THE ALL-UNDERRATED TEAM
Fox Sports’ Dayn Perry has revealed his all-underrated MLB team for 2007. Let’s do what blogs do best–dissect and disagree with other people’s work!
C- Jorge Posada
Dayn: A hype-starved Yankee?? Is that even possible?? Yes, it is.
Zoner: No. It’s not. He may not be as celebrated as some of his bigger named teammates, but Posada has 4 rings, 6 AL championships and has been an All-Star 5 times, including this season. Not underrated.
1B – Adrian Gonzalez
Dayn: Since being acquired by the Padres, he’s authored a batting line of .296 AVG/.355 OBP/.496 SLG and provided Gold Glove-caliber defense.
Zoner: I might have chosen Ryan Garko, but I can’t argue with Gonzalez.
2B – Placido Polanco
Dayn: …doesn’t get the hype, but all he does is hit for average and play exceptional defense at the pivot.
Zoner: Hard to argue with Polanco, but honorable mention to Orlando Hudson.
3B – Ryan Zimmerman
Dayn: He’s already the best defensive third baseman in baseball…If trends hold, he’s going to notch his 100th career double and his 50th career home run before age 23.
Zoner: I’ll go with Mike Lowell. He doesn’t get the amount of props he deserves. Zimmerman has rebounded from a poor start, but I sure would like Lowell on my ballclub.
SS – Carlos Guillen
Dayn: Guillen may be the most underrated player going. For his career, he’s hit .291 AVG/.359 OBP/.451 SLG, and over that same span the average major-league shorstop has authored a batting line of .269 AVG/.327 OBP/.400 SLG.
Zoner: Hard to argue against the selection of Guillen, but I still think Jimmy Rollins is underrated.
LF – Matt Holliday
Dayn: Among left fielders this season, only Barry Bonds has been more productive with the bat, and let’s not forget Holliday’s strong glove-work.
Zoner: Nailed it.
CF – Mike Cameron
Dayn: For the last 8 seasons, Cameron has played his home games in some of the toughest hitter’s parks in all of baseball (to wit, Safeco, Shea and Petco), and his numbers — at least in the superficial sense — have suffered for it. In fact, for his career Cameron is a .259 AVG/.346 OBP/.467 SLG hitter on the road. Those are good numbers for a guy who runs the bases well and plays an exceptional center field. He gets overlooked because he’s a defense-first guy who relies on secondary hitting skills.
Zoner: You’d have a tough time finding a bigger Mike Cameron fan than me, but this is a bad selection here. Cameron has been on the downslope of his career for a few seasons now. The pick here–at least for now–is Curtis Granderson. That’s not likely to last if he keeps playing like he has this year. Grandy has 34 2Bs. 21 (!) 3Bs and 18 HRs.
RF – Alex Rios
Dayn: Since 2006, Rios has authored a cumulative batting line of .306 AVG/.358 OBP/.517 SLG.
Zoner: Vernon who? Agreed. Rios should be the one getting all the attention in Toronto.
SP – Roy Oswalt
Dayn: If Roy Oswalt’s career park- and league-adjusted ERA holds up, then it’ll rank 14th on the all-time list. Yes, the all-time list.
Zoner: Most people would agree that Oswalt is in the team photo for top pitchers in the game. I don’t see how he qualifies as underrated. My picks: Tom Gorzelanny, Matt Cain (a crime he is 7-13 this year) and Javier Vazquez, to name a few.
CL – Takashi Saito
Dayn: Because of his age, Saito won’t challenge any all-time records, but it’s still worth noting that in almost two full seasons of work he’s got a career ERA of 1.78. Oh, and he’s also whiffed 174 batters in 131.1 innings.
Zoner: No doubt about it. Saito is one of the best kept secrets in baseball.