The impression I have is that boogerlips' original question was about players that were or are over-rated in real life, not based on their performance in WIS baseball.
So, with that as the idea, I do think Nolan Ryan was highly over-rated because of the strikeouts. He never seemed to learn what pitching coaches team from A ball on, don't try to strike everyone out, even if you can. His won-lost record is testimony to that.
I don't know the argument for Jim Rice being over-rated.
As for Reggie Jackson, if he had hit in the 1990s, he would have broken 61 home runs. He struck out A LOT and there were days when a fence post played better outfield, but he could also be a good fielder when motivated, at least in his first ten years or so in the majors.
But why anyone would think him over-rated as a hitter is beyond me, and as for the Mr. October thing, if stats can show that he homered no more often in postseason games than anybody else etc. fine, but that means his homers to win the 1973 and 1977 world series were anomalies, and that would mean that the stats don't cover them. In other words, you really wanted him up to bat when the whole championship on the line.
Joe Morgan, appalling announcer, but for those 2-3 seasons the best player in baseball, which did not make me happy...and Bill James puts him at number one all time at 2B, ahead of Collins and Hornsby.
I don't think I ever saw Ichiro get a hit off Mariano Rivera even once. Maybe he got one. I doubt it. Which means, he could be overpowered. (try throwing one past Reggie - result: three strikeouts and a game winning 3-run homer).
Now, Pedro Martinez. The numbers don't lie: he was the greatest pitcher EVER in his best seasons, better even than Koufax's best...for 7 innings. Had he pitched in a sport that plays 9 innings he would have been in trouble..oh, wait. hmm. Yes, if he had played when starters and especially aces were expected to pitch complete games his numbers would have suffered. Had he pitched for the Yankees in the 1990s with their bullpen, he would have won 33 games a season. You decide.
The argument about Sisler is this: of course he was a valuable player. A very good one. But he was over-rated because his average and his position - first base which we associate with power hitting sort of hid the fact that he was more of a Pete Rose or Ichiro than a Lou Gehrig, or even a Willie McCovey. Would you like to have Pete Rose, yes of course. Would you put him at first base ? Not if you had Tony Perez and Lee May. or even Joe Morgan.
Now, a tough one - Joe Dimaggio might have been one of the 20 or 25 best players of all time, and easily is one of the 50 best.
But when I was a kid rooting for the Yankees, he was god (well, he and Bruce Springsteen, it was New Jersey after all).
And EVERY old-timers game, he was announced (at his own insistence it turns out) as "The Greatest Living Player..." He wasn't. Willie Mays was better, and I think a good case is that Mickey Mantle was better, and maybe Ted Wiliams. Dimaggio versus Stan Musial ? Close, maybe Dimaggio because of his great fielding.
So, a very great player, but still over-rated.
Juan Gonzalez was a great hitter. Was he really MVP in 1996 and 1998?
But at least his teams were perennially in first place - Sammy Sosa? Over-rated in my book.
Ask yourself this: it is say 1993 - would you trade Ken Griffey Jr. or Barry Bonds for Sosa ? Would you do it in 1998? I wouldn't.
I don't know what to think about A-rod - I was not really paying enough attention during his best years as a SS - but he seems to have been a great fielder and a great hitting great fielder at that position rates pretty highly. I did not think the Yankees should have traded Soriano for him and still don't think so.
I know there is an argument on the MLB forum here - where I go very infrequently - over Jeter. I think Jeter is great, and not just because I am a Yankees fan (I think).
Yes, as a SS he has slowed and his range is not much for that position for some years now. But when he was younger he was a very good fielding shortstop and he can still hit. Probably they should have moved him to third instead of A-rod. But he makes up for a lot of his range problems with his head - he remains one of the smartest players in the game and that is why he was where he was to make that play on Jeremy Giambi.
One argument criticizing Jeter on the MLB forum went like this: yes, he has more hits than any other current player lifetime, but he played during a hitter's era.
Ok, now, during a hitter's era, meaning when a lot of guys' stats were inflated, Jeter got more hits than those guys or anyone else and did so without any hint of having used steroids when even the popcorn vendor's mom was using them.
And in any case, whoever got more hits in any period, playing against the players that were alive and playing then, got more hits than any of the others. So at least for that period qualifies as a very good to great hitter. duh. Now, add in that many of the other best hitters of the period were taking performance-enhancing drugs and he wasn't and you have a player that stands out as well ahead of the pack.
my two cents (euro - 3.5 cents really).