5 Most Underrated American League Players
The players I have empathy for, the ones nobody looks at. Instead we track A-Rod's every move when we miss out on all the unnoticed and unappreciated talent in the AL. Because it is all-star season I felt like the time was right to acknowledge the unacknowledged.
While gathering the 5 names I noticed an obvious trends. They were all except one from small-market teams, they were all over-shadowed by somebody, and all having career years.
#5 Juan RIvera
He is young and overlooked. He is on track for 29 home runs and 97 RBIs. He is also hitting .302 which is higher than Evan Longoria or Nick Markakis.
#4 Adam Lind
Lind is a DH which may be part of the reason why is getting such little credit for the season he is having. If he keeps up the good work he could hit 35 home runs and drive in 110 runs. He is getting all this great work done while getting on base 46% of the time.
#3 Luke Scott
Even some die-hard baseball fans don't know the name Luke Scott. Although he is not putting together MVP numbers, he is on pace for 37 home runs!
He got a late start to the season, so he's only played in 59 games. His solid bat has given him a .954 OPS.
Although he is not eligible to be among the league leaders, his .954 OPS would be good for 5th in the league, ahead of Mark Teixeira and Torri Hunter.
#2 Russel Branyan
Outdone by stars Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis in the all-star balloting his numbers are, in my opinion second-best to Justin Morneau among any AL 1st basemen. He has already hit 19 home runs and hitting a more than respectable .298.
#1 Ben Zobrist
This was by far the easiest slide to make. Zobrist, overshadowed by Pena and Longoria, leads the AL with OPS. Due to his keen eye, he adds over .100 points to his average to get his .419 on base-percentage. The 28-year-old is well on his way to 35 home runs and 100 RBIs. So... congratulations Ben?