20 Most Overrated MLB Players Right Now

20 Most Overrated MLB Players Right Now

Of all the baseball players that receive a lot of praise and attention in the league today, the most overrated MLB players are the ones that often receive too much. They never live up to the hype, frequently fail to meet expectations, and have an ego that doesn’t match their ability to execute.

Let’s be honest, we all secretly — or not secretly — hope the most overrated MLB players strike out every time they step up to the plate or give up a home run when pitching. For some reason, we love to see them fail, we love to see them frustrated, and we love to root against them. 

With that said, these players still receive the largest contracts and are beloved among owners, managers, and teammates, and the fans usually have no idea why. When it comes to the fans, they would take production over hype and execution over talent any day of the week. 

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Who Are the Most Overrated MLB Players?

20 Most Overrated MLB Players Right Now
Keeton Gale / Shutterstock

You might be wondering who the most overrated MLB players are at the moment. I’m sure there are several that come to mind immediately — don’t worry, we’re all thinking the same thing. On the other hand, there are several that might surprise you or some that you might not agree with. 

The most overrated MLB players are the ones that annoy us the most, so everyone’s list is going to look a little bit different. At the same time, there are going to be a lot of players that find their way on a majority of our lists and those are the ones that bring us all together in unity. 

With that said, there are several factors we’re going to consider when determining who the most overrated MLB players are in the league right now — including current salary, annual hype, draft position, player role, expectations vs. reality, jersey sales, popularity, and much more. 

20. Stephen Strasburg

Seasons: 2010-present (12 seasons)

Teams: Washington Nationals

Career Stats: 246 games, 1,465.1 innings pitched, 113-61 record, 3.21 ERA, 2 complete games, 2 shutouts, 1,718 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $35.00 million

Stephen Strasburg was the No. 1 overall draft pick in 2009 and was hyped up to be the next best pitcher of all-time. Unfortunately, he suffered a torn ligament just months into his MLB career. The injury required Tommy John surgery, which took over a year to fully recover from.

When healthy, he pitches better than most pitchers in the league. He has 113 career wins and 1,718 strikeouts, so it’s not that he isn’t talented. His ability to stay healthy — or lack of it — is why he’s featured on this list, which is not what you want from a $35 million per year player. 

19. Kyle Schwarber

Seasons: 2015-present (7 seasons)

Teams: Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Boston Red Sox

Career Stats: 664 games, 522 hits, .237 batting average, 153 home runs, 350 runs batted in, 371 runs scored

2021 Salary: $7.00 million

Kyle Schwarber was drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Cubs in 2014 and made his debut in 2015. He had a slow start to his career, but eventually hit 94 home runs in a three-year span from 2017-2019. Still, his batting average was never above .250 in any of those seasons. 

That has been a running theme with Schwarber — low batting average, frequent strikeouts, streaky play, and poor defensive play. While he has the power to go yard every time he steps up to the plate, he doesn’t do it as often as he should and often fails to get on base altogether. 

18. Joey Votto

Seasons: 2007-present (15 seasons)

Teams: Cincinnati Reds

Career Stats: 1,900 games, 2,027 hits, .302 batting average, 331 home runs, 1,065 runs batted in, 1,114 runs scored

2021 Salary: $25.00 million

Joey Votto was a second round pick by the Cincinnati Reds in 2002, but didn’t make his MLB debut until 2007. From 2008-2017, he hit more than 20 home runs in eight different seasons and batted higher than .309 in each of those eight seasons — so the talent is certainly there. 

With that said, he only hit 26 home runs in 2018 and 2019 combined. He had a decent shortened 2020 season and hit 36 home runs in 2021, but it’s unclear how sustainable that is. If he can’t continue that momentum into next year, then he won’t live up to his $25 million per year contract.

17. Jake Arrieta

Seasons: 2010-present (12 seasons)

Teams: Baltimore Orioles, Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, San Diego Padres

Career Stats: 285 games, 1,612.1 innings pitched, 115-93 record, 3.98 ERA, 6 complete games, 5 shutouts, 1,433 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $6.00 million

Jake Arrieta was drafted by the Cincinnati Reds in 2004 and Milwaukee Brewers in 2005 before finally being given a real opportunity by the Baltimore Orioles in 2007. Even then, he didn’t make his debut until 2010 and was mediocre at best (24-27) during his first four years in the league. 

He started to turn a corner in 2014 and would go 50-19 over the next three years, but slowly started to digress in 2017. He most recently had his worst season ever, going 11-14 between the Chicago Cubs and San Diego Padres. He’s a free agent, but will likely sign somewhere. 

16. Eric Hosmer

Seasons: 2011-present (11 seasons)

Teams: Kansas City Royals, San Diego Padres

Career Stats: 1,554 games, 1,629 hits, .277 batting average, 188 home runs, 835 runs batted in, 767 runs scored

2021 Salary: $21.00 million

Eric Hosmer was the third overall pick by the Kansas City Royals in 2008 and received a lot of hype leading up to his debut in 2011. He is slated to make $21 million next season, but has never hit more than 25 home runs in a single season and only hit 12 home runs last season. 

After posting a career-high .318 batting average in 2017, he hit below .270 in 2018, 2019, and 2021. He seems to be striking out less, which is good, but he needs to get back to his 20+ home run and 90+ RBI self. If he can’t do that, then he will become a cap casualty real quick. 

15. Noah Syndergaard

Seasons: 2015-present (6 seasons)

Teams: New York Mets

Career Stats: 121 games, 718.0 innings pitched, 47-31 record, 3.32 ERA, 3 complete games, 2 shutouts, 777 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $9.7 million

Noah Syndergaard was a first round draft choice by the Toronto Blue Jays in 2010, but never lived up to the hype. He finally made his debut in 2015 for the New York Mets and was supposed to develop into a reliable No. 1 or No. 2 pitcher, but that has been far from true. 

Syndergaard had a career-best 13-4 record in 2018, but has gone 10-9 since and has been riddled with injuries — missing the entire 2020 season and only making two starts in 2021. He’s a free agent this offseason and someone will likely give him a chance, but it likely won’t end well.

14. Rougned Odor

Seasons: 2014-present (8 seasons)

Teams: Texas Rangers, New York Yankees

Career Stats: 960 games, 814 hits, .234 batting average, 161 home runs, 497 runs batted in, 471 runs scored

2021 Salary: $12.33 million

Rougned Odor spent his first seven seasons in the MLB with the Texas Rangers. While he hit 30 home runs in three of those seasons, he was wildly inconsistent — hitting 16 home runs in 2015 and 18 home runs in 2018. He also never batted higher than a .271 with the Rangers. 

When Odor made the move to the New York Yankees, it was supposed to be a fresh start for the second baseman. Unfortunately, he had a .202 batting average and hit just 15 home runs in 322 at bats. With a $12.3 million per year salary, the Yankees are going to need more from him. 

13. Hyun Jin Ryu

Seasons: 2013-present (8 seasons)

Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers, Toronto Blue Jays

Career Stats: 169 games, 976.1 innings pitched, 73-45 record, 3.20 ERA, 4 complete games, 3 shutouts, 880 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $20.00 million

Hyun Jin Ryu made his MLB debut in 2013 with the Los Angeles Dodgers and went 28-15 in his first two seasons with the club. Unfortunately, an injury kept him out of the 2015 season and most of the 2016 season. From 2016-2018, he only won 12 of his 40 starts (12-13 record). 

He made a bit of a comeback in 2019, going 14-5 in 29 starts, but decided to sign with the Toronto Blue Jays after the season. He has gone 19-10 over the past two years and is a good option to have in your starting rotation, but not exactly worth the $20 million per year contract.

12. Mookie Betts

Seasons: 2014-present (8 seasons)

Teams: Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers

Career Stats: 971 games, 1,152 hits, .296 batting average, 178 home runs, 567 runs batted in, 753 runs scored

2021 Salary: $22.50 million

Mookie Betts was drafted in the fifth round by the Boston Red Sox in 2011. He made his MLB debut in 2014 and became a regular starter in 2015. Over the next four years, he was one of the best players in the league with 375 RBIs, 116 home runs, and was even named MVP in 2018.

Today, he carries a steep $22.5 million salary and has largely underperformed in a Los Angeles Dodgers’ uniform. He batted just .264 and hit just 23 home runs in 2021 — including just 58 RBIs for someone who should be getting between 80-100. He definitely needs to step his game up. 

11. Kyle Gibson

Seasons: 2013-present (9 seasons)

Teams: Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, Philadelphia Phillies

Career Stats: 236 games, 1,336.1 innings pitched, 79-83 record, 4.45 ERA, 3 complete games, 1 shutout, 1,058 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $11.50 million

Kyle Gibson was originally drafted in the 36th round in 2006, but chose not to sign. He would later be drafted again in the first round in 2009, beginning his pro career with the Twins. He finally made his MLB debut in 2013 and became a regular part of the rotation in 2014 with 31 starts. 

Gibson ended up going 67-68 in his seven years with the Minnesota Twins and decided to sign with the Texas Rangers as a free agent ahead of the 2020 season. He went 8-9 in 31 starts with the Rangers before being traded to the Philadelphia Phillies, where he went 4-6 to end the year.

10. Salvador Perez

Seasons: 2011-present (10 seasons)

Teams: Kansas City Royals

Career Stats: 1,140 games, 1,161 hits, .270 batting average, 200 home runs, 656 runs batted in, 491 runs scored

2021 Salary: $14.20 million

Salvador Perez made his MLB debut in 2011 with the Kansas City Royals and has spent his entire 10-year career with the club. He was a consistent player up until 2018, hitting more than 20 home runs in four consecutive seasons. He does a lot of things well, but has some flaws. 

An injury kept him out of the 2019 season, but he returned during the shortened 2020 season and played well. He followed that up with an incredible 48 home runs and 121 RBIs in 2021 — which led the league. Despite that, he strikes out too often and doesn’t draw enough walks. 

9. Aroldis Chapman

Seasons: 2010-present (12 seasons)

Teams: Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, New York Yankees

Career Stats: 624 games, 603.2 innings pitched, 40-31 record, 306 saves, 2.36 ERA, 1,002 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $17.20 million

Aroldis Chapman made his MLB debut with the Cincinnati Reds in 2010, but didn’t become a regular part of the bullpen until 2011. He would eventually become the Reds’ closer in 2012 and recorded more than 33 saves in the next five seasons — despite being traded in 2016. 

He has been the New York Yankees’ closer ever since and while he has recorded 30 or more saves in three of the past four seasons, he’s widely regarded as the most overrated closer in the league right now. He packs a wicked fastball, but lacks versatility and isn’t very clutch.   

8. Cody Bellinger

Seasons: 2017-present (5 seasons)

Teams: Los Angeles Dodgers

Career Stats: 601 games, 546 hits, .257 batting average, 133 home runs, 354 runs batted in, 364 runs scored

2021 Salary: $16.1 million

Cody Bellinger was drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the fourth round of the 2013 draft and made his debut in 2017. He won rookie of the year with 39 home runs and 97 RBIs and later won MVP with 47 home runs and 115 RBIs in 2019. He was one of the most talked about studs. 

Unfortunately, he hasn’t been the same since and is quickly losing his credibility. He batted just .239 and hit 12 home runs during the shortened 2020 season, followed by an even worse campaign in 2021 — posting a .165 batting average, 10 home runs and 36 RBIs in 315 at bats. 

7. Rick Porcello

Seasons: 2009-2020 (9 seasons)

Teams: Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, New York Mets

Career Stats: 355 games, 2,096.1 innings pitched, 150-125 record, 4.40 ERA, 10 complete games, 3 shutouts, 1,561 strikeouts

2021 Salary: free agent

Rick Porcello was drafted by the Detroit Tigers with the 27th overall pick in the 2007 draft. He made his MLB debut in 2009, pitching 170.2 innings his rookie year and posting a 14-9 record. He spent the next five years with Detroit, winning more than 10 games in each season. 

Unfortunately, he has been wildly inconsistent ever since. Despite winning a Cy Young Award in 2016 and having a productive 2017, Porcello went 73-55 in his five seasons with Boston from 2015-2019. He then went 1-7 in a poor 2020 campaign and has been a free agent ever since.

6. Aaron Nola

Seasons: 2015-present (7 seasons)

Teams: Philadelphia Phillies

Career Stats: 171 games, 1,023.1 innings pitched, 67-49 record, 3.68 ERA, 3 complete games, 2 shutouts, 1,145 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $12.25 million

The Philadelphia Phillies drafted Aaron Nola seventh overall in 2014 and had high hopes for him as a future starting ace. He made his debut in 2015 and went 6-2 in 13 starts. Unfortunately, he would go 18-20 over the next two years, which is not the type of development they wanted.

They stuck with him and he delivered a decent season in 2018 with a 17-6 record. Again, that success didn’t last long and now the Phillies are paying $15.5 million for a pitcher that has gone 26-21 in his past 78 starts. With a team option in 2023, he might not be in Philly for long. 

5. Anthony Rendon

Seasons: 2013-present (9 seasons)

Teams: Washington Nationals, Los Angeles Angels

Career Stats: 1,026 games, 1,100 hits, .287 batting average, 151 home runs, 611 runs batted in, 624 runs

2021 Salary: $28.07 million

The Washington Nationals drafted Anthony Rendon sixth overall in 2011. Despite a mediocre rookie season in 2013, Rendon broke out in 2014 with 21 home runs, 39 doubles, and 111 runs. Another mediocre year followed that, hitting just five home runs in an injury-riddled season. 

Rendon was very productive over the next four years, tallying 103 home runs, 167 doubles, and 403 RBIs from 2016-2019. Unfortunately, he hasn’t played very well the past two years and missed most of 2021 due to hip surgery. He’s the second-highest paid player in the MLB.

4. Yu Darvish

Seasons: 2012-present (9 seasons)

Teams: Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago Cubs, San Diego Padres

Career Stats: 212 games, 1,293.1 innings pitched, 79-67 record, 3.56 ERA, 2 complete games, 1 shutout, 1,591 strikeouts

2021 Salary: $22.00 million

Yu Darvish made his MLB debut in 2012 for the Rangers and played well through the first three years of his career — posting a 39-25 record from 2012-2014. Unfortunately, Darvish hasn’t been the same since electing for Tommy John surgery and missing the entire 2015 season. 

He went 24-28 over the next four seasons before bouncing back during the shortened 2020 season, going 8-3 in 12 starts. Once again, that didn’t last long and he would go on to have a down year in 2021 with an 8-11 record in 30 starts. That’s not exactly worth $19 million per year.

3. Javier Baez

Seasons: 2014-present (8 seasons)

Teams: Chicago Cubs, New York Mets

Career Stats: 862 games, 804 hits, .264 batting average, 149 home runs, 465 runs batted in, 451 runs scored

2021 Salary: $11.65 million

Javier Baez was the ninth overall draft selection of the Chicago Cubs in 2011. He made his debut in 2014, hitting a home run in his first MLB game — despite going just 1-6 on the night. He wouldn’t become a regular starter for the Cubs until the 2016 season, playing in 142 games.

After a productive next four years, Baez was very productive and hit 100 home runs, 330 RBIs, and 121 doubles. He had a down 2020 season, but bounced back in 2021 with 31 home runs and 87 RBIs. He’ll likely get a much larger contract than he’s worth in the upcoming offseason.

2. Trevor Story

Seasons: 2016-present (6 seasons)

Teams: Colorado Rockies

Career Stats: 745 games, 768 hits, .272 batting average, 158 home runs, 450 runs batted in, 463 runs scored

2021 Salary: $18.50 million

Trevor Story was a first round draft choice by the Colorado Rockies in 2011. He didn’t make his debut until 2016, but didn’t waste any time getting acclimated to the major leagues. He hit 123 home runs, 347 RBIs, and 133 doubles in his first four years in the MLB — which is incredible!

After hitting 11 home runs in the shortened 2020 season, he only hit 24 home runs and had a .251 batting average in the full 2021 season. He strikes out often and has never had a batting average above .294. He’ll likely receive a big contract, but who knows if he will live up to it. 

1. Bryce Harper

Seasons: 2012-present (10 seasons)

Teams: Washington Nationals, Philadelphia Phillies

Career Stats: 1,283 games, 1,273 hits, .279 batting average, 267 home runs, 752 runs batted in, 850 runs scored

2021 Salary: $27.54 million

Bryce Harper was the first overall draft pick of the 2010 draft and is possibly one of the most hyped prospects of all-time. He made his debut in 2012 and has been one of the most lethal hitters since. He was named Rookie of the Year in 2012 and Most Valuable Player in 2015. 

Unfortunately, his numbers don’t make up for his lack of leadership and immaturity. He has never been on a team that has gotten past the division championship series. At a certain point, you want to see him put his team on his back, but he hasn’t been able to live up to that hype.

Who Are the Most Overrated MLB Players of All-Time?

Overrated players are nothing new to the MLB and they certainly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. While the 20 players listed above are some of the most overrated MLB players right now, that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t mention some of the most overrated MLB players of all-time. 

If we’re going there, we’d be wrong not to mention Mike McGwire, Darryl Strawberry, Nolan Ryan, Jose Canseco, Chris Davis, Josh Hamilton, David Price, Ozzie Smith, Mo Vaughn, Paul Konerko, Adam Dunn, Jason Giambi, Joe Carter, Roger Maris, and Barry Zito.

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No matter what we do, the most overrated MLB players aren’t going anywhere, so we’re better off appreciating them while they’re still in the league. Who knows, maybe they’ll one day live up to the hype and prove us all wrong. Then again, that’s something that doesn’t happen too often. 

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