July 29, 2021

Player survey: Who is the most overrated player in baseball?

July 15, 2010 by · 3 Comments 

187 Major League players were surveyed to answer the question: who is the most overrated player in baseball? Keep in mind that when determining whether a player is overrated or not, evaluation is not the sole factor; public opinion also needs to be weighed in.

As determined by the players, here are the top five with some analysis:

#5: J.D. Drew, 3%

I must say I was surprised to see Drew in the top five. From a production stand-point, Drew has been a very productive player for some time now, putting up an All-Star quality 5.6 WAR last season.

Furthermore, it is not as though J.D. Drew gets loads of attention from the fans. He has had just one All-Star selection in his career, despite the fact that he has been deserving of the award many times in the past.

So, in the end, I can’t pinpoint exactly why players would vote Drew onto this list among all other possibilites. Could it be the fact that he misses a lot of time due to injury? Could it be that he makes $14 million a year? Could it be that he is on the Red Sox?

#4: Nick Swisher, 4%

I’ll make this simple: I couldn’t agree more. Just take his recent selection to the All-Star game. Is he more deserving than Paul Konerko or Kevin Youkilis? No, but the popularity of playing in New York won him a trip to Anaheim, a prime example of an overrated player.

And then, of all places, he went to the Home Run Derby. Sure his 15 home runs are deserving, but so are the 15 home runs of Rickie Weeks and Jose Guillen. But no one wants to watch them, right?

Nick Swisher may be a good player, but his numbers don’t nearly merit an All-Star selection or a Home Run Derby spot.

#3: Gary Matthews, Jr., 5%

Interesting selection if you ask me. At first glance, it would seem that this was the right choice — was hitting .190 and making $11 million this year. But he was somewhat deserving of his big contract back when he signed it. He hit .313 with a WAR over three back in 2006, throwing in an All-Star selection.

I imagine this is more a matter of a player not living up to his contract. He does not get much attention anymore, and the $11 million is not something that represents public opinion. No, he isn’t a good player, but no one is making a case otherwise.

#2: Alex Rodriguez, 5%

It just seems like you can never finish bashing A-Rod. 500 home runs, 600 home runs, three MVP’s. It just seems as though nothing can stop the hatred for Alex Rodriguez.

If I had to guess why he is on this list, I would attribute it to the massive contract, the steroid use, and of course the whole part about playing in New York. But none of those things deny that Alex Rodriguez is one of the best players in the game. Yes, it is possible to overrate someone as good as A-Rod, but everything he has received, he has deserved. Except for all the hatred.

#1: Joba Chamberlain, 12%

Interesting, interesting, interesting. In a land-slide, Joba wins. If you ask me, the players are apparently reading too many New York newspapers.

It’s not hard to decipher what is going on with Joba — and with what has gone on for the past two years. New York was ready to smash in some windows a few nights ago when Chamberlain gave up a grand slam against the Mariners in the eighth inning, giving up the lead. Fans were screaming, asking why this guy is still allowed to pitch.

But what went right through their thoughts was the fact that he had a 2.25 ERA in the eight appearances before that.

This has been going on forever. Yes, he is inconsistent. But the way management has handled him has been extremely detrimental in that regard. Fans, the media and apparently players love to beat this guy up, but it is completely unnecessary and inaccurately provoked.

Overall thoughts:

Look back at all of these players and try to find one thing they all have in common. Not too surprisingly, they all play — or have recently played — for a New York team or a Boston team. It’s a shame that so many questions will surround you if the spot light is simply shined on you. Regardless, the most important thing to take away from this survey is that these are not the only players that receive — or don’t receive — the improper amount of attention. Simply playing for a big market team will change how people look at you, but it doesn’t change your value or your ability to win.


You can e-mail me at jess@jesskcoleman.com or follow me on Twitter @jesskcoleman.


3 Responses to “Player survey: Who is the most overrated player in baseball?”
  1. Mike Lynch says:

    I’m not surprised that Drew is on the list because of the perception most people, including myself, have of him. He’s always hurt and he looks like he’s in a coma half the time, at least when it comes to his emotions. I’m a red ass and I like other red asses. Kevin Youkilis is my favorite player because he goes nuts every time he makes an out. I like guys like that. Drew looks like he couldn’t give a crap less half the time. But my friend and colleague Chad Finn of the Boston Globe often defends Drew because he really does play hard; he’s the best baserunner on the Red Sox; and he plays right field very well. His career OPS+ of 129 is equal to that of Hall of Famers Carl Yastrzemski, Buck Ewing, Eddie Murray and Zack Wheat, and stars Bobby Bonds, David Justice, Chase Utley, Fred Lynn, Riggs Stephenson and Bob Watson. Tell a Red Sox fan that Drew is as good as Yaz was at the plate and you’d get punched in the face. There’s just something about the guy that bugs people.

  2. Michael says:

    Don’t you think you should link (or at least cite) where the survey came from?

  3. Tom Zocco says:

    I am not surprised to see J D Drew on this list. When the Dodgers had him he always seemed to be hurt. He became known as D L Drew. When he found an escape clause in his contract and left the Dodgers, I was happy to see him go. He is not a terrible player but is very overrated.

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