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Player poll: C.J. Wilson is baseball’s most overrated pitcher

Jun 8, 2012, 3:48 PM EDT

C.J, Wilson Getty Images

Every year Sports Illustrated takes a poll of as many players as it can — this year it got 227 of them — and asks them a bunch of questions they’d never answer with attribution. Most overrated this or that, worst umpire, etc.

The list for the most overrated pitchers is out now (slide show; sorry), and number one is C.J. Wilson.  I’m most puzzled by number 7, which is Barry Zito.  To be overrated, don’t you have to be rated highly by … someone?

Maybe it’s just the most overpaid or the player of which the others are most envious or something.

  1. hansob - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    #2 is AJ Burnett. I tend to think as a player, he’s actually UNDERRATED at this point, so yeah… the players who took this poll apparently decided overrated meant overpaid.

  2. redux23 - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    weird list. im sure if you polled those same players and asked them if they would take the 3 of the 5 phillies pitchers listed, they would gladly take them.

  3. nflfollower - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:55 PM

    I feel validated. Not to say he’s not any good, but his value was so inflated this past offseason, media talked like the angels had landed another weaver.

    • Kyle - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:36 PM

      Career as a starter: 3.06 ERA, 1.202 WHIP, 7.9 K/9, 143 ERA+

    • brianc6234 - Jun 9, 2012 at 4:05 AM

      Wilson is doing great with the Angels. Now that he pitches in a real ballpark in good weather he can be a good playoff pitcher too.

  4. pmcenroe - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:56 PM

    Strasburg? Lee? Halladay? Chapman? hmmm

    • goskinsvt - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:17 PM

      Strasburg – #5 in the MLB with 2.35 ERA, #9 in strikeouts
      Lee – #9 in WHIP,
      Halladay – ok, not having the year we’re all used to, but still easily a top 5 pitcher
      Chapman – 0.30 ERA, 0.60 WHIP

      Who the hell came up with this list?

  5. The Rabbit - Jun 8, 2012 at 3:59 PM

    Re Barry Zito-It looks like the players confused overrated with overcompensated.

  6. droogleeddie - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Uh, there are certainly overrated pitchers on here, but a lot of these guys are legitimately good.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Well, you usually have to be good to be overrated.

      Of course, Zito is a complete anomaly here.

      I think every big-name closer not named Mariano Rivera should be on this list, personally. The whole position’s overrated.

  7. nategearhart - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:15 PM

    I don’t get this…I would understand something like “worst stadium” or something like that, but dogging on each other behind each other’s backs…lame. I get why the vermin – sorry, reporters – ask, but I really wish ballplayers would refuse to do it.

    • WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:42 PM

      I agree that I don’t get the point.

      They should do a list on overrated journalists instead. I want a list explained to me as to why Jon Heyman gets a paycheck.

    • dwrek5 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:51 PM

      3 players most unlikely to respond to this… Jeter, Pujols, Hunter

  8. riverace19 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    You can still be good and overrated. Thanks for the Wilson #1… I’ve always thought that way. I don’t agree with Strasburg on this list, and I’m still withholding analysis on Lincecum until we see more than 1/3 of his season. I think CC Sabathia deserves mention here. Without his run support he would probably be about .500 on his W-L.

    • churchoftheperpetuallyoutraged - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:49 PM

      .500 for CC, really? Last three years he’s pitched in the toughest division in MLB. 92 pitchers have pitched over 450 innings since ’09. Here is CC’s ranks in each category (AL in parenthesis)

      W – 66 – tied 1st (tied 1st)
      L – 26 – tied 18th (tied 6th)
      IP – 790.1 – 4th (3rd)
      ERA – 3.23 – 15th (5th)
      FIP – 3.29 – 11th (3rd)
      fWAR – 20.6 – 5th (2nd)

      So since ’09, he’s had the 4th most IP in all of baseball, the 11th best FIP (3rd in AL) and 5th best fWAR (2nd in AL), and you think he’d be a .500 pitcher if he didn’t get the support from the Yankees?

      What are you smoking, and could you please pass some?

  9. ezthinking - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:18 PM

    Easily the most confusing list ever.

  10. stlouis1baseball - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:32 PM

    Alright…after seeing Strasburg, Lee, Hamels and Halladay on the list I am putting ZERO stock in this “players poll.” Are you sure it wasn’t a Mascot poll?

  11. shaggylocks - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:37 PM

    Teams assign value to players by how much they pay them, so I’m not surprised players are equating overrated with overpaid. At the end of the day it’s all about how much money you take home (i.e. how much your team values you), not what some sports writers are saying about you.

  12. xmatt0926x - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    I’m sorry. All you have to do is go through this list to see the flawed thinking of the players who voted. I’m a pretty cynical guy and I don’t fall in love with players like most fans do but right off the top of my head how can you even determine that Strasburg is overrated at this point? He hasn’t pitched for that long and to me he’s lived up to the hype so far. Halladay? Yeah, I’m a Phillies fan but come on. It can’t be based just on this years injury induced lack of dominance. Take his last 6 or 7 years into account and how could you possibly call him overrated? I can kind of see Cliff Lee. He’s an ace but it’s different from Halladay. At Halliday’s worst he will grind out a 3 or 4 earned run game whereas Cliff Lee will dominate for a stretch then be very weak for a 3 or 4 game stretch. something tells me there’s a tinge of jealousy of the attention these guys get mixed in there. Don’t get the Barry Zito thing either. He hasn’t been perceived to be a good pitcher for several years now. How can he be overrated?

  13. xmatt0926x - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:47 PM

    **tinge of jealousy about salary too. Let’s face it.

  14. brewcrewfan54 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I think some of the players polled confused overrated with overhyped.

    • brewcrewfan54 - Jun 8, 2012 at 4:57 PM

      You know, the guy at work who you know is good at his job but you’re sick of hearing from everyone about how good he is.

  15. charlutes - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    I love when pbt reports SI stories and in the same breath hints that they are garbage. Who’s really envious?

    • skeleteeth - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      Whoa, whoa, whoa buddy. This is hard-hitting journalism, all based in fact.

    • jimbo1949 - Jun 8, 2012 at 5:35 PM

      pbt? Pro Basketball Talk???
      Wrong church, wrong pew!

  16. Ari Collins - Jun 8, 2012 at 6:47 PM

    But if you play the game, you understand it better than anyone. That’s why the coaches and managers do such a good job with the Gold Glove awards, too.

  17. motherscratcher23 - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:18 PM


    I will not click.

    Sometimes a man just has to make a stand.

  18. Jonny 5 - Jun 8, 2012 at 8:42 PM

    Maybe some players got highly rated, lower rated, and overrated mixed up? I’m not sure they understood the question seeing their answers.

  19. phillyphreak - Jun 8, 2012 at 9:36 PM

    Remember, players know best because they play the game.

  20. dirtyharry1971 - Jun 9, 2012 at 2:09 AM

    want overrated? just look at any of the bluejay so called prospects like drabek, snyder, ect

  21. brianc6234 - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:59 AM

    The player polls are dumb. Do they even know what they’re talking about? There was another about most underrated players and they said Howie Kendrick of the Angels. I guess they haven’t watched him this year because he hasn’t been very good. I agree with a lot of the pitchers on this list but C.J. Wilson doesn’t belong on that list. He’s been great so far this year. They must think he’s overrated because of sucking in the playoffs. Maybe that horrible Texas heat wore him out by the playoffs. He doesn’t have that problem anymore.

  22. doctora49 - Jun 9, 2012 at 3:27 PM

    Silly article by SI. Just will motivate, Wilson, etal.

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