MLB Players Not Getting Enough Credit Right Now
One of the popular debates among sports fans is how one player gets all this attention while another player is forgotten even though that player is having a much better year. I like to refer to these discussions as the Rodney Dangerfield debate, who was famous for the line "I don't get no respect."
This article will try to right that wrong by focusing on players who are having an impressive start to the 2013 season but somehow are still forgotten. These are six players who are having stellar seasons but don't seem to get enough credit.
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Justin Verlander is the star on the Tigers staff but Max Scherzer has out-pitched him in nearly every category over the first two months. If you were to judge Scherzer based just on the stats, a case could be made that he is the second-best pitcher in the game right now.
He is second in Major League Baseball in wins (9), WHIP (0.82) and strikeouts (106). Not to mention he is one of only four pitchers who have yet to register a loss.
Now baseball is not played on a piece of paper and there probably aren't many fans who would pick Scherzer as their first choice in a must-win game. However, he has been a very good pitcher, and with Anibal Sanchez this team has the potential to have a tough three-man pitching staff when October rolls around.
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Carlos Gonzalez is over 500,000 votes behind leader Justin Upton in the NL All-Star voting; however, his batting average is 50 points higher than Upton's and he has three more home runs and 21 more RBI. The worst part about this is that CarGo is currently seventh among NL outfielders and behind players like Hunter Pence and Shin-Soo Choo.
Gonzalez burst onto the scene in 2010 when he had 34 home runs, 117 RBI and a .336 batting average. However, he seemed to be forgotten since then even though he put up respectable numbers with over 20 home runs, 85 RBI and 20 stolen bases each of the past two seasons.
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It is not surprising that Miguel Cabrera is currently leading the major leagues in a number of batting categories including batting average. However, it may be a surprise to hear that Yadier Molina is second in the majors and is actually only five points behind Cabrera with a .353 batting average.
When Molina got his break with the Cardinals, he was primarily known for his defense and being one of three Molina brothers who play in the MLB. Since that time though, he has really improved at the plate, especially the past two seasons when he has hit over .325.
Molina has become a key piece to the Cardinals with his improved output at the plate and his management of a talented pitching staff.
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Matt Harvey is the name right now as the next big thing, but righty Hisashi Iwakuma is having an unbelievable season in Seattle. Iwakuma is currently second in the majors with a 1.79 ERA and ahead of pitchers like Clayton Kershaw, Adam Wainwright and the aforementioned Matt Harvey.
With Felix Hernandez only 27 years of age, the Mariners could have an impressive pitching duo with the King and Iwakuma that could finally get them out of the bottom half of the AL West. It probably won't happen this year, but fans of baseball outside of the northwest need to take notice of Iwakuma.
After 14 starts he has 87 strikeouts to only 14 walks, and if he can continue these numbers he should improve his 7-1 record.
Cliff Lee has had some down years recently but is in the midst of a strong comeback campaign this year. The Phillies are hovering around .500, but Lee has been dominant with a 7-2 record and an ERA of 2.55.
Lee is only one of three pitchers with a record above .500 on the Phillies staff and has more wins than the Phillies' other big-name pitchers like Cole Hamels and the injured Roy Halladay. His stats to start the season are very similar to what he put up during the last two All-Star seasons he had in 2010 and 2011, but there has not been much fanfare around him this year.
Carlos Gomez has a batting average of .326 with 32 RBI and double-digit totals in home runs and stolen bases. He has been overshadowed by Jean Segura this season, which is understandable because he is having a great year for the Brewers.
The problem is that many seem to have completely forgotten about him. This is evident by him currently sitting in 12th among NL outfielders in the All-Star voting. He is behind players like Gregor Blanco and Matt Holliday who have not been close to Gomez's level through the first two months of the year.