Power Ranking the Most Overrated MLB Players of the Last Decade

Joe TanseyFeatured ColumnistJune 15, 2013

Power Ranking the Most Overrated MLB Players of the Last Decade

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    If you asked any passionate sports fan what his or her favorite word in the dictionary is, "overrated" would be one of, if the, top answer. Overrated is a word that is constantly overused by fans as they chant it toward players and teams on a nightly basis.

    Unfortunately for the 10 Major League Baseball players on this list, they are fully deserving of the "overrated" chant.

    Here are 10 MLB players from the last decade who whole-heartedly deserve the title.

10. Andrew Miller

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    Many high first-round draft picks fail to live up to their potential in the minors, but Andrew Miller has done that at the major league level since 2006.

    The sixth overall pick of the Detroit Tigers in 2006 was thrust into the spotlight in the same year in the Motor City.

    However, things failed to click for Miller in the Motor City, and he was packaged along with fellow top prospect Cameron Maybin in the Miguel Cabrera deal with the Marlins in 2007.

    After three disappointing seasons in South Florida, Miller tried to revive his career with the Red Sox and has worked well as a reliever in Boston so far.

    Despite his relative success in Boston, Miller has not turned into one of the game's elite pitchers like he was supposed to be back in 2006.

9. J.D. Drew

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    J.D. Drew will be remembered best as a member of the 2007 World Series-winning Boston Red Sox team, but he could have been remembered as much more than that.

    Drew, who won the 1997 Dick Howser Trophy at Florida State, had a jinxed career from the start after he spurned the Phillies to sign with the Cardinals after the 1998 MLB draft.

    In his 14 major league seasons, Drew hit more than 30 home runs just four times and only once, in 2006 with the Dodgers, did he record over 100 RBI.

    Drew's best overall seasons came in contract years in 2004 with Atlanta and in 2006 with the Dodgers, but other than that he was just an average outfielder.

8. Mark Prior

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    If there was ever a perfect example of a player that could have turned into a star in the last decade but did not, it was Mark Prior.

    Prior spent five seasons in the majors with the Cubs and excelled in the 2003 and 2005 seasons.

    Since his impressive entrance into the majors, Prior became a poster boy for injuries. The now-32-year-old has signed minor league contracts with numerous ballclubs, but he has failed to come back to the majors with any of those teams.

    Prior was also the poster boy for players who had plenty of attention coming out of the collegiate ranks who failed to cement themselves as consistent major league pitchers.

    In the year where everything fell apart for Prior, which was 2006, he went 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA.

7. Jason Heyward

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    Everyone remembers when Jason Heyward burst onto the Major League Baseball scene during Opening Day 2010 when he hit a home run in his first at-bat against the Chicago Cubs.

    Now that home run seems like a distant memory after Heyward's continuous struggles at the plate over the last three seasons.

    Heyward fell victim to the sophomore slump in 2011 when he hit .227 and drove in just 42 runs in 128 games.

    The 23-year-old right-fielder seemed to turn things around in 2012 when he hit 27 home runs and drove in 82 runs, but he has found his way back into a slump this season.

    While Heyward does have plenty of time to turn his career around, he may not have time to do that in Atlanta if his poor play continues.

6. B.J. Upton

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    Speaking of struggling players who currently reside on the Atlanta roster, B.J. Upton is going through a slump of outstanding proportions at the moment.

    That slump has coincided with the constant criticism he received after making his big-money signing with the Braves during the offseason.

    While Upton did have two successful years in 2011 and 2012, the flaws in his game were still there—and they have come back to haunt him in his first year outside of the Tampa Bay organization.

    Upton's high propensity for striking out—he had struck out over 150 times in each of his last four seasons—and inconsistency at the plate have made him a perfect choice for the overrated tag.

5. Ubaldo Jimenez

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    Ubaldo Jimenez also experienced plenty of struggles in the process of switching leagues.

    After he thrived in Colorado of all places as a starting pitcher from 2008 to 2010, he was sent packing to Cleveland, where he has lost control of his stuff.

    The starting pitcher of the 2010 All-Star Game has shown at Cleveland that his time in Colorado was just a fluke.

    Jimenez's delivery and control have not been the same since his move to the Indians in the middle of the 2011 season, and it looks like he will not respond well to his continued struggles.

4. Carl Crawford

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    Carl Crawford is rapidly becoming the position-player version of a player who had talent, but became ravaged by injuries.

    Since Crawford's big-money move to the Red Sox in 2011, he has been a shell of the player he was during the first seven years of his career in Tampa Bay.

    Crawford was so bad in Boston that he was shipped off to the Dodgers last summer in a blockbuster trade involving plenty of other big names like Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez.

    If Crawford continues to fall victim to the injury bug, he will most likely become another baseball tale of how the Tampa Bay organization let a player go at the perfect time.

3. Ryan Howard

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    Ryan Howard was the man in the National League from 2006 to 2009, but since then he has gone from burgeoning superstar to an oft-injured veteran.

    Many fans can point to his torn Achilles injury during the 2011 NLDS against the Cardinals as the turning point in his career, and rightfully so.

    While some of the great players of the game have been able to recover from such injuries to thrive for a few more seasons, Howard has become a walking version of the strikeout instead.

    Howard's strikeout problems have been well-documented, but so have his struggles in clutch situations.

    If you ask any Philadelphia fan, they will likely fail to associate the word clutch with Howard's name in any sentence.

2. Alfonso Soriano

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    Believe it or not, the 37-year-old Alfonso Soriano is still wasting away in the Chicago Cubs lineup.

    For a player who had such promise and was signed for such large amounts of money, Soriano has failed to live up to his big-name player potential.

    In his 15 seasons, Soriano has failed to make the All-Star team more times (eight) than he has made the team for the Midsummer Classic (seven).

    Soriano has also failed to deliver the Cubs to the promised land as their so-called offensive superstar.

1. Alex Rodriguez

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    Call him what you want, A-Rod, A-Fraud or just a plain cheater, but Alex Rodriguez has slowly earned the title of most overrated player of the last decade.

    Instead of becoming the game's biggest superstar, the 37-year-old third baseman has turned into the game's biggest villain.

    No matter what Rodriguez does at this point in his career, he seems to be able to do nothing right.

    The claims of being overrated have haunted Rodriguez for quite some time, and now that he has been under the shadow of steroid usage for years, his achievements in the game that include 647 home runs have been further put under the microscope.

     

    All statistics obtained from baseball-reference.com.