All Forums > SimLeague Baseball > SimLeague Baseball > Most Underrated Players of All Time
6/29/2013 11:29 PM
Posted by italyprof on 6/29/2013 5:54:00 PM (view original):
Career Fielding Percentage: 

Don Mattingly .996
Tino Martinez .995
Keith Hernandez .994

This is what I mean by underrated. Everyone rates Hernandez as "the best defensive first baseman of all time" but he was not as good as Mattingly, and as hitters there was no contest. 

That makes it hard to see Hernandez as under-rated, since everyone rates him very highly, and if anything too highly. Plus he was a narc. That undermines team morale and unity and loses points in my book. Plus he was up with one out in the 9th in game 6 of the 1986 World Series and did not get the hit. Gary Carter then did get a hit under more pressure. So did Kevin Mitchell and Ray Knight and then Mookie Wilson had an amazing at bat. 

I strongly agree with you  on Frank Baker, the only player ever to be nicknamed "homer" (could we get a Greek mythology theme league going I wonder? Or a great writers' names theme?), and on Tim Raines. But I would not want Keith Hernandez on my team and Don Mattingly has only been a positive force on any team he has been around. 


Per Baseball Ref:

  WAR WAR# JAWS JAWS# dWAR Years
Don Mattingly 42.2 43 39.0 36 -6.8 14
Will Clark 56.2 23 46.1 24 -10.8 15
Keith Hernandez 60.1 20 50.6 19 +0.6 17
John Olerud 58.0 21 48.4 22 -2 17

If anything Mattingly was vastly over-rated.

6/29/2013 11:40 PM
Posted by boogerlips on 6/29/2013 5:56:00 PM (view original):
lee smith and lou brock are overrated

I probably should have gone with Dan Quisenberry.  I think Brock is over-rated by traditionalists and under-rated by saberticians.

6/29/2013 11:45 PM
I can't believe Will Clark gets no metions.  I think he didn't even last a year on the HoF ballot.
6/30/2013 5:30 AM
I consider WAR highly suspect and full of subjective element zubin. Though I do admit a) no one fielded the bunt better than Hernandez, and b) my own sense of certainly is itself partly subjective: I watched them both play in NY pretty much nightly for years and did not remotely think Hernandez in the same league with Mattingly. No one ever thought Keith Hernandez was the best player on his own team, let alone in baseball. And Mattingly played with Rickey and Winfield. 

I agree on Will Clark though.
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6/30/2013 12:01 PM
I still can't believe Rusty Greer was never an all-star. I know he played in the middle of the hightened offense steroids era, but the guy was all heart on the field and vastly underrated outside of Texas. The Rnagers inducted him into the Texas Rangers Hall of Fame, but he never got any love outside of his home team.

Paul Konerko is another modern day underrated player IMO also...he has been in the heart of the White Sox lineup for what seems to be a decade now.
6/30/2013 1:23 PM

C- Dale Murphy (not a career C, but still doesn't get respect)
1B - Fred McGriff
2B - Bob Grich
3B - Jeff Cirillo
SS - Alexi Ramirez (I know he' only been around a few years, but way underrated)
OF - Bernie Williams, Jim Edmonds, Brian Giles

SP - Jimmy Key
RP - Robb Nen

 

6/30/2013 1:24 PM
Paul Konerko is a good one.
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6/30/2013 4:15 PM
Posted by italyprof on 6/30/2013 5:31:00 AM (view original):
I consider WAR highly suspect and full of subjective element zubin. Though I do admit a) no one fielded the bunt better than Hernandez, and b) my own sense of certainly is itself partly subjective: I watched them both play in NY pretty much nightly for years and did not remotely think Hernandez in the same league with Mattingly. No one ever thought Keith Hernandez was the best player on his own team, let alone in baseball. And Mattingly played with Rickey and Winfield. 

I agree on Will Clark though.
WAR isn't perfect and it does have a subjective element in terms of measuring replacement level and (I think) defense, but it is a far better way to measure things than your (or my) subjective eye.  For the record, I saw both men play too and I was never a fan of Hernandez especially when he tried to (dishonestly) implicate his former team mates of drug use.  However I have no doubt that Hernandez was better defensively on an absolute basis until the last 3 or 4 years of his career.  And on a relative basis it isn't even close.

When you normalize their hitting they actually are equal as batters: Hernandez has a career OPS+ of 128, Mattingly's is 127.  Mattingly was of course the better slugger while Mex was better at getting on base.  However if you delve deeper into those stats, you will see that Mattingly benefited a lot from Yankee stadium (131/91 career home run split and a 107/94 ops+ split compared to 74/88 102/98 for Hernandez).

I'll give Mattingly credit for being better in the clubhouse then Hernandez who was schizophrenic in his leadership, but that isn't enough to push Mattingly over Mex.  Even the Bleacher Report agrees with me.
6/30/2013 4:30 PM
Posted by boogerlips on 6/30/2013 1:26:00 PM (view original):
Brian Giles is another good one. Career .290/.400/.500 hitter.
And a career 136 OPS+.  He played in the steroid era tho when mashing COFs were a dime a dozen.  Just for reference, this puts him with players like: Jack Clark, Will Clark, Sherry Magee, Gene Tenace, Ken Williams and Wally Berger.

Ken Williams might be the best comparison.  They both played in eras that inflated their stats and had the misfortune of playing of relatively few notable teams.
6/30/2013 5:32 PM
Good list skonley - I would have to agree with all of those you name being underrated. Grich was a terrific player, and did not get the notice he merited for sure. 


6/30/2013 5:56 PM
Most underrated player of all time....Addie Joss

before SIM i had never heard of the guy
7/1/2013 2:26 PM
pete rose, most hits ever not in HOF
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