Judgment Year for Yasiel Puig Approaches
by Jeff J. Snider | @snidog
Sometime in the next month or two, we can expect to see Sports Illustrated‘s latest list of “Most Overrated Baseball Players,” as voted on by the players themselves. Derek Jeter used to “win” this award, partly because he actually was overrated in certain aspects of his game (which paradoxically led to him being underrated in other parts) and partly because the other 749 players in baseball were jealous of him. Then Jeter got old and Bryce Harper showed up, and there was a new whipping boy for the overrated crowd. But last season, Harper turned into the player people have been expecting since he was 14, and he’s going to have to come back down to earth before anyone can, with a straight face, make the overrated claim about him.
Aside: I don’t like the word “overrated,” mostly because it has no actual definition. It usually either means “Other people like this player more than I do,” or “I am inflating how good other people think this player is and then I have one specific stat that will show that he’s not really that good in one specific way.” We saw both with Jeter; most people who thought he was overrated either hated the New York Yankees or focused solely on his defense and ignored the fact that he was a legitimately great hitter.
So anyway, who will take Harper’s place on this year’s list? My guess is Yasiel Puig.