Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

You tweet the call: Who’s the most underrated Dodger?


Over at, 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.

PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES VS LOS ANGELES DODGERSAnother 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?


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  1. Libatore by far for me. Grandal isn’t a good enough catcher to be considered underrated.

    • jpavko

      We don’t have jonathan LUCroy or Yadier Molina. Get over it!

      • By definition a catcher should be able to catch the ball, Grandal is horrible at it (at least this year he has been). I like his bat however, so I’m just asking him to not be so bad at catching a pitch, or blocking a ball in the dirt, is that too much to ask? He was fine at this last year, but this year, he has looked like a High School catcher. I know he can be perfect at it, but he’s just been downright awful at it.

        • Jon Weisman

          I am not denying you your opinion.

          It is my opinion that throughout this season, dating back to Spring Training, you have fallen in love with negative hyperbole about the Dodgers. And it is my opinion that it’s tedious.

          It is also my opinion that you are completely ignoring Grandal’s pitch-framing skills, which consistently rank in the top 2-3 in baseball, and are certainly part of being a catcher. So yes, he can catch the ball.

          Dodgers are league average in wild pitches, and better than average in passed balls. Grandal has allowed six passed balls all year, out of more than 10,000 pitches.

          But I am not denying you your opinion. Making that clear, since you in the past you have interpreted my disagreement as an attempt to silence you.

      • I guess my eyes disagree with the stats. I remember I had this same problem about JD Drew, who wasn’t as good as the stats says he was by my eyes in his time with the Dodgers. Guess that’s the old school in me, not the sabermatic.

    • I’m trying not to be negative about the team, in fact I’m pleasantly surprised at how well they’ve played this year. I realized Grandal has the pitch framing skills, but there can;t be any denying at how bad at catching and blocking the ball he’s been this year. If you or others want to look beyond that, so be it. Personally I would like better from him in that area. So for me he’s not underrated.

      • Jon Weisman

        You say he’s like a high school catcher, and yet the stats show that he’s above the average Major Leaguer at catching the ball and average (at worst) in blocking the ball. So yes, it’s quite easy to deny “how bad.”

  2. Jon, I replied to your last comment, but it went up above.

  3. Have often wondered about trade offs between pitch framing and PB, both in terms of skills and values. BTW, Joc for me would be the most under rated.

  4. oldbrooklynfan

    I agree Grandal is the most underrated.

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