We fawn over the superstars of today, while forgetting about other great players who go unnoticed and are simply underrated. In attempt to shed more light on these special talents, here are the eight most underrated players in baseball.
8. Tyler Chatwood
You automatically go unnoticed if you are pitcher for the Colorado Rockies. However, the Rockies have a sneaky good pitcher on their hands in the form of Tyler Chatwood. In 27 starts last season, Chatwood went 12-9 with a 3.87 ERA. Those aren't ace-type numbers, but he pitched like one when he was away from Coors Field, posting an 8-1 record with a 1.69 ERA on the road. Colorado is a team to keep an eye on this season, and Chatwood is a key pitcher in making them a postseason contender.
7. DJ LeMahieu
DJ LeMahieu is an All-Star, a Gold Glover, and he led all big league players in batting average last season. And yet, the Rockies second baseman gets little recognition for his play. His power numbers (.495 slugging) may have been inflated last year because of Coors Field, but the man can flat hit and is a wizard with the glove.
6. Tanner Roark
Tanner Roark has been overshadowed by Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg in the Nationals rotation, but he's been just as dominant. You may be surprised, but Roark finished sixth in all of baseball in ERA (2.83) last season. Go figure. He doesn't blow you away on the radar gun, but he goes deep into games and doesn't allow many runs. That's the whole objective, right?
5. Christian Yelich
He doesn't get the notoriety like his teammate Giancarlo Stanton, but I'd go as far as to say Christian Yelich is the better player. And I'll go even further: Yelich is a future MVP candidate. Yelich started to tap into his power last season, finishing the year with 21 home runs and 98 RBI while posting an .859 OPS.
4. Ian Kinsler
Every baseball fan knows who Ian Kinsler is, but the veteran second baseman isn't appreciated enough. Last season he slashed .288/.348/.484 with 28 home runs and 83 RBI, and if you look at this career numbers, Kinsler could be on his way to Cooperstown someday. Even at the age of 34, Kinsler is one of the best second basemen in the game.
3. Kyle Seager
It's hard to do it, but Kyle Seager went incognito last year despite hitting 30 home runs and driving in 99 runs. He's a lethal middle-of-the-order bat and he can pick it over at third base. WAR isn't a perfect stat, but you're doing something right when you finish seventh (6.9) among all players in that category.
2. Jose Quintana
Jose Quintana's notoriety has risen simply because of all the trade talks surrounding him this offseason, but he doesn't get the recognition he deserves as one of the best pitchers in the sport. For four straight seasons, Quintana has reached the 200-inning mark while posting an ERA around 3.00, which is pretty darn good over in the American League. Maybe getting shipped to a contender this season will help his star power, but he's already one of the best lefties in the game.
1. Freddie Freeman
First base is one of the deepest positions in all of baseball, but the one guy constantly overlooked is Atlanta's cornerstone, Freddie Freeman. The Braves All-Star finished last year slashing .302/.400/.569 with 34 home runs and 91 RBI. Freeman was first among all first baseman in WAR (6.5), slugging percentage (.569) and extra-base hits (83). His club's struggles over the last couple of seasons haven't helped him get the recognition, but he can hit with the best of them and is an underrated defender. He's annual MVP candidate who nobody talks about. Very strange.