Question of the day: Most underrated/overrated Players

First, thanks to AJ Blankenship for today’s questions.

Second, in a quest to be objective, I’m excluding any Cardinals from being the answer to these questions.

Underrated: Kyle Seager – I’d like to think I’m pretty knowledgeable about the game. I know my team, and I know many of the stars out there, including lesser known ones like Brian Dozier of the Twins. But I’d barely heard of the Mariner’s Seager, the man who has the 8th best Offensive War in the game at 4.1, tied with Johnathan Lucroy and just behind Paul Goldschmidt.

His stats:

BA                 AB          Hits             HR          RBI             OBP           SLG

.279              341         95               15           63               .350          .493

Solid stats, no? At this pace, he’ll hit over 20 home runs easily, and get 100 RBI’s all while maintaining a solid average and OBP. So why haven’t we heard of this guy? Is he a rookie? No, he’s not. This’ll is his 3rd year of being a full time starter, and will also be his 3rd straight year of 20 or more home runs. It is worth noting that the BA, OBP and SLG are all career highs. That’s kind of amazing since offense is down overall this year. My guess is that the stat guys know about him, but I myself have heard very little about him. I think part of that is due to the 2 megastars in Seattle: King Felix Hernandez and Robinson Cano. They soak up quite a bit of the attention. Then add a 3rd star in Hisashi Iwakuma, and you have the 3 players most well known to the casual fan. Luckily Seager was voted into the All-Star game, so hopefully that gave him some exposure to the casual fan.

Back to the stats. Is this year a natural progression or an outlier? Well Seager is 26, and his numbers overall have increased each year, though from 2012 to 2013 they only increased incrementally, unlike from 2013 to this year. However, he is entering his prime, so I’m inclined to say this is merely the progression of a good young hitter  Plus it doesn’t hurt to be hitting behind Robinson Cano.

As for the overrated players, there’s several big factors here…Overhyped rookies, players past their prime, etc…But the one I like to focus on is home/road splits. Players who do extremely well at home but a bit worse on the road are merely factors of their environment, not actual good players.

Here are the splits of one such player.

Home:

BA          AB           H         HR        RBI    OBP           SLG

.354       189          67        11        31      .404           .593

Away:

BA          AB           H         HR        RBI    OBP           SLG

.245        161         40          3         16     .285           .348

Combining for this deceptively good line:

BA          AB           H         HR        RBI    OBP           SLG

.306       350        107        14        47      .350           .480

This players name is Charlie Blackmon, an All-Star for the Colorado Rockies who is the product of the extreme hitting environment that is Coors Field. He’s my most overrated player.

Thanks again to AJ Blankenship. Check out his blog at Gateway Sports Connection

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