In all sports, there are guys that we underrate, and overrate. Those that we tend to overrate may be overrated for plenty of reasons. Maybe they made one great play but he's not really that consistent. Maybe people look at simpler stats instead of looking at more useful and advanced stats. Those that we tend to underrate may be because they are in the shadow of somebody on their team. Maybe they don't make any flashy plays but they're consistently good on the routine ones. For each person on this underrated list, each one of them made it on here for a specific reason, or maybe a variety of reasons. Let's start with some honorable mentions.
Here are the top 5:
You might be reading this and be saying "why him?". Well, considering he is great defensively, and he put up great offensive numbers in Triple-A, he deserves to be on here. When I put him on this list, I put him here as not to simply say he just is a great catcher, but I put him on here to instead say that he needs to be recognized more as a great defensive catcher. He showed what he can do in Triple-A on the offensive side, he just needs to translate that over to the Majors, in which he has plenty of time to with him being only twenty five years old. Jansen so far in his Major League Career has a 9 DRS, an 11.9 FRAA, a 2.8 bWARP, and a 2.2 fWAR. He wasn't that great in 2018 defensively, but was really solid in 2018. As long as he can improve his offense he can be a top 5 catcher by the end of 2020.
Judge is on here solely because of his defense. He gets no respect for his defense, yet he gets all the respect for his offense. Every year Judge's defensive numbers have gotten better, and no one apparetntly seems to notice. It's gotten to the point where Judge may be a better defensive player then offensive player. Judge's UZR in 2019 UZR was 12.7, and his career UZR is 27.8. DRS, career wise is 45, and in 2019 he had 20. He's really improved so much. He needs to be respected more for his defense.
People call him overrated, which makes no sense. 2019 was sort of a down year, but still an amazing year. It wasn't even that much of a down year, just less of a year compared to other years, although it wasn't his worst season. He had a great OBP, and put up 35 dingers. He had a 4.6 fWAR, which is well above average, he walked a decent amount, he had a solid wOBA and wRC+, and his defense was fantastic. He had a 10 DRS, and a 10 UZR, which his UZR is the exact same as flashy Javier Baez, who everyone loves watching. Don't think it was a waste of money yet Philly.
31 Home Runs in 93 games in 2019 is on pace for 57 home runs. 57!! That's what he hit last year. He was also just about average defensively, which is all you need when your catcher puts up the production he does. 3.9 fWAR last year, with a 404 wOBA and a 155 wRC+ pretty much says it all. He hits a ton of extra base hits, hits for good average, gets on base. Yet this guy somehow isn't recognized? Wait a few years, and wait until he is consistently putting up these numbers, he'll be the best catcher in baseball. Not only that, but his defense has also slightly improved every year. The reason nobody knows about him right now is because it's his first year putting up these numbers as he broke out last year, but wait and see what he will do in the future.
#1 Mark Canha
Without a doubt Mark Canha is the most underrated player in baseball. He's hidden in the shadow of a stacked, and underrated Athletics team in which he slashes 273/396/517 in 2019 which means this guy has an above 900 OPS but doesn't get recognized. In 2018 and 2019 together he has a 6.1 fWAR, with a 386 wOBA and a 146 wRC+. Defensively, he's about average with a -1.2 UZR, and a -4 DRS in 2019. He's not anything special on defense , but it's not anything poor either. Overall, he doesn't get recognized for his great offensive statistics and he is no doubt the most underrated player in baseball.