10 Most Underrated MLB Players of All Time
Babe Ruth. Mickey Mantle. Ty Cobb. Hank Aaron.
These names are synonymous with the term "greatness". They are the most known names in the history of baseball, and rightfully so. These players, and other greats, have broken and still hold many dubious records in baseball, and are the greatest to ever play the game.
Other players, although just as good, are not as well known. They hit well, pitch well, and play just as well as other "legends" but for some reason the tremendous talent and achievements of these athletes have been forgotten for unknown reasons.
Here are the ten most underrated players in Major League Baseball.
10. Harry Heilmann
Let me tell you something...I've been a baseball fan my entire life and pride myself on my knowledge of old timers. But I had never heard even heard the name Harry Heilmann before finding out about him for this article.
Heilmann won four batting titles for the Tigers, batting over .390 each time and topping .400 once. Although not really a power hitter, Heilmann had over 100 RBI's in seven straight seasons starting in 1923. He placed in the top 10 in the MVP voting six times in his career, topping out at number two in 1927. He ended his career with 2,660 hits, 1,539 RBI, and a .342 average.
9. Edgar Martinez
During his 18-year career with the Seattle Mariners, Martinez made the All-Star team seven times and won the Silver Slugger five times. Martinez ended his career with a batting average of .312 and 309 home runs.
Martinez is one of only nine players in history with over 300 home runs, 500 doubles, a career batting average higher than .300, a career slugging percentage higher than .500 and a career on-base percentage higher than .400.
Martinez also won two batting titles in his career.
8. Ralph Kiner
Although his overall stats may not compare to others on this list, Kiner was one of the most underrated homerun hitters ever.
Kiner won the homerun title a total of seven times, twice surpassing a total of 50. He led in SLG three times, OBP once and RBI once. He came in top 10 in the MVP voting 5 times. Kiner ended his career with 369 homeruns, and 1015 RBI.
7. Al Simmons
Simmons was a phenomenal hitter during his career but was always overshadowed by his teammates, such as all-time great Jimmie Foxx, and one of the best catchers of all-time, Mickey Cochrane.
Simmons was a threat to hit for power, and average. He amassed 307 homeruns in his career, and had over 2900 hits. His best season, 1930, saw him hitting 36 HR, 165 RBI, with an average of .381. Simmons also won an RBI title and the batting title twice.
6. Grover Cleveland (Pete Alexander)
In Grover's first ten seasons, he compiled 235 wins, while losing just 114. His ERA was an amazing 2.06, and he also struck out over 1700 batters, and had 77 shut-outs.
He had an ERA under two a total of five times in his career, ending his amazing career with an ERA 2.56. He averaged around 20 wins a season, winning as many as 33 in 1916. He ended his career with a record of 373-208. The 373 wins are third all-time, behind Walter Johnson, and Cy Young.
5. Paul Waner
Of all the players to have eclipsed the famous 3000 hit mark, Waner is probably the least known.
Over the course of his year career, Waner had 3152 hits. He finished his career with a .333 batting average, winning a total of three batting titles. Waner won the MVP in 1927 with 237 hits, 131 RBI, and .380 average. "Big Poison", as he was called, also had eight seasons of 200 or more hits, showing how amazing of a hitter he really was.
4. Carl Hubbell
Carl Hubbell, as a pitcher won two MVP awards. One in 1933, when he went 23-12 with a 1.66 ERA and one in 1936, where he went 26-6 with a 2.31 ERA.
Hubbell won 20 games in five straight years from 1933-1937, topping out at 26. Hubbell ended his fantastic career with the Giants with a record of 253-154, an ERA of 2.98, and 1677 strikeouts.
Hubbell famously struck out future Hall of Famers Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin in succession during the 1934 All-Star Game.
3. Lefty Grove
Lefty won 20 games seven years in a row spanning 1927-1933 and topped out at 31 in 1931, a year he won the MVP award.
Grove also led the league in ERA nine times (most of any pitcher in history), and retired with a 300-141 record and 3.06 ERA.
Grove had 298 complete games and shutouts. He also led the league in strikeouts the first seven years of his career.
2. Frank Robinson
In his career, Robinson batted .294, hit 586 HR, good for ninth all-time, and drove in 1812 runs. Robinson also had 2943 hits in his illustrious career. In his rookie year, Robinson belted 38 homeruns, winning the Rookie of the Year award.
In his best year, 1966, a year in which he won his second MVP award, he led the league in almost every single offensive category, including home runs, RBI, OBP, SLG and OPS.
Robinson was an amazing hitter whose name deserves to be said among the likes of Ruth, Mantle, Williams and others.
1. Stan Musial
Stan Musial is one of the 10 greatest players in baseball history. Not only did Musial have an amazing stat line (.331, 475 HR, 1951 RBI), he also won three World Series rings.
In 22 Major League seasons, Musial was an All-Star 20 times, an MVP three times, and a batting champ seven times. He amassed over 3630 hits in his career, and has the third most doubles ever with 725. He also had over 200 hits in a season six times, with 230 being his most.