Who is the most over-rated baseball player?

As it is almost playoff time, I thought this could be a fun thread to pursue… But lets leave it at ACTIVE players only… leave the dead and/or retired out of it.

My first vote would go to Ken Griffey Jr. He’s a great player, as long as things are going well for his team, but when they don’t he turns into a major league whiner, which does nothing but piss off his teammates a,d cause team moral to slump. ‘Positive leadership’ doesn;t seem to be in his vocabulary (OK, it’s not in ANYONE’s dictionary, but you know what I mean:) )

Roger Clemens.

He’s just not a clutch pitcher. He one of the best when there’s no pressure, but he’s not clutch. And I don’t care if he gets 10 more rings, I’ll never think of him as a Yankee.

Johnny Evers is in the Hall of Fame almost completely because of a bad poem he was mentioned in. He is utterly unqualified.

Don SUtton comes to mind, too. At NO time in his entire career was he the best pitcher on his own team, let alone one of the 10 best pitchers in the game. But by going 14-13, or 15-14 every year for a loooong time, he wound up in the Hall of Fame. Mediocrity is mediocrity, and it doesn’t become greatness if you keep it up for 2 decades.

I’ll have to agree that Ken Griffey Jr. is the most overrated. Anyone notice how the season after the M’s dumped Griffey, the team starts to win? Ironic how he wanted to be traded to a team where he’d have a chance at being on a winning team…

No question: Kevin Brown.

If you AREN’T basing this on his contract (I agree paying a pitcher that old that much money over 7 years is nuts), you’ve GOT to be kidding.

All told Brown, with a 13-6 record, and a 2.56 ERA, is having as good a year as stud pitchers Maddux (19-8, 2.91) and probably a better year than Glavine (20-9, 3.47).

ERA is as true a measure of pitcher effectiveness as any other stat (my opinion, but the opinion of a LOT of other very knowledgeable baseball fans). It’s true that Brown gets a bit of an ERA advantage because pitching in Dodger Stadium is more forgiving on pitcher ERAs than Turner Field.

But there’s a related point: Glavine and Maddux have better won loss records because the Braves are much better than the Dodgers, and they probably get better run support.

Please note that I’m not a particular fan of Kevin Brown (other than the inevitable acknowledgement that he’s a very good pitcher, albeit one that’s getting old), and I’m CERTAINLY NOT SAYING that Glavine and Maddux are overrated. But I don’t think Brown is THE MOST overrated (I might even say he IS overrated, just not “the most”) unless you’re using his salary as a measurement (in which case, I believe Maddux and Glavine would be every bit as overrated if they were being paid as much)

Personally, I believe the most overrated player is someone who has a starting job or rotation slot but probably should be a bench player or reliever: Tom Goodwin, Dante Bichette and Vinny Castilla come to mind.

I was* basing it on his salary. I take a player’s salary is a numerical expression of the the amount of faith and the level of expectation that a team’s management has for that player. If an athlete is paid well, he should play well. If an athlete is paid extremely well, as Brown is, he should play extremely well. In fact, he should be the most dominating player in his position in the whole darned league. But Brown isn’t.

If an athlete can’t perform up to the level of play his salary implies he can, then he has no business negotiating or accepting big-money contracts.

I don’t remember what kind of contracts he had with San Diego and Florida, but I bet they were nowhere near what he’s getting in LA. I doubt he’s that many times better than he was as a Padre or Marlin.

Couldn’t dig anything up, but I was interested in seeing whether Brown’s six losses this season were at home or on the road.

Brown was a poor investment by the wrong team. He has about ten decisions less than both Glavine and Maddux, which tells me that he’s either not getting enough run support, or the bullpen is losing games for him (or even both). Now, a good pitcher is a waste of money if he doesn’t have a supporting cast of strong pitching, decent defense, and consistent hitting to back him up. It’s up to management to provide that supporting cast. Investing that much money in one player, especially one who plays only once every five days, is just plain retarded. It left the Dodgers with little money left to keep the good players they did have, and and it left them with nothing to lure good players away from other teams.

IIRC Maddux is currently the highest paid pitcher, in terms of how much he makes per season; he’s just signed to a shorter contract. My Braves bias is showing: I think he’s worth it either way. :slight_smile:

Larry Walker is way overrated. I don’t care if he has been on the DL for most of the year, he should have alot better numbers for the games he has played.

Todd Helton and Walker and Bichette.

Definitely Griffey Jr too.

He’s so damn concerned with breaking Aaron’s record that he is letting it get in the way of his being possibly the best player ever.

Shall I nominate Albert (don’t call me Joey!) Belle as the most overrated; or just the most sullen and overall bad clubhouse presence in MLB?

If you’re going to base it on salary, I’ll help Audrey pick on the Dodgers and say Shawn Green. He’s a perfectly good player, better than average certainly, but $14 million a year? Give me a break.

BTW, Kevin Brown is overpaid, but he’s a great pitcher. He’s not overrated at all.

Oh, and on Griffey Junior: anyone else think it’s amusing that after he leaves Seattle the Mariners are one of the best teams in the AL, and the Reds are completely mediocre?

My dad dubbed him “Tinker”. I’ve been referring to him as that ever since.


There does seem to be a lot of confusion between overrated and overpaid here.

Some of the most overrated players currently playing have been mentioned here: Dante Bichette, Tom Goodwin, Vinny Castilla. I would also add Tony Womack and Garret Anderson.

The fact that any rational person considers Kevin Brown overrated is baffling. He is probably among the top three pitchers in the National League. He’s just one pitcher on a team that doesn’t help him much.

A player who also has been extremely overrated throughout his career, but beloved by all because he is a very nice person is Tony Gwynn. He has had a high batting average for his entire career, but adds very little to it as he draws few walks, hits few home runs, is very slow, and doesn’t field particularly well.

Not that anyone asked, the most underrated player is Barry Bonds, who is so good that it is scary (and I’m a Dodgers fan). However, people don’t like him personally and that has kept him from being lionized.

Two words: Coors Field (even though Bichette doesn’t play there anymore). All these Rockies power hitters are going to end up with asterisks in the record books like the one Roger Maris used to have.

lawoot opined: “My first vote would go to Ken Griffey Jr. He’s a great player, as long as things are going well for his team, but when they don’t he turns into a major league whiner, which does nothing but piss off his teammates a,d cause team moral to slump. ‘Positive leadership’ doesn;t seem to be in his vocabulary (OK, it’s not in ANYONE’s dictionary, but you know what I mean:) )”

Oh wow man, that hurts! I realize he hasn’t had a great year with the Reds, but I’ve seen him do some TREMENDOUS things. To call him the MOST overrated is a bit exaggerated, no?

All I can say is that I’m glad he’s not with Seattle this year! I’m rooting for Oakland!! Gooooo A’s!!!

One of my favorite baseball memories is going to a game about six or seven years ago and taunting ‘Joey’ Belle… My roommate and I started the ‘Joey’ chants going (we were sitting about six rows from the front, right behind his position), and pretty soon the whole outfield was doing it… managed to get him to flipp us off, probably the only time I’ve seen a player react to taunts (that I personally witnessed). Oh… and the taunts followed him to the infield bleachers when he would get get up to bat. One of his worst days at bat,a s I recall…

*Originally posted by AudreyK *

Well, I see where you’re coming from here, but I still disagree. For one thing, if your definition of overrated includes fans such as you and me, then salary has no bearing. WE didn’t set his salary. If you want to talk about being overrated by management, I MIGHT agree, EXCEPT that salaries aren’t really based on “faith” and “level of expectation”. They’re based on what the market happens to be at the time (for example if you’re the best free agent in a year where the free agent pool is likely to be weak, and more teams than usual in that given year are looking for that “final piece of the puzzle” to put them over the top, you might well get a heftier contract than a better player who gets his free agency in a softer market.

Also, there’s the whole concept of “leverage”. Andruw Jones is one of the best players in the game today, but he’s not going to nearly as much money as players not half as good as him. Why? Because they will be free agents, while Jones will not. They have more leverage. Some of the most valuable young commodities, like Rafael Furcal, are being paid baseball’s equivalent of minimum wage, because they don’t have enough service time to even be eligible for arbitration. There are a lot of other factors here, but my point is that salary is a very dubious measurement of who’s over- and under- rated.


This is all quite true. However, it has nothing to do with Brown’s being overrated. Actually, the Dodgers didn’t even overrate him, but the rest of their team: if the Dodgers were really as close to contention as they thought, Brown probably would have won them the division.

Of course Green isn’t worth $14 million–but, to be fair about this, I’m not sure he’s any more overpaid than Brown, if at all. (I don’t have their ages, lengths of the contracts, or Brown’s per year salary handy). It’s true that Brown’s significantly better than Green now, but measured over the length of the contract, Green might well outproduce him–Green is considerably younger and can be expected to hold his value better than Brown, who will be 41(!), when the contract ends. (On top of everything else, hitters tend to hold their value as they get older better than pitchers do).

I pretty much agree with everything that Bob says, except:

  1. I think that Garret Anderson isn’t as overrated as the others. He IS overrated, but he’s still a CF who hits for power, even if his on base percentage is putrid. I’d MUCH rather have him than the others mentioned in the same paragraph (MAYBE not Castilla).

  2. While I’ll agree that Bonds is underrated, I’m not sure that he’s not the most underrated player. My opinion is that it might be a guy who’s a steady reserve player, but is actually good enough to be a starter. Bonds is certainly a good choice but I think you can see what I’m driving at.

I feel obligated to point out to those who consider Kevin Brown the most overrated player in baseball, that he did end up leading the National League in ERA at 2.58. He was helped out in part by Randy Johnson getting shelled by the Giants in his last start.

Brown did his part for the Dodgers. Unfortunately, the 24 guys around him didn’t help him very much.

Dodger fans may wish to remember the words of LBJ in regard to Brown, “He may be a son of a bitch, but at least he’s our son of a bitch.”

I have a dispassionate interest in Ken Griffey and Roger Clemens. They are both a lock for the Hall of Fame. That doen’t mean that they are automatically deserving of the honor(see Rizzuto} but it usually means they were pretty damn good at their job.

Iawoot said

What does that have to do with his being overrated?

Soup said

What does that have to do with his being overrated?

These players, as examples, are two of the best at their craft over the lifespan of their careers, among active players. Personal prejudices don’t make them overrated.

Sorry. Guess you can tell I don’t think much of Clemens.

No arguing on Clemens’ stats - he’s put up Hall of Fame numbers. But IMHO, he’s mostly compiled those stats in non-pressure situations. It seemed to me that everytime the Yanks had an important game against the Red Sox or the Blue Jays, they would beat Clemens. And now that I’ve seen him up close for two seasons on the Yanks, my opinion hasn’t changed much. He’s the best there is when there’s no pressure, but I don’t recall him winning in the clutch. I know he won the last game of the World Series in 1999, but that wasn’t do or die. More telling was the way he was stomped at Fenway during the playoffs. If the Yankees make it to a seventh game in the World Series, I’d rather see the ball go to Petitte or Hernandez.

So, when I say Clemens is overated, it’s because I don’t think he’s as unbeatable or intimidating as he’s sometimes made out to be.