You tweet the call: Who’s the most underrated Dodger?
Over at ESPN.com, David Schoenfield selected the most underrated player on all 30 MLB teams. For the Dodgers, he picked Kenta Maeda, which isn’t a bad choice, given that Maeda is 17th in wins above replacement among National League pitchers, which in my book makes him a high No. 2 starter.
“Underrated” and “overrated” are subjective concepts, based not only on your evaluation of the player’s performance but also of how he is perceived, so there’s no clear right or wrong answer. For example, Schoenfield went with Kenley Jansen for most overrated Dodger, which seems very weird to me — and even Schoenfield said “I feel bad about this one.”
Anyway, for most underrated Dodger, my instinct was to go with Yasmani Grandal, because my sense is that there’s barely been any awareness in the city of Los Angeles, let alone the rest of the country, of how good he has been.
Corey Seager is a Rookie of the Year favorite who has steadily become an MVP candidate — he leads the NL in WAR today — but the secret is definitely out on him. Justin Turner’s prowess has been a bit more stealthy, but I’d still say he gets exponentially more attention than Grandal.
Another good choice might be Joc Pederson, who got his sophomore slump out of the way during spring semester of his freshman year. Pederson has shown nearly across-the-board improvement in 2016, with a higher OPS and adjusted OPS, lower strikeout rate and better defensive rankings.
At the pace he’s going, Pederson would become the youngest Dodger center fielder with an OPS+ of at least 120 since Duke Snider in 1950. Something tells me that very few people, especially on a national scale, really appreciate how much he has contributed in 2016 and how promising he remains.
But as you can see above, I ultimately decided to leave it up to you. Here are some of your replies to my tweet: Who’s the most underrated Dodger this season?