The 2015 Major League Season gets under way on April 5th allowing us enough time to take a look at the most underrated players in the National League. These ball players don’t make the enormous salaries and some of them don’t even get mentioned in the same breath as the big name stars.
That being said we have a few key areas we like to look at to determine if a player should be classified as a underrated ball player. The first one we look at is how much one of these players is making compared to the production on the baseball field.
The second area of production is how much recognition a player might get based on the production he had on the field. For example Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds made the All-Star team last year as well as participated in the Home Run Derby but many fans around the game still don’t know who he is.
The last area we will look at is the players career statistics as well as what to expect from this ball player in the near future. All three of these can help us point out some of the most underrated ball players in the game of baseball.
Here is our list of underrated players in the National League.
Neil Walker, Pittsburgh Pirates: The Pirates second baseman might be one of the tops in all of baseball but seems to find himself behind the likes of Brandon Phillips, Chase Utley and Robinson Cano. When you look at Walkers 2014 season, he finished third in the National League of all second baseman with a .271 average.
Walker also finished first in the National League with 23 home runs among second baseman as well as runner up to Chase Utley in the runs batted in category. The Pirates second baseman has everything you need in a second baseman to help your team produce year in and year out.
Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks: While Goldschmidt is slowly emerging as one of the top names in the game he still lacks the National recognition that some of the other star first baseman get despite putting up some stellar numbers. This is exactly why Goldschmidt lands on our list of underrated players in the National League.
Last season Goldschmidt saw a drop in production but that had to do with him being limited to just 109 gams after appearing in 160 the season before and 145 in his first full season. The Diamondbacks first baseman still hit 19 home runs to go with a .300 batting average and 69 runs batted in.
Devin Mesoraco, Cincinnati Reds: The Reds catcher might be the future of the National League after a terrific season in 2014. Mesoraco appeared in a career high 114 games last season posting career highs in home runs, doubles and runs batted in.
Along with his production at the plate, Mesoraco also played well behind the plate for the Reds. Now just 26 years old, Mesoraco has anchored himself into the category as one of the top offensive threats at the position in the National League.
Doug Fister, Washington Nationals: While Fister might not be the number one or two guy with the Nationals he did post some of the top pitching stats in the National League in 2014. That being said he is often forgotten about in a Nationals rotation that will now feature Max Scherzer, Stephen Strasburg, Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman.
Last season Fister finished in the top 10 in the National League in both wins with 16 and earned run average with a 2.41 in 164 innings pitched. If Fister can touch the 30-32 start mark in 2015 we could see his win total top the 20 win mark.
Lance Lynn, St. Louis Cardinals: Lynn might not get the recognition that his teammate Adam Wainwright commands but he was a key player in the teams success in 2014. The Cardinals starter posted a 15-10 record in 203.2 innings pitched for the team.
The wins total landed him with the eighth most in the National League while his 2.74 earned run average was good enough for ninth best in the division. This marks the third straight season Lynn has finished with at least 15 wins but saw his earned run average drop over a full point.
Lynn has also been a key member of the team’s rotation during their four-year stretch of making the playoffs. In that time, Lynn has posted a 5-4 record with three holds and a career post-season earned run average of 4.41 in that stretch.
Dee Gordon, Miami Marlins: The former Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman will not get a chance to produce for the Marlins in 2015. While Gordon brings a few different elements to Miami his base stealing abilities is the one that stands out the most.
Gordon finished with a National League best 64 stolen bases last season. This also helped him finish eighth in the National League in runs scored. Gordon’s flaw his lack of power but his ability turn a base hit or walk into a double gives his team an advantage to score a lot of runs.