There are some position players in Major League Baseball who are not considered “household names”, but have proven they deserve respect after their 2016 campaigns. These players comprise the 2016 All-Underrated Team.
2016 All-Underrated Team
J.T. Realmuto, Miami Marlins
Realmuto quietly finished third in hits and average among all qualifying catchers, with only Yadier Molina and Wilson Ramos finishing ahead of him. The Marlins should be ecstatic about the future of their 25-year-old catcher.
Mike Napoli, Cleveland Indians
If you start for a World Series team, you must be doing something right. There is no way the Indians are the American League champions without Napoli. Napoli produced a 2016 season in which he reached career-highs in home runs (34) and RBI (101). In addition, the clubhouse presence Napoli brought to Cleveland this year cannot be understated. He quickly emerged as the team’s leader. The underdog Napoli may have settled for a one-year deal with Cleveland this past offseason, but look for Napoli to get a nice payday this winter.
Cesar Hernandez, Philadelphia Phillies
One of the most unknown speedsters in the game, Hernandez racked up 161 hits this season with Philadelphia. The 26-year-old finished the season as the Phillies team leader in batting average (.294) and OBP (.371). Hernandez is only going to improve and should be the second baseman for many years to come in Philadelphia.
Jonathan Villar, Milwaukee Brewers
Villar was phenomenal for the Brewers, as he led the team in hits (168) and OBP (.369). Villar also led all of baseball in stolen bases, with a whopping 62. Villar should be mentioned among Francisco Lindor, Corey Seager, Xander Bogaerts, and Carlos Correa as the best crop of young shortstops.
Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Indians
The most underrated player in all of baseball, Ramirez had a sensational 2016 season. Ramirez finished top-five in many hitting categories for third baseman: hits (176), doubles (led all third baseman with 46), stolen bases (22), and batting average (led all third baseman at .312). Ramirez brings a ton of energy to the ballpark day-in and day-out. Ramirez will become a “household name” very, very soon.
Charlie Blackmon, Colorado Rockies
Blackmon had yet another stellar season in Colorado, as he led all qualifying outfielders with a .324 batting average. Blackmon also finished second among that group with 187 hits. The six-year vet is consistently one of best outfielders in the game, but he is also consistently one of the most underrated players in the league.
Ender Inciarte, Atlanta Braves
It seems as if Inciarte has found a home in Atlanta. The 25-year-old emerged as one of the better all around outfielders in the game. Inciarte managed to hit .291 with 152 hits for the Braves. Look for Inciarte to join the likes of Dansby Swanson as part of the young Atlanta core to take over the new SunTrust Park in 2017.
Stephen Piscotty, St. Louis Cardinals
Piscotty is an outfielder who possesses both speed and strength. The youngster has Cardinals fans drooling over his potential after slugging 22 homers this season. Piscotty fits in exactly with the Cardinals culture. Expect many playoff games in his future.