The question many baseball fans like to ask before each season is which players are the most overrated players in the game. The 2015 MLB season will be no different, as we will take a look at the most overrated players in the National League in this article as well as the American League in a later article.
As far as the measurements we will use to determine which players are overrated we will look at a few key areas. The first area we will look at is how much a player might be making per season. For example a player hitting just .250 making under a million dollars might not make the list while a player making $10 million dollars hitting .250 would make the list.
The next measurement we will look at is how a player is performing based on how much hype might be associated with a specific player. This typically relates to the younger ball players who have a ton of praise or promise coming up from the minor leagues.
The last measurement is more of an overall measurement of how well this player has performed for his career. For example a lifetime .305 hitter who might have seen his numbers dip for the first time last season. The game of baseball is one of the most difficult sports to play so we can all let one slump get a pass.
Here is our list of most overrated ball player in the National League.
Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals: The Nationals outfielder is just 22 years old but based on how much hype he had coming up through the Minors he hasn’t lived up. This also includes a front page landing spot on Sports Illustrated at the age of 15 to help build up this hype
One of Harpers main issues since joining the club in 2012, is his ability to stay healthy and on the baseball field. In each of the past two seasons, Harper failed to appear in 120 games. This is the one main reason we haven’t seen Harper hit his full potential as well as an increase in his statistics.
Last season in just 100 games, Harper finished with an .273 average but saw a career low in home runs at 13 in 352 at bats. Harper also saw his strikeouts grow to 104 only six fewer then his career high. That is a major concern since he struck out 120 times in 533 plate appearances as a rookie.
Melvin Upton, Atlanta Braves: Yes you might not have ever heard of this ball player but you actually have. Melvin Upton is no other than outfielder BJ Upton who decided to go back to his full name in 2015. The Braves outfielder simply lands on this list based on his production on the field compared to that crazy five year $72 million dollar contract he signed in 2013.
Upton is entering the third year of that deal is expected to make $15,050,000 this season after making just over $14 million last season. In his first two seasons in Atlanta, Upton has failed to hit over .210, hit 20 home runs or drive in 60 runs.
The salary along with his production this off-season opened up the possibilities the club would look to move him but no team would take on the contract.
Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies: Howard is another one of those ball players who landed a hug contract and hasn’t lived up to the hype the past few seasons. The Phillies first baseman is the fourth highest paid player in all of baseball in 2015 with a $25 million dollar salary.
Since signing that contract, Howard has hit just 48 home runs over the past three seasons after six straight seasons with over 31. Howard has also struggled to reach the 100 runs batted in mark as well as a .250 batting average. All of these have also attributed to a slugging percentage of .380 in 2015.
The good news for Phillies fans he did see an increase of both home runs and runs batted in 2015. The bad news is the club attempted to trade him away this off-season but couldn’t find a potential landing spot.
Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies: Lee joins his teammate as one of the most overrated players in the National League. Yes Lee has pitched well in the postseason but if he can’t stay healthy to pitch the Phillies to that point what good is he to any rotation.
Lee like Howard is expected to make $25 million dollars this season which is the third highest salary of all starting pitchers. This is something that is hard to believe since he has only won 24 games over the past three seasons with the club. Not all of his results are directly based on his success as he has finished with a 3.65, 2.87 and 3.16 earned run average in each of those seasons.
Nonetheless any player making that kind of money should finish in the top of every major statistic.
Carl Crawford, Los Angeles Dodgers: The former Tampa Bay Rays star has not been able to put it all together in his stints with the Dodgers as well as the Boston Red Sox. Much of that has to due with his ability to stay healthy in each of the past three seasons appearing in a high of 116 games in 2013. Last season Crawford finished with only 105 games played and second lowest total in the past 11 seasons.
Overall Crawford saw his production pick up at the plate finishing with a .300 batting average to go along with 46 runs driven in. The downside is Crawford is the 21st highest paid players in Major League Baseball something that can’t be blamed on the Dodgers since he signed this deal with the Boston Red Sox.