Jayson Stark has written a new book, which I won’t link to here for reasons I’ll state in a minute. In a nutshell, it’s about over-rated and under-rated players in the Major Leagues.
He has a column, basically designed to use the dotcom prowess of ESPN.com to promote his new book, which I will link to, here. Read the column, and if you want to buy the book, you had a much different reaction to the column than I did.
Anyway, in the column, Stark lists the top 10 over-rated players in the league. Here’s his list:
- Barry Zito
- J.D. Drew
- Andruw Jones
- Juan Pierre
- Bobby Abreu
- Brian Giles
- Alfonso Soriano
- Richie Sexson
- Bob Wickman
- Jeff Suppan
My problem with his list, even though I agree with several of the selections (Drew, Pierre and Sexson to name a few) is that he’s all over the place in his method for choosing them. Zito, he’s basically added to this list because he’s off to a bad start. Ditto Soriano, Jones, Abreu and to an extent, Drew. He goes a step further into irrelevancy with Drew, saying he’s over-rated because he’s never made an All Star Game. Uh, if a guy has amazing career numbers, and never makes an All Star Game, wouldn’t that make him under-rated?
I’m not sure who, besides Theo Epstein, actually rates J.D. Drew highly, but I guess that wasn’t included in the equation. Abreu was great for the Yanks last year, this year, he’s struggling. The criteria Stark uses for including him is a missing “Derek Jeter” gene. Soriano hasn’t lived up to his contract in the first two months of the season, so now he’s over-rated.
I can’t think of anyone who thinks Wickman is good. He was a cheap alternative for the Braves to fill a need, and he is what he is. He gets saves, but does it very ugly. Suppan is an innings-eater, again, I don’t think anyone considers him great. I don’t think there are any great illusions about what Andruw Jones is either: Great defense, good power, lots of Ks.
Pierre is definitely over-rated (Erin over at Blue Thoughts, is keeping track of Juan’s inneptitude, check it out). A lot of “speed” guys are, Pierre more than most because he had a couple of really good years. Sexson hasn’t lived up to the expectations, but again, this isn’t news to anyone. He’s a bust in Seattle, everyone knows it. Who’s rating him highly?
Giles doesn’t hit for power anymore. He doesn’t hit for power anymore because he’s playing in the most pitcher-friendly stadium in the league.
I was hoping for some deep statistical analysis when I saw the tease for this column on the front page of ESPN.com, not a quick hatchet job designed to get me to buy his book. The column had the opposite effect on me.