Who's the most underrated Dodger this season? Subjective, I know. At ESPN, @dschoenfield said Maeda. I think I'd say Grandal.
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) August 11, 2016
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?
— happy online (@JulioN_FC) August 11, 2016
Pederson mainly because of the adjustments he has made this year.
— Ted (@ubermanofsteel) August 11, 2016
I agree, it's Grandal.
— Chris Pennington (@bpmdodger) August 11, 2016
— Donnie Facepalm (@donnie_facepalm) August 11, 2016
Maeda simply because I feel like he's he only pitcher who hasn't been on the DL this season
— Gus (@RoastedCacheux) August 11, 2016
I'm late to the party, but it's probably Pedro Baez. Err… Petey.
— (((Seeby Goldma))) (@TheDeliMan1) August 12, 2016
— KHB (@kbteach_1) August 12, 2016
the front office.
— Jack (@jkleinman34) August 11, 2016
the entire bullpen
— Blake (@BlakeW47) August 11, 2016
Kershaw. Ever since he unselfishly stepped aside, the Dodgers have been winning.
— Purple Drank (@purpledrank0) August 12, 2016
Grandal, Turner, Pederson, Maeda, Baez, and Wood are all good choices
— baseball masochist (@i_am_puddle) August 12, 2016
I have everyone perfectly rated. They didn't ask me.
— John G. Blanchard (@isednom) August 12, 2016