When you’re looking at your 2008 fantasy baseball draft board, it will be imperative to locate the players where you are going to get the best value. Whether it’s in the first round or the tenth. You want to avoid the overrated players, because they will invariably go too high and focus in on the underrated ones. Or simply the rated ones. If this reads vaguely familiar, it’s because I’m cribbing Chuck Klosterman’s Spin magazine article from 2004:

If you are the kind of person who talks about music too much, there are two words that undoubtedly play an integral role in your workaday lexicon: “overrated” and “underrated.” This is because those two sentiments pop up in 90 percent of all musical discussions.

He goes on to list bands that are overrated (Wilco, Sonic Youth) or underrated (Duran Duran, Tortoise), coming finally to bands that simply rated, which are no more or less than their reviews (The Beatles). Klosterman’s sentiment also applies for fantasy baseball. Let’s look at some overrated, underrated and rated players.

Every New York Yankee, except Arod, Robinson Cano and Melky, is overrated. Arod is simply rated, he should go first and, on average, he will. Cano is more interesting example. I think because he tends not to steal and his average was fluky two years ago, he gets overlooked. As pointed out in the top twenty 2nd basemen to draft, he should be going slightly higher than he will. Melky Cabrera tends to get overlooked. Perhaps after this year that will change. Jeter, Posada, Hughes, Wang, Abreu, Damon, Chamberlain, et al are overrated.

Carl Crawford went from overrated in 2007 to underrated this year. People got sick of waiting for the 25/50 season forgetting that he still is very much in his prime.

Ryan Braun is the most overrated player heading into the 2008 season. Why he’s being hailed as the Messiah’s first born is dissected here.

Delmon Young is underrated on his way to being overrated. After this season, people will remember what a talent he is and forget his B.A.

Jonathan Papelbon
is oddly rated. I say oddly because he’s the best closer in the game, he’s on the Red Sox (a hype machine) and he’s young. I would think he’d be overrated. Perhaps it’s because people underrate closers than overrate Papelbon making him rated. Maybe people don’t like his dance moves.

Aaron Harang took three years to get rated. Previously, he was underrated. I see no way he ever becomes overrated. His numbers on a contender would have had him overrated two years ago.

Every Japanese player is overrated.

Dave Roberts has been overrated for many years now (maybe because he was born in Japan). He’s oft-injured, pushing fifty years old and won’t get you the kind of steals you need for him to be a worthwhile draft pick.

The Padres pitching staff is underrated, even Peavy. Except home games in Coors, there’s no scary offense in the division. Two offenses (Giants, Dodgers) that are lacking and one offense that strikeouts at Dave Kingman rates (D-Backs). Then throw in home games in Petco, two other divisional pitching parks and facing the pitcher.

Mike Lowell went from rated to underrated to not rated at all to overrated in four years.

Every Rangers hitter is overrated. The ballpark is good, but the lineup is not. Josh Hamilton looks like he might be good, but he’s an injury risk. (Aside, Hamilton looks like he would know how to funnel a beer, but he doesn’t look like he’d smoke crack. Do frat boys smoke crack now? This wasn’t the case when I was in college. Weed — sure, blow — perhaps, heroin – figuratively I could see it, crack — not a chance. But I digress.)

Ryan Zimmerman is in for a lifetime of overrated-ness. I can feel it in my bones.

Every centerfielder who plays a great defense
is overrated. Aaron Rowand, it was two years ago he slammed into the centerfield fence. We get it; he hustles. Torii Hunter is injury-prone and doesn’t bat .300. Andruw Jones, nothing else needs to be written.

  1. Emmett Jones says:

    Couldn’t agree more on the Delmon Young part of the post. He is guaranteed to be overrated after this season is over.

  2. Who We Are says:

    A Rays 3rd baseman who hit 7 homers and had 34 RBIs that was drafted in probably every league. That’s overrated.

  3. Cobb says:

    Agree – Aaron Rowand sucks and Carl Crawford is being overlooked.

    Disagree – Ryan Zimmerman isn’t being rated all that highly yet. And I’m in the camp that thinks he will get better and outproduce some of those who are ranked ahead of him. Also, Ian Kinsler is one Ranger who I definitely do not think is overrated. 20/20 and a higher batting average than last year are in his future.

  4. Who We Are says:

    Zimmerman’s surgery has me worried.

    Good call on Kinsler. I like him too.

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