This is a team of players that did not live up to their expectations in the 2016 season.
This is a time of professional athletes (especially baseball players) getting paid massive amounts of money. Superstars like Mike Trout and Kris Bryant are getting paid huge amounts of cash every year and even less talented players are getting paid absurd amounts. MLB teams are richer than ever and spend absurd amounts on less talented players in hope of receiving a ring at the end of the season. I have decided to put together a team of players that either were great but are now average or players that just flat-out are not worth what they are making. So why don’t we get started?
Left-handed Starting Pitcher: David Price
To be fair, David Price will never live up to the $217 Million deal he signed before the 2016 season began. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, he did not meet their expectations by posting a 3.99 ERA, allowing 102 ER, while allowing the most hits of any MLB pitcher. These numbers are especially depressing because he is the highest paid player in the American League.
Right-handed Starting Pitcher: Felix Hernandez
“King” Felix Hernandez was one of if not the best MLB pitcher from 2009-2010, but is now just an average pitcher. During that period of time, he won a Cy Young award, appeared in 2 All-Star games, and established himself as a superstar. In 2015 he hurled the first perfect game in Seattle Mariners history, but since then has been quiet.
In 2016 he posted a 3.82 ERA, an 11-8 win-loss record, and allowing 65 earned runs in 25 appearances. He is clearly not a superstar anymore and should no longer be referred to or thought of as one.
Relief Pitcher: Craig Kimbrel
Once one of the most dominating and intimidating closers is now just an average closer and these numbers prove it.
This is definitely not the Craig Kimbrel we know considering that he went with a 1.01 ERA in 2011 with a 3.40 ERA in 2016. Also, his walks per nine innings have gone from 2.0 in 2011 to 5.1 in 2016. Along with a WIP that went from .65 to 1.09. His velocity has diminished and September of 2016 was easily the slowest month of his career. With numbers like these, it is hard to believe that his reputation has not diminished by now.
Catcher: Salvador Perez
Salvador Perez is an excellent catcher and a great person. He is a great receiver of pitches and is one of the best in baseball at throwing out opposing base runners. Some say he has good power because he hit 22 home runs in 2016 but keep in mind that 88 players hit that many or more home runs which makes it that much less impressive. To add to his mediocre hitting his .288 on-base percentage was 143rd among 146 qualifiers. Not that impressive huh? So is he a great defensive player? Yes! Should he get all the praise he is getting? No!
First Baseman: Eric Hosmer
2015 was Eric Hosmer’s career year and he became very well-known in 2014-2015 in the baseball world for his contributions to the Kansas City Royals during their World Series run in 2014 and victory in 2015. Despite having an excellent two years and a career year in 2015 he still gets way more praise than he should get.
Hosmer hit .266/.328/.433 with 25 home runs which are OK but first base is a position with many home run hitters and twelve first baseman hit more home runs than him. Along with going through a long slump in the second half of the season, Hosmer is also a very shoddy defensive first baseman.
Second Baseman: Brandon Phillips
Brandon Phillips hit .291 with 34 doubles, 11 homers, 64 RBI and 14 steals. It looks pretty good, but if you include that he only had 18 walks and a .320 OBP (below league average) it is not as impressive for a 35-year-old.
Here is Phillips compared to other second basemen offensively:
Home runs: 26th
Phillips is still a decent defensive player but should no longer be considered a superstar.
Third Baseman: Todd Frazier
Yes, I know what you are thinking, 40 home runs. The problem is, he can’t do anything else anymore. He only hit 21 doubles and he struck out 163 times in 590 at-bats. Along with a depressing slash line of .224/.293/.441, he dipped below average in defensive runs saved. I guess what I am trying to say is that winning the home run derby then hitting 40 home runs in a season does not make you a superstar.
Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki
I think it is safe to say that Troy Tulowitzki is no longer the superstar he once was. Last season he only hit .254 with a .318 on-base percentage with 24 home runs. 24 home runs are good for a shortstop but we have already established that 24 home runs are no longer that impressive. He is still an above-average defender but is not the superstar everyone seems to still think he is.
Right-Fielder: Giancarlo Stanton
Everyone knows that Stanton has the best raw power in baseball and it is also clear he is not deserving of the biggest contract in MLB history.
When Giancarlo Stanton connects with a pitch it is a beautiful sight to see. We saw a lot of those connections in the Home Run Derby when he not only won the contest, but he broke the record for long balls in a derby by 20. There is just one problem: In 7 years of playing Stanton has only played in over 125 games twice being very injury prone. If he can’t stay on the field what value does he have to the Marlins? He has never had a batting average over .300 and he has never hit more than 40 homers in a season. I sure wouldn’t want a player on my ball club that hits 30 home runs then is injured for the rest of the season. Also, he only had a .240 batting average with a .489 slugging percentage and only played in 119 games in 2016. He is still an offensive force to be reckoned with but if he cannot stay healthy, he just isn’t as good as we think he is.
Center-Fielder: Jacoby Ellsbury
Jacoby Ellsbury is a good defender and a fast baserunner, but he only had one season with an OPS above .800. The Yankees decided that didn’t matter and using their George Steinbrenner-like spending habits they signed Ellsbury to a 7 year $153 million deal. Since becoming a Yankee, Ellsbury has hit 32 home runs in 408 games with an average OPS of .705. Aside from 2011 when he pounded 32 home runs and 105 RBI, he has been one of the most overrated players in baseball.
If you thought Mike Trout for even an instant then please get it together!
Left-Fielder: Justin Upton
When Justin Upton signed a 6 year $132.75 million deal it had baseball fans singing…Y’all gon’ make me lose my mind, Upton here, Upton here.
With a .246 BA,.310 OBP, 173 strikeouts, and a .775 OPS, Upton showed that he was not worth what the Tigers are paying him. Also, he is not a fast baserunner with a mere 9 stolen bases in 2016. To add-on to his 1.4 WAR, Upton is also a poor defensive player with a -12.4 Def. according to Fangraphs. Unless he bounces back and is an above average Left-fielder for the next five years on his contract, the Tigers will be getting a lot less than what they bargained for.
This was a painful list to make because I am a fan of and respect (almost) all of these players. The only reason they are on this list is because they are paid way more than what they are worth, or are still considered a superstar and are clearly not one. This would be a cool team to watch play on the field but it probably wouldn’t be as good as we think it would be.