'm not clear on why Bobby Grich was so underrated. He was excellent in '79 and '81. The rest of time, agreeing that he drew a lot of walks for a second baseman, I'm not seeing what makes him so noteworthy--not as a hitter, anyway.)

NoTime: I've conceded that Wagner was brutal for half his postseason innings. No argument whatsoever. I just don't see that that's reason to keep him out of the Hall of Fame--not if you believe he deserves to be there based on his in-season play. (If you don't, then sure, the postseason becomes one more argument against him.) When Winfield was up for induction, I don't think the voters gave much weight to his postseason performance, which basically amounted to one huge hit in the '92 Series and not a whole lot else.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 15:35 (thirteen years ago) link

i don't see any reason to keep wagner out of the hall of fame based on 11 innings out of almost 900 pitched. whether his entire peformance record is good enough is a separate question, but that's the one that should be discussed.

ciderpress, Friday, 20 August 2010 15:48 (thirteen years ago) link

Just to be totally honest, and argue against myself, one of the reasons Wagner's IP total is so low for the postseason is that half the time, he couldn't get anybody out. You've got to get some people out to pile up innings. Apparently, they just kept running guys up to the plate who'd hit safely.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 15:52 (thirteen years ago) link

First, I'll reiterate that Wagner probably doesn't have much chance of getting voted in because he didn't pitch for "winning" teams (fairly or unfairly). In the three-tiered playoff system, guys play a lot more postseason games than they used to, so postseason performance is going to figure more strongly into HOF voting (which to me seems fair). Also, nobody really has any idea what the HOF standard is for closers because their role is constantly changing. But it's safe to say that everyone from this era will measured against Rivera and Hoffman, and Wagner looks set to be the Tim Raines to their Rickey Henderson.

I also think that there will always be underrated players ... Neyer and Posnanski and BP are a really small piece of the pie. Chase Utley hit five homers in last year's WS and was STILL underrated -- everyone talked about ARod becoming a "true Yankee" and the "Yankee Four" and Pedro and by the last game, Matsui.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:06 (thirteen years ago) link

Cart way before horse: a Braves WS win this year would cinch Wagner for the HoF, y/n?

My totem animal is a hamburger. (WmC), Friday, 20 August 2010 16:09 (thirteen years ago) link

The fate of bordlerline cases like Wagner may be affected by how the whole steroids issue resolves itself with regards to the HOF. If, as seems to be the case right now, PED-associated players are locked out, then I think the Wagners and Damons and Smoltzes will inevitably benefit. Enough to push some of them over the line, I don't know.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:30 (thirteen years ago) link

not necessarily, at all

xp

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 August 2010 16:31 (thirteen years ago) link

Not necessarily, no. As a practical matter, though, I think that keeping PEDs out will do two things: one, it will free up space, and I think the voters will instinctively want to fill that space; and two, psychologically, "clean" players may start to be over-valued. You've indicated this yourself, right, in connection to the deification of Griffey?

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:41 (thirteen years ago) link

Oops--you were responding to WmC!

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:43 (thirteen years ago) link

can't wait until the 2012 HoF voting when the writers inevitably lock out the 2nd best hitter of all time and the 2nd best pitcher of all time by WAR

ciderpress, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:46 (thirteen years ago) link

the upcoming ballots are pretty loaded though so unless they start letting in more than 2-3 guys a year i think a lot of the borderline cases are gonna slip away

ciderpress, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:48 (thirteen years ago) link

for '13 you've got biggio, bonds, clemens, piazza, and sosa. two of them will get in right away, right? or maybe only one?

('_') (omar little), Friday, 20 August 2010 16:50 (thirteen years ago) link

I think there'll be four tiers: 1) the Bonds/Clemens/A-Rod tier, where the writers (grudgingly) decide they were HOF-clear pre-PED and put them in; 2) the McGwire/Palmeiro/Ramirez tier, the guys who are punished; 3) the Bagwell/I-Rod/Thome tier, players who've never been named and who never failed a test but who seem suspicious anyway (this is a tier completely of my own making; I have doubts about all three)--not sure what happens with them; 4) everybody else.

clemenza, Friday, 20 August 2010 16:53 (thirteen years ago) link

i think Wagner's HOF case will be made in the coming years. if he can move up on the all time saves list (he's - um, 6th right now?) he could make it in as long as he stays productive for a few more years. the only person ahead of him still pitching well is Rivera (as Hoff seems to have lost it this year).

xpost

oreo speed wiggum (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Friday, 20 August 2010 16:54 (thirteen years ago) link

somebody wrote a column abt this today, will link later

kind of shrill and very self-righteous (Dr Morbius), Friday, 20 August 2010 17:01 (thirteen years ago) link

back to the thread topic, i think the prototype 'underrated players' in terms of WAR are the guys who are consistently worth 3-5 WAR each year but aren't flashy enough to build a reputation as great players

david dejesus and nick markakis are the first two that come to mind

ciderpress, Friday, 20 August 2010 17:13 (thirteen years ago) link

good one. he’s also on an incredibly team-friendly contract

mookieproof, Sunday, 26 September 2021 13:42 (two years ago) link

As points of comparison, think of how well publicized Kris Bryant and Anthony Rendon have been. A lot of that has to do with winning a WS title, and some, I'm sure, with Chicago/Washington/L.A. vs. Cleveland as media markets.

Ramirez (age-28 season): 34.2 bWAR/34.5 fWAR
Bryant (29): 28.6/31.8
Rendon (31): 32.2/36.1

Rendon is a couple of games ahead in fWAR with three extra years.

clemenza, Sunday, 26 September 2021 15:05 (two years ago) link

Machado (age-28 season, 45.1/40.3) at another level in both performance and publicity, although much of his publicity has been bad.

clemenza, Sunday, 26 September 2021 15:20 (two years ago) link

perhaps. bryant has won an mvp, tho.

and i don’t think rendon is actually well-publicized? he’s never even been the biggest star on his own teams

mookieproof, Sunday, 26 September 2021 15:53 (two years ago) link

Forgot about the MVP. Rendon seemed to get a lot of (deserved) attention during Washington's WS run, and then a lot during his off-season free agency--or at least relative to Ramirez.

clemenza, Sunday, 26 September 2021 15:57 (two years ago) link

eleven months pass...

hank greenberg.

only play 9 full seasons. lost most of 41-45 to ww2, bookended by a 7.7 fWAR 1940 and a 7.2 WAR 1946. career OBP of .412.

he has 61.1 career fWAR, which ranks only #115 in MLB history. but it was over only 1394 games. i think there is only one player in MLB history who has more fWAR over fewer games, and that's Mike Trout (1388 games and with 81.2 fWAR already)

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 13 September 2022 22:20 (one year ago) link

in terms of fewest games and greatest value, buster posey came close. 1371 games, 57.5 fWAR

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 13 September 2022 22:22 (one year ago) link

Jackie Robinson: 1382 games, 57.2 WAR
Mookie Betts: 1093 games, 49.9 WAR

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 13 September 2022 22:23 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

I think this is the first Posnanski column in a while that's been sharable; hit 10 most underrated players ever.

https://open.substack.com/pub/joeposnanski/p/baseballs-most-underrated-players?r=1jtu0&utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email

clemenza, Thursday, 5 January 2023 18:20 (one year ago) link

three months pass...

Haven't had a chance to wade through this yet; pretty exhaustive.

https://www.billjamesonline.com/the_most_underrated_players_of_all_time/

clemenza, Thursday, 27 April 2023 22:26 (one year ago) link

Didn't realize that was the last of a three-part post. The numbers are explained in the first part, part II is the most overrated players. I think they're all free.

clemenza, Thursday, 27 April 2023 22:32 (one year ago) link

brett butler was my favorite giant when I was like 6, very cool to see him on that list (I knew James was a fan)

brimstead, Monday, 1 May 2023 18:32 (one year ago) link

BRENT

brimstead, Monday, 1 May 2023 18:32 (one year ago) link

He was really good (it is Brett); just had the bad timing of playing in the shadow of the greatest leadoff hitter ever (Henderson) and maybe the second greatest (Raines).

clemenza, Tuesday, 2 May 2023 12:59 (one year ago) link

two weeks pass...

Me being seduced by a middle infielder yet again...I think Marcus Semien may end the year at the margins of a HOF case. He's leading the AL in bWAR right now at 2.7, maybe headed for a 7.0 or 8.0 season, which at 33 would leave him with:

1) ~ 42 career WAR
2) 200+ career HR
3) the single-season HR record at 2B
4) two top-3 MVP finishes, maybe a third this year

He'd have to keep playing somewhere between an All-Star- and MVP-level for another five years, but he could. As good as Chapman's been this year, hated losing him.

clemenza, Thursday, 18 May 2023 19:33 (one year ago) link

he's a good player, but i would hesitate to call anyone on a $175m contract 'underrated'

several of these guys were good players too
https://i.imgur.com/jgVZUmm.gif

mookieproof, Friday, 19 May 2023 20:28 (one year ago) link

one month passes...

(xpost) When I think about underrated, I don't factor in salary, I think in terms of fans/writers/awards.

Posnanski last week: "José Ramírez just keeps on being José Ramírez (.286/.358/.500, 13 homers, 9 steals, good defense). Without him, these Guardians might not have scored a single run in the first half. I think Ramírez might just be the most underrated baseball player of this century, but I also think he’s going to end up in the Hall of Fame, so that will end his underratedness."

clemenza, Wednesday, 12 July 2023 18:03 (one year ago) link

When Ramirez does come up for the HOF many years down the road, I could see where the COVID season factors into a close call (like the strike of '94 may have hurt Cone and Key, and hurt McGriff with the writers). He finished second in MVP voting that year and was headed for his greatest season (pro-rated): 46 HR, 124 RBI, .292/.386/.607. (At least till this year, the winner that year, José Abreu, would have been my other most-underrated-of-the-century.)

clemenza, Wednesday, 12 July 2023 18:14 (one year ago) link

eight months pass...

Came across Chris Bosio's name in connection to Immaculate Grid today--had forgotten about him. While I wouldn't say he was egregiously underrated, he did accumulate ~25 WAR for his career (with a couple of 5.0+ seasons), retiring at 34, without getting a single Cy Young vote. He may have been overshadowed by another underrated pitcher on his own team, Teddy Higuera, which sounds weird, I know.

clemenza, Friday, 29 March 2024 18:45 (three months ago) link

I'd like to see a list of the most career WAR for pitchers who never got a Cy vote (and whose careers started no earlier than 1967, when they went to two awards).

clemenza, Friday, 29 March 2024 18:48 (three months ago) link

Started for the Giants the year they went to the WS with Bonds

https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/h/hernali01.shtml

Never heard of him myself

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Friday, 29 March 2024 19:00 (three months ago) link

going down the list i'm seeing Tom Candiotti, Danny Darwin, Charlie Hough as the top 3. between the three of them they also had a sole All-Star game appearance (Hough, in 1986.)

scanning the list, there are a lot of guys who placed on the Cy ballots once but never again. Kevin Appier, for example, who had back-to-back seasons w/bWARs of 8.0(!) and 9.3(!!)

omar little, Friday, 29 March 2024 19:00 (three months ago) link

I guess it'd be pretty easy to visually scan a WAR list and eliminate all the pitchers you 100% know got Cy votes. Livan was electric when the Mariners won in '97...two knuckleballers, not surprising--often underrated.

clemenza, Friday, 29 March 2024 21:05 (three months ago) link

Marlins, that should read, not Mariners.

clemenza, Friday, 29 March 2024 21:06 (three months ago) link

I just gave the Mariners their first-ever WS, then took it back eight seconds later.

clemenza, Friday, 29 March 2024 21:07 (three months ago) link

Unfair when they’ve never even been 🥲

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Friday, 29 March 2024 21:16 (three months ago) link

Never heard of him myself

― Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Friday, March 29, 2024 12:00 PM (two hours ago)

many, many mentions of him on this board, including his own thread title:

iLIVAN!, John, and pray for a drenched lawn (the 2006 Nats thread)

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Friday, 29 March 2024 21:21 (three months ago) link

somebody needs to study their World Series MVPs

felicity, Friday, 29 March 2024 21:28 (three months ago) link

Definitely 🫣

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Friday, 29 March 2024 22:01 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Too soon for Steven Kwan? He got some attention early on but haven't heard much since. GGs and 9.0+ WAR in his first two seasons, solid on-base guy, high SB percentage, doubles and triples, leading the league in hitting and runs right now for the 9-3 Guardians.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 April 2024 15:17 (three months ago) link

An outfielder who does a lot things well but doesn't hit HR is almost always going to be underrated.

clemenza, Saturday, 13 April 2024 15:18 (three months ago) link

He played prep locally to me and I'd say he's underrated even by bay area folks.

citation needed (Steve Shasta), Saturday, 13 April 2024 15:47 (three months ago) link

Off to a heck of a start. Already two home runs (just 5 last year)

FRAUDULENT STEAKS (The Cursed Return of the Dastardly Thermo Thinwall), Saturday, 13 April 2024 16:23 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

I think there's enough evidence now to mention Danny Jansen (by me too). He's injury-prone, but across six seasons and a bit, his pro-rated stats are good. Per 162 games:

26 HR, 77 RBI, walks and strikeouts average, .225/.310/.440, 3.4 WAR

His pre-season ranking in our fantasy league was #1,113. I don't know how he'd fare if he ever had a season where he played 140 games--he might just be effective as a part-time player.

clemenza, Friday, 3 May 2024 18:04 (two months ago) link

Baseball savant backs you up

https://baseballsavant.mlb.com/savant-player/danny-jansen-643376

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Friday, 3 May 2024 18:38 (two months ago) link

Holy cow--I need serious CliffsNotes there.

clemenza, Friday, 3 May 2024 18:41 (two months ago) link

Watching the Dodgers series I definitely had the thought “whotf is this guy and why is he the best guy on the team?”

Then I googled Eric Soggard to check if they actually looked like each other or if they both just wore glasses. Turns out it was the second option

H.P, Saturday, 4 May 2024 02:58 (two months ago) link

two months pass...

Anyone who plays in L.A.--especially in the middle of this dynasty--is always going to get a certain amount of attention, but Will Smith is definitely underrated. (Yes, it took his 3-HR game yesterday for me to post.) In six years, he's made one ASG (this year will probably be his second) and never received an MVP vote. Statistically:

-- a career OPS+ of 128; never under 115, 140 this year
-- 17.8 WAR in five-and-a-half seasons, COVID year included; 5.2/162 games

clemenza, Saturday, 6 July 2024 15:35 (two weeks ago) link

How are they a dynasty? They only have one short season WS and that was four years ago.

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Saturday, 6 July 2024 19:08 (two weeks ago) link

*ahem* 2017

francisF, Saturday, 6 July 2024 19:13 (two weeks ago) link

I don't think WS titles are the only way to measure a dynasty; long-term success in general works for me. This is their 8th consecutive year of .600+ baseball (how many teams have ever done that?), 12th consecutive year of .550+, 14th consecutive year of .500+. Surely that's a dynasty.

clemenza, Saturday, 6 July 2024 19:58 (two weeks ago) link

When the World Series switched to Houston for Games 3, 4, and 5, top Dodgers brass met with the starting pitchers for those games: Yu Darvish, Alex Wood, and Clayton Kershaw. The Dodgers brain trust didn’t want to freak out their pitchers, but they delivered a message: we have suspicions that the Astros are up to something, so let’s use multiple signs even when no one is on base. Kershaw and Darvish both declined to heed that advice. The only pitcher who agreed to deviate was the least-renowned pitcher of the bunch, Wood. It just so happened that Wood fared the best: he didn’t allow the Astros a hit until the sixth inning of Game 4, which wound up a 6–2 Dodgers win, evening the series at two games apiece.

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Saturday, 6 July 2024 20:01 (two weeks ago) link

Wikipedia lists agreed baseball dynasties as winning multiple titles:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dynasty_(sports)

Roman Anthony gets on his horse (gyac), Saturday, 6 July 2024 20:02 (two weeks ago) link

I just don't agree. Dynasty can be a matter of degree. When I think of the '70s, I don't just think of the A's, Yankees, and Reds, who won seven of the decade's WS titles; there was also the Pirates, Orioles, Dodgers, Phillies, and Royals, they were all dynasties to a degree. What the Dodgers have done the last eight years, even though it's been almost entirely driven by spending, is remarkable I think.

clemenza, Saturday, 6 July 2024 20:07 (two weeks ago) link

Your favourite writer, Bill James, actually devised a system a few years ago for measuring dynasties. Tried to find it, but all I could get was a Reddit link, and I learned that I've been blocked by Reddit. Which is interesting, because I access Reddit about once every two years.

clemenza, Saturday, 6 July 2024 20:09 (two weeks ago) link

Apologies, mookieproof--the Pirates of course won two WS during the '70s. I should have said four teams were responsible for 9/10 WS wins (all but the Orioles in '70).

clemenza, Sunday, 7 July 2024 00:15 (two weeks ago) link

Fourth HR in a row for Smith.

I think you could use a few things to quantify the concept of underratedness. Two I mentioned above, the most obvious two: ASG appearances and MVP support. You could look at a large sample of fantasy leagues, see if a player consistently gets drafted lower than his value suggests he should. I don't know if it would work now, but there was a time when card values probably identified someone who was underrated; in the late '90s, when Craig Biggio was at his peak, I'm sure his cards would have been considerably cheaper than Juan Gonzalez cards. I don't know if salary would work. With some players there might be a strong correlation between being underrated and being underpaid, but maybe some players are underpaid just because they have lousy agents. (Also, hardly anybody's actually underpaid anymore--some players are just less overpaid than others.)

After retirement, HOF voting would be an important indicator: Lou Whittaker, Bobby Grich, Rick Reuschel, etc.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 July 2024 02:42 (two weeks ago) link

people are absolutely sleeping on the season jarren duran is having

the defenestration of prog (voodoo chili), Sunday, 7 July 2024 03:34 (two weeks ago) link

More generally, I'd say his season points to a couple of other reasons players are underrated: 1) doing a number of things well instead of one thing noticably well (the Amos Otis Rule); 2) having a breakthrough season a few years into your career, past the age of 25. Big seasons by 22-year-olds get noticed--people (like me!) start thinking about the HOF; a 27-year-old having his first MVP-type season might get missed.

clemenza, Sunday, 7 July 2024 13:44 (two weeks ago) link

For whatever reason, Will wasn't held to be the primo game caller earlier in his dodger career. Kershaw starts would nearly always have Austin Barnes behind the plate (who I love, but he's has no bat). Whether this "subpar game caller" narrative was true or not, it's basically disappeared for Will in the past couple years and so he really has become a catcher with no downsides. Power, contact, plate discipline (Will and Muncy's ability to determine balls and strikes has me amazed), game calling, not "catcher-slow" on the bases, serviceable arm on the pick-offs. 10 year 140mil was money very well spent by the dodgers locking him up. He played with broken ribs for a couple months last year and still managed to pose the question whether he's the best catcher in baseball (no disrespect to Sean Murphy).

H.P, Tuesday, 9 July 2024 23:36 (one week ago) link


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