There are plenty of guys around Major league Baseball that don’t get enough credit, hence why I am making up this team. Simply put, I find it unjust that baseball fans are salivating over outfielders like Bryce Harper (currently hitting .219) while lower names ,like Eddie Rosario of the Twins, continue to tear it up. So, to give credit where credit is due, here is my 2018 MLB All-Underrated Team.
Catcher: Francisco Cervelli, Pittsburgh Pirates: Acquired from the Yankees, Cervelli primarily served as a backup. Once he got to the Steel City, Cervelli ended up taking over the starting gig. Since that time Cervelli has been able to lead a rotation of young guns while providing professional at-bats towards the bottom of the order, which has helped him set a personal record of 9 homers in a season despite playing in only 52 2018 games.
First Base: Jose Martinez, St. Louis Cardinals: Martinez showed promise last year and has continued to do so in 2018. Hitting .321 with a .906 OPS, Martinez has become an integral piece to the middle of the Cards order with players like Matt Carpenter struggling and Paul DeJong ending up on the disabled list. Still, for some reason no one is talking about the 29-year-old.
Second Base: Scooter Gennett, Cincinnati Reds: When the Reds snatched up Gennett after the Brewers cut him, I am almost positive they didn’t see this coming. In 210 games in Cincy, Gennett has hit .310 with 39 homers. 12 of those 39 have come in 2018 (in only 69 games) and coming from second base that is some serious production.
Third Base: Eugenio Suarez, Cincinnati Reds: Another Red! Even though they are terrible, Cincy still has a formidable lineup. Suarez was acquired from the Detroit Tigers for pitcher Alfredo Simon and it has sure paid off. Suarez has been solid in two full seasons with the Big Red Machine but in 52 games in 2018 Suarez has been able ultra-effective. He has more homers than Nolan Arenado despite the fact Arenado has 43 more at-bats. Pretty impressive.
Shortstop: Jean Segura, Seattle Mariners: While middle infielders like Javier Baez and Carlos Correa get all the attention, Segura has quietly been one of the best offensive shortstops in the MLB for a little bit. Currently hitting .340 for a surging Mariners squad, Segura should receive more attention than he has garnered.
Outfield: Eddie Rosario, Minnesota Twins: I don’t know how he is doing this, but Eddie rosario is balling out. I don’t even have to write anything; just look at this tweet and my reasoning for him on this list will be explained.
Brandon Nimmo, New York Mets: Due to injuries, Nimmo has been able to take a spot in the Mets outfield rotation showing his speed, power, and defense. With only 168 at-bats this year, Nimmo owns a 2.1 WAR, which ranks higher than the likes of Justin Upton, Giancarlo Stanton, Starling Marte, and Marcell Ozuna.
David Peralta, Arizona Diamonbacks: Peralta has shown flashes over the past few years, but injuries have derailed this “freight train”. This year is a little different. Peralta boasts a .506 slugging percentage (higher than Charlie Blackmon and George Springer) which helped the D-Backs stay on track while Paul Goldschmidt figured out his early-season-issues.
Starting Pitcher: Blake Snell, Tampa Bay Rays: It’s hard for players on the Reds, Twins, and rays to get their names around the league. They aren’t the “sexy” teams. But that doesn’t mean Snell’s pitching hasn’t been hot as hell. 10 more strikeouts than innings pitched with a 2.58 ERA while pitching in the American League East is very impressive for the 25-year-old who has overtaken Chris Archer as the ace of Tampa.
Reliever: Tony Watson, San Francisco Giants: There are so many relievers to choose from so this was by far the hardest choice to make. I chose Watson because he owns a 1.91. ERA this year with 16 holds after sputtering a little back in 2017. Watson has been a solid set-up man for his career and has been a key piece to the Giants bullpen that has been a weak spot over the past few years.
Any body you think I’m missing? There are a lot of guys that are overlooked so leave some names in the comments!
-Jarrod Ribaudo (@Jribs53)