2011 MLB Preview: Cole Hamels and the League’s 25 Most Underrated Starters

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2011 MLB Preview: Cole Hamels and the League’s 25 Most Underrated Starters
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

What makes a professional athlete underrated?

The word has a multitude of interpretations; it's a matter of perception.

So when I constructed this list, I brainstormed what qualities make a pitcher underrated.

  • Overachiever- A pure competitor who wants the ball even if his stuff and physique is subpar.
  • Silent Assassin- Marvin Harrison is the perfect example here.  He never opened up his mouth; his hands did the talking.  These guys can easily be overlooked by the general public.
  • The Royal Syndrome- Quick, name me three Royals starting pitchers.  Now name three starters from the Yankees.  When you play for a bad, or small market team, you're not going to get the same media attention as the bigger market teams. 
  • Aces Wild- If you're not the ace of the staff, the focus isn't on you.  For example, Cliff Lee's pitching performances in last year's postseason were incredible, but the masterpieces from C.J. Wilson and Colby Lewis were underrated. 
  • Injuries- When a baseball player is not playing, he's not in the news.  When a player goes down for an entire season, that's a substantial amount of time away from the field.  Players can get forgotten over time.

Enjoy the list and please feel free to offer your opinions below. 

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