Baseball's most underrated player

Why Angels' Erick Aybar deserves a lot more recognition

Updated: March 23, 2013, 1:05 PM ET
By Dave Cameron | FanGraphs
Erick AybarJayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireErick Aybar will hit second in the Angels' batting order this season.

In August, I wrote a post at FanGraphs that labeled Giants center fielder Angel Pagan as the most underrated player in baseball. He then went on to fame in October and fortune in free agency, so coming off a World Series title and a $40 million contract, it's probably time for him to pass the torch. There are a few pretty good players who don't get enough respect, but given that he just placed 175th in the BBTN 500, I don't think anyone in the game is currently more underrated than Erick Aybar.

Aybar seems to fly under the radar for many of the same reasons as Pagan. He's a good hitter relative to his peers at an up-the-middle position, but he's not the kind of dynamic offensive player who shows up on "SportsCenter" a lot. Rather than being excellent at any one thing, he's solid at a number of things and excels in areas that people pay little attention to, such as running the bases. And, of course, he's been overshadowed by more famous teammates for practically his entire career, and given that he's now on the same team as Mike Trout, that's not likely to change any time soon.


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