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Player Poll: A-Rod the most overrated in baseball

May 31, 2011, 5:10 PM EDT

Texas Rangers v New York Yankees Getty Images

The whole overrated/underrated game is always dicey because no one ever agrees on a rating baseline to begin with.  Really, the underrated list tends to represent the most under-publicized and the overrated list tends to highlight the most overpaid.

Still, Sports Illustrated polls players on this stuff from time to time and, following up on Shin-Shoo Choo’s status as the most underrated player earlier this month, the magazine reveals that Alex Rodriguez is the most overrated.  Right behind him is Joba Chamberlain, Derek JeterJonathan Papelbon and Jayson Werth.

Last year Chamberlain “won” this award. I guess his sliding down the list means he’s better now!  Or, wait, maybe it just means he’s more accurately-rated as sucking. Except, he doesn’t really suck in an absolute sense … Look, I told you that this was a dicey business, didn’t I?

All I ask is that when you start to argue about this in the comments, you at least define your terms, OK? Who rates them where and why are they overrated or not.  If it’s just you saying someone sucks, well … OK, that’s probably no different than any other day. I’m just saying that it’s not all that illuminating.

  1. aronmantoo - May 31, 2011 at 5:12 PM

    Jason Bay

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - May 31, 2011 at 5:16 PM

    Everyone calls A-Rod a declining superstar. Seems fair. I guess some of the MVP talk when he had a hot spring training (thanks ESPN!) was a bit short-sighted, if that is what they are referring to.

    In New York, I have to say he is among the more under-rated, or at least under-appreciated, for his actual output on the field. At least this year he is not getting the media blitz he had 2-3 years ago.

    • mightymike1250 - May 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM

      You may be right, but there’s still a lot of season left. Let’s see how his numbers end up at the end of the year. And, more importantly, whether he can help his team get to the World Series. Isn’t that the most desirable quality for any ballplayer to have?

      • yankeesfanlen - May 31, 2011 at 5:32 PM

        I have the feeling I’m going to comment several times: Leave ARod Alone!

      • cur68 - May 31, 2011 at 7:57 PM


      • bigharold - Jun 1, 2011 at 12:36 AM

        “Leave ARod Alone!”

        Don’t worry about it Len. Next year Pujols will have his huge contract and then he’ll wrest the “Most Overrated” away from A-Rod. Because, by overrated it really means over paid. Of course, Pujols might well sign with the Yankees so they will still corner the market in Most Overrated.

        And, Pujols will look good in pinstripes too!

        If the Yankees win the WS this year does that mean their players can’t be overrated?

  3. mightymike1250 - May 31, 2011 at 5:20 PM

    It’s amazing how petty and jealous some major league ballplayers can be. Notice that all but one of the players named are either Red Sox or Yankees? Notice also that at least two of those guys are going to walk into the Hall of Fame on the first ballot. In A-Rod’s case, other players dislike him because (a) he’s good, and (b) he knows it. It’s probably his perceived arrogance more than anything that causes people to dislike him. But he’s going to retire with the all-time home run record. And Jeter, of course, already owns pretty much every Yankee record worth having. And, or by the way, he’s surpassed some guys you may have heard of: DiMaggio, Gerhig, et al. Or, maybe it’s all those championship rings…………….

    • bigxrob - May 31, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      Yankees and Red Sox players may fall under the over-publicized category, which has nothing to do with their actual play on the field. More to do with the media and the fact that they have the largest fan base.

      • yankeesfanlen - May 31, 2011 at 5:33 PM

        Leave ARod Alone!

    • smokehouse56 - May 31, 2011 at 8:15 PM

      You mean there is a Yankee record that is not worth having. What the hell might that be?

  4. Dan in Katonah - May 31, 2011 at 5:21 PM

    A-Rod = over publicized, definitely, but hard to say over-rated when he will be a first ballot HOF’er.

    • ryanmallettsbluntwrap - May 31, 2011 at 6:22 PM

      HOF chances will most likely be ruined due to roids even though he has always been a great ball player , not knocking alex at all , just seems that how it is this day and age that if your name has even been surfaced in any steroid allegations your chances are pretty much shot.

      • bigharold - Jun 1, 2011 at 12:40 AM

        Buy the time A-Rod sees a HOF ballot PEDS will not be the issue they are today.

        Neither A-Rod nor Bonds are no longer a first round HOFer but they both will get in. That will drivwe a lot of fans crazy but it will happen.

  5. Matt - May 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    The correct answer is, and forever will be, David Eckstein.

    • mightymike1250 - May 31, 2011 at 5:24 PM

      I respectfully disagree. I think Eckstein has probably OVER-achieved, if anything. He’s gotten more out of a relatively small amount of talent than a whole lot of other guys.

      • rebarratige - May 31, 2011 at 5:59 PM

        You say he’s scrappy, that he has grit and heart.

        I say that, in ten years of major-league ball, he posted a league average OPS exactly once, and is, at best, an OK baseball player.

        You say that Eckstein has made the most out of a “relatively small amount of talent.”

        I ask why having a relatively small amount of talent is suddenly a virtue, and how “making the most” out of a lack of talent is in any way distinguishable from pure luck?

        Just the idea of David Eckstein gets me angry.

      • clydeserra - May 31, 2011 at 6:59 PM

        Re: Eckstein, but he was a short stop. He had a crazy 2002, and was decent the rest of his career. He got way too much press, but for FJM, most of us would not care that much.

    • Matt - May 31, 2011 at 5:25 PM

      And I intentionally ignored your requirement for standards because no matter how the standard is set he just wins.

      • mightymike1250 - May 31, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        Again, respectfully, (and this is for rebarratige in particular), I’m not saying that Eckstein is a superstar, or anything close to it. But he has 2 championship rings (one of which came with a World Series MVP trophy), he’s a 2-time All-Star, and all around good player. The article is talking about the MOST overrated players and I just don’t agree that Eckstein call be called MOST overrated.

      • Matt - May 31, 2011 at 6:10 PM

        I see crediting him with 2 rings when they were largely due to playing on good teams, and 2 all star games as evidence of his overrated-ness, not evidence against it. He has no discernible MLB level skill except the ability to make writers and teams believe that he belongs in the majors.

      • rebarratige - May 31, 2011 at 6:40 PM

        You were originally arguing that Eckstein is an overachiever. I was responding to that.

        Also, about those World Series rings: Being on a good team does not make you a good player. This is another article of faith among baseball fans that, in this perverse, bizarre, frustrating way, somehow ceases to apply when we start talking about David Eckstein.

      • clydeserra - May 31, 2011 at 7:02 PM

        Crazy as it sounds, Eckstein lead the 2002 Angels in WAR for position players and his 4.4 was only behind Jarrod Washburn’s 4.5 overall.

        So he kinda was the best player on the 2002 Angels.

      • Matt - May 31, 2011 at 7:21 PM

        How dare you use statistics in an argument for Eckstein, that’s blasphemy.

  6. Mr. Jason "El Bravo" Heyward - May 31, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    I am the most overrated HBT commenter. No statistical analysis required.

    • bigxrob - May 31, 2011 at 5:27 PM

      I would like to nominate Mr. Bicepts as being the only properly rated commentor…as a complete wack job.

      • marinersnate - Jun 1, 2011 at 1:39 PM

        “I would like to nominate Mr. Bicepts..”

        Whaddya mean Bicepts?

        His words carry weight that would break a less interesting man’s jaw.
        He is the life of parties he never attended.
        He’s won trophies for his game face alone.
        He once had an awkward moment, just to see how it feels.
        His mother has a tattoo that reads ‘son’.
        He can speak French, in Russian.
        If he were to punch you in the face, you would have to fight off the irresistable urge to thank him.
        Sharks have a week dedicated to him.
        He bowls overhand.

        He is the most interesting commentor in the world.

        “Stay typing, my friends”.

    • Utley's Hair - May 31, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      Pie is completely and insanely overrated, while cake is totally underrated.

      • bigxrob - May 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM


      • yankeesfanlen - May 31, 2011 at 5:38 PM

        You’re right Ut, and Leave ARod Alone!

      • cur68 - May 31, 2011 at 8:00 PM



  7. Ari Collins - May 31, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    Werth may be overpaid, but I think he’s actually underrated by the general populace. Dude is a very very good baseball player.

  8. Utley's Hair - May 31, 2011 at 5:36 PM

    LEAVE JETER ALONE!!!!!!!! Oops…

    • mightymoonworm - May 31, 2011 at 5:39 PM

      If this were a couple years ago, I’d have said Jeter was most overrated. Purely from a defensive standpoint? Still Jeter.

      • ILoveBaseball - May 31, 2011 at 6:08 PM

        In fairness to Jeter (I am not a Yankee fan) two years ago the only SS who contributed more wins (as rated by Fangraphs) was Hanley Ramirez – and even then the margin was 0.2 wins. How overrated could he have been?

    • yankeesfanlen - May 31, 2011 at 5:43 PM

      You’d better oops, mister, or be expelled from the North American Cake Society! We can harass Beep-beep all we want, but……LAA! (not endorsed by the Angels from wherever)

      • Utley's Hair - May 31, 2011 at 6:30 PM

        Sorry, Len. It was a typo…or caused by the scorching heat…or something. But I am a charter member of the NACS, so you can’t expel me. Think of my position as that of France on the Security Council.

  9. yankeesfanlen - May 31, 2011 at 5:37 PM

    Remember a couple of years ago, end of season, Alex was sitting at the final game with 27HRs and 93RBIs?
    Leave ARod alone!

  10. baseballisboring - May 31, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Dicey business indeed…but Ryan Howard has my vote, probably. I guess just because the national media guys still seem to love him and they have a way of coloring people’s perceptions because of the platform they have.

    • smokehouse56 - May 31, 2011 at 8:19 PM

      Sorry, Howard would be on my team. He’s a winner. He can carry a whole team. 59 homes one year. Tons of RBI’s. Get a life.

      • paperlions - May 31, 2011 at 8:35 PM

        He didn’t say Howard sucks, he just said that Howard is over-rated, which is most certainly true. He is horrible on the bases, bad in the field, and the outstanding OBP that combined with his power to make him a great offensive player in 2006 and 2007 is gone (as is much of the power). He is still good, but he is no where near the player that people act like he is.

      • bleedgreen - May 31, 2011 at 8:45 PM

        Howard lost some weight at the beginning of last season, and was running a LOT better. Problem is, he lost a bit of power too. He was smoking doubles left and right in the beginning of the year. Then when he sprained his ankle, he wasn’t fully healed the rest of the year, and it seems like he put a little bit of the weight back on for this year. He’s had over 100 RBI every year since 2006. Its hard to say a guy that hits 100 RBI for your team EVERY YEAR, even in a down year while missing a month last year, is overrated.

        That said, people need to temper expectations. He’s not going to hit a homer every at bat.

      • dirtyharry1971 - Jun 1, 2011 at 1:10 AM

        Howard can carry the whole food spread after the game but as proven in the “09 WS dont count on him to come thru when it matters as he will just strikeout for you a TON

      • baseballisboring - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:17 AM

        “Get a life”

        You may have a point. I probably do spend too much time watching/reading about/trying to understand baseball. This unfortunately causes me to know what the hell I’m talking about once in a while. This is a serious character flaw that will be addressed.

  11. lampdwellr - May 31, 2011 at 6:03 PM

    A-Rod is just in decline now, but because he was perceived as overrated (by pay, by “compiling-versus-winning”, by publicity) before he is bearing the brunt of it. The most overrated players in terms of a combination of admiring publicity and recently-signed too-rich contracts are probably Jeter, Howard, and Werth.

  12. aceshigh11 - May 31, 2011 at 6:09 PM

    The term “overrated” is very imprecise here.

    In Jeter’s and A-Rod’s cases, I think the more precise description would be “no longer living up to superstar status.”

    They’ve both had first-ballot HOF careers (leaving aside whether A-Rod gets in on the first ballot due to PED issues), but they’re undeniably in decline due to age.

    It happens. No one is overrating either player anymore because it’s as plain as day that neither of them will ever regain their past glory.

    In contrast, I don’t think ANYONE rates Chamberlain or Papelbon very highly anymore. They were two young pitchers who showed a lot of promise 2-3 years ago, and flamed out prematurely.

    They’re also flaky personality-wise, and probably intensely disliked on a personal level among players in the league…that has NOTHING with “overrating” anyone.

    This poll is a bit of a crock.

    • baseballisboring - Jun 1, 2011 at 2:20 AM

      I agree with Papelbon probably being disliked personally…but he IS having an excellent season this year. In fact…every year of his career has been except last year. He’s hardly a flameout.

  13. phukyouk - May 31, 2011 at 6:21 PM

    Gah. I hate these articles. they are so baseless. for example if u wanted to know who the most overrated closer was I would say paplebum. if u wanted to know who had the most overrated contract ever I would say arod or beltan. but flat out overrated is jot possible. and even of it was it won’t be arod. he single handedly took the yanks through the first round of the 2009 playoffs and without him there would not be a 27 th. he’s proven his “worth” just not his contract. oh and can we please get a “reply button on the mobile app?

  14. Jack Marshall - May 31, 2011 at 6:34 PM

    I would think by definition “over-rated” would have to be a player who is close or at his peak and gets media and fan credit for being better than he is or has ever been compared to his competitors. Of this group, the closest to meeting that standard on the list is Papelbon, and even that is based on one bad season…prior to 2010, his status as the #3 closer in the AL (behind Mo and Nathan) was spot on. And over-paid isn’t the same as over-rated.

    Yes, at this point Jeter’s fielding is over-rated, and he is over-paid. But I bet even the people that over-rate him could place him pretty accurately in the list of HOF shortstops: better than Scooter, Louie, Ozzie, behind Honus and Cal, in a cluster with Joe Cronin and Arky Vaughn, probably.

    There really aren’t any Steve Garveys or Jim Rices or Kirk Gibsons any more, because the stats exist to let us know about player weaknesses. I think the list proves it.

  15. Chris Fiorentino - May 31, 2011 at 6:42 PM

    Carrano is the most overrated commenter. Aaron is the most overrated “blogger”. Len is the most overrated yanker fan. I the most underrated Italian. Halladay is perfectly rated as an a-hole. And that dude who played dice baseball for 48,000 minutes…..most underrated loser.

    • yankeesfanlen - May 31, 2011 at 9:42 PM

      Why thank you, Chris. That’s why Craig pays me the big bucks!

    • marinersnate - Jun 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM

      Leave Len Alone!

      • yankeesfanlen - Jun 1, 2011 at 1:04 PM

        Thanks M, perfectly put!

  16. Kevin S. - May 31, 2011 at 8:56 PM

    You know what’s hilarious about A-Rod being voted most overrated player? He leads MLB 3Bers in fWAR. Yes, it’s early and there’s still noise involved in WAR, but how many people would have pegged him as among the best 3B in baseball? If anything, the decline has been overstated and he’s actually *underrated.*

  17. amkush - May 31, 2011 at 9:16 PM

    Meter overrated? Short stop for 5 championship teams. 3000 hits 300 plus lifetime ba not bad
    ARod overrated 600 plus home runs 22 of which are grand slams the leader in lifetime RBI s one of the slickest fielding ss and 3 rd baseman Not bad
    Papelbon the closer on the second winningest team in baseball. Not bad
    Joba is a decent pitcher who has a fan following. No one ever rated him a great.

    If we are rating these players against what they are getting paid then question the business model that pays them and the markets they appeal to ( the fans ) Thayer pays to watch them play.

  18. itsacurse - Jun 1, 2011 at 7:29 AM

    By the media? Sam Fuld.
    By his manager? Aubrey Huff.

  19. oldpaddy - Jun 1, 2011 at 9:29 AM

    Howard Sterns penis!!!

  20. uyf1950 - Jun 1, 2011 at 10:00 AM

    I’m a little late to this party but I will share my 2 cents for what it’s worth. A-Rod, overrated, underrated, over paid or over promoted. There are probably at least a dozen if not more teams that would love to have him in their line up if they could afford the salary (and the Yankees obviously can). What team wouldn’t love to have a perennial 30+ home run hitter and 100+ RBI hitter in their line up. Even at soon to be 36 year old his stats will outperform most 3rd baseman in their prime this season.

  21. schrutebeetfarms - Jun 1, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    How come Joe Mauer isn’t getting any love for this most over-rated player thing?
    At least the guys on the list actually play. Mauer is pulling his best Where’s Waldo routine after signing the big contract.

  22. danberman4 - Jun 1, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Overpaid is auch a subjective concept. A-Rod has the stats to be best paid. The Yanks make tons of money. So, while baseball players might be overpaid on some philosophical level, the money is there and the player should get their share of it. I think this poll says more about the voters than it does about those chosen as overrated.

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