Overrated for 2009by Victor Wang
March 02, 2009
In this following article, I'm going to be looking at a few players who I think will be overrated in 2009. However, the whole concept of overrated and underrated depends a lot on your league construct. For example, if you're playing with friends from your hometown, players from your area may be valued more highly than normal. Thus, the following article will look at overrated players in general.
Ian Kinsler, 2B, Texas: Kinsler clearly has a great skill set with strong power and speed skills while playing a premium position. However, remember that Kinsler is still a guy who has yet to put together a full season worth of at bats. Kinsler has been around a late first round pick in most drafts I've seen. I think Kinsler just has too much risk to invest a first round pick in.
Evan Longoria, 3B, Tampa Bay: Longoria was very good in his major league debut last season and showcased some serious power skills. However, he's a guy who has still only played in one major league season, meaning there's less reliability with his projection. Additionally, there is some batting average downside with Longoria. With the risk he brings, I would make lean towards a guy like Aramis Ramirez over Longoria, even though Longoria might provide some additional upside.
Cole Hamels, SP, Philadelphia: Hamels has a tremendous skill set, one of the best in the game. However, he will be coming off a innings increase (don't forget the postseason innings he pitched). He definitely has the skill and talent of a starter who should be picked in the top three or four rounds. But is Hamels' injury risk something you want to take on that early?
Chris Davis, 1B/3B, Texas: I took a more in depth look at Davis in a past article. A lot of people will be tempted by Davis' power potential. However, like the guys mentioned before him, Davis carries quite a bit of risk. With the spots he has gone in in recent mock draft, I would try to avoid Davis. You can get power elsewhere without taking as much risk.
Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago (NL): Zambrano showed signs of his past workload catching up with him last year, and the injury risk with him still remains. He has another big warning flag with his declining strikeout rate over the last few years. All in all, Zambrano is guy whose skill set is not that impressive. When you combine this with his injury risk, Zambrano is a player who carries a lot of downside risk.
Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, Boston: On the surface, Matsuzaka had an excellent year last year with an 18-3 record and a sparkling 2.90 ERA. However, his skills really declined as his walk rate shot up and his strikeout rate went down. Overall, the skill set he has displayed over his first two major league seasons has not been that impressive. Many people have noted that Matsuzaka's approach last year was to try and avoid hard contact, which would help explain why he had such a low BABIP. However, it's really easy to fit a story to a past event. I wouldn't want to take the risk that would be involved with finding if Matsuzaka has a unique skill to help control his BABIP.
Jermaine Dye, OF, Chicago (AL): Dye has been pretty durable during his stay with the White Sox. In fact, he has been fairly durable for the last five years. However, Dye will be entering his age-35 season next year and his risk of collapse and injury only continue to climb as he gets older. You should be able to get a player with a little more upside and less risk, maybe someone like Andre Ethier, at a similar position as Dye.
Victor Wang's work on OPS has been featured in SABR's By the Numbers magazine, and was the 2007 recipient of SABR's Jack Kavanagh Memorial Youth Baseball Research Award. He can be reached via email here.
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