MLB's most overrated players

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By ANDREW MORRIS
College Contributor Network

After a missed play, a strikeout, or perhaps a home run given up, a familiar chant comes echoing down from the rafters: "OVER-RATED, clap-clap-clap-clap-clap! OVER-RATED, clap-clap-clap-clap-clap!"

Ah, yes. The overrated claim. Used by us all to both start and end intensely passionate arguments. Is it a valid claim? Most likely no. Just take out the first four letters in the word. Only a few people in baseball actually deserve the title because the numbers themselves aren't subjective.

Let's roll 'em out.

Brian McCann – catcher, New York Yankees

The former Atlanta Brave signed a five-year, $85 million contract last year with the Yanks with an option for a sixth year that could make him a triple-digit millionaire. After the first year, he has not been worth any of it. Defensively he's been the same solid player, but he almost hasn't even existed at the plate. Compared to other catchers in the 'bigs, he's last in on-base percentage (.286, wow!) and is near the bottom in batting average (.232). And oh ya, his numbers are worse in the playoffs.

Jacoby Ellsbury – outfielder, New York Yankees

Okay, half the reason why I'm putting Ellsbury down, and the entire reason that I have two Yankees listed, is because... they're Yankees. These guys are close to making the Forbes list and Ellsbury is buying the whole Monopoly board after signing a seven-year deal for $153 million before the season.

Maybe he's one of those "I'm paid, I don't need to play" type of cases. He was just fine with the Red Sox, but this year Ellsbury is not in the top 50 for WAR and is 37th in the AL in batting average. He's definitely not worth dumping out the piggy bank.

Nelson Cruz – outfielder/designated hitter, Baltimore Orioles

NELSON CRUZ FOR AL MVP! Whoa, whoa, whoa. Yes, Cruz has been a home run and RBI machine this year, but those are two stats that are many times overvalued. He doesn't get on base, is in the top 25 in strikeouts, and plays shoddy defense -- those factors are overlooked.

The former Ranger has had a single good year on an Orioles team that is deep at every single position. He could only maybe claim to be the best player on his own team and that says a whole lot.

Brandon Phillips – second basemen, Cincinnati Reds

This one is tough because Phillips had been sidelined for the later parts of the season with a thumb issue. However, if we expand his stats as though finished out the year, then congrats Brandon! You would've had the worst season of your career!

He made the All-Star team which makes complete sense because he was going to have the least amount of hits and home runs, most amount of strikeouts, and second-worst on-base percentage in his career. In his defense, at least he plays solid defense.

Dee Gordon – second basemen, Los Angeles Dodgers

Hollywood -- a.k.a. the area where most things are hyped up and baseball in L.A. is no different. With only two World Series titles over almost five decades, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt. Don't get me wrong, Gordon has had a breakout year, but a lot of this has to do with the amount of lights that shine on him. For a guy that isn't power-heavy and leads MLB in steals (64), only 31 walks and an OBP of .326 just doesn't cut it.

Bryce Harper – outfielder, Washington Nationals

I really like Bryce Harper. The way he plays is the way any ballplayer should try to play. Most of his being on this list has to do with the expectations he began with and how he has come up short. He was the next baseball legend before Mike Trout or anyone else stepped in.

To his credit, Harper's defense and arm are top-notch and he did miss a bit more than two months due to injury. But he did have a down year compared to his first two years, and being ranked in a poll taken by MLB players as the most overrated player in the game doesn't exactly confirm that you are Mickey Mantle 2.0.

All these players that I listed fall into two general categories -– players that have failed given their expectations (or salary) and players that just don't quite have the numbers to back up their popularity. Don't get mad at me though, the truth is all in the numbers.


Andrew Morris is a sophomore at Syracuse University. People refer to him in the third person and he has an everlasting love for Orange, Major League Baseball, the St. Louis Cardinals, Oakland A's, Golden State Warriors, and Indianapolis Colts. Follow him on Twitter: @Andrewmo123
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