No, this isn't a betting column although I've never been able to figure out what the gambling lines on a baseball game mean. I had this wonderful post all ready to go running down the various prospect lists that have been circulated over the last few months. We're talking pictures, animated charts, flash demos, in-depth interviews, a whole streaming webcast with Tim Wilkens and Oneri Fleita set-up so they could answer your questions live and then Baseball America moved back the release date of their top 10 Cubs prospects for a week. (And much like a Cubs injury report, about half of that last sentence is true).
So instead, I'm wondering if you guys could help me out with a problem that's got me baffled? A certain website asked me to do a write-up on our beloved Chicago Cubs (hint: I recently reviewed one of their books). So I'm supposed to provide a name for the most overrated Cub and the most underrated Cub and I just can't pin it down.
The most underrated Cub seems easy enough, find a guy that flies under the media radar or is overshadowed by a bigger name, but quietly gets the job done. But do I go with an unproven no-name like Ryan Theriot with less than 150 major league at-bats or someone with a little more seasoning whom the spotlight passes over such as Bob Howry who quietly got it done quite consistently last year with little fanfare.
The overrated player really has me racking me brain. First, how can anyone on a 66 win team be overrated? Second, it seems like such a slap in the face to the unfortunate player tagged with the label. For example, that certain team that's going to be playing in the Super Bowl this upcoming week has a middle linebacker who seems to find his way on the most overrated list every once in awhile. And everytime he's on one of those lists, I immediately think to myself, "What the hell? Urlacher doesn't suck, you people are morons." Of course, that's the problem I'm having, you see someone on an overrated list and you start equating that with a "These players suck" list, rather than it's intended meaning which is that they're just not as good as the hype machine has made them. (But just to be clear, those people are morons, Urlacher is worth the hype.)
So there you go, who are the most underrated and overrated Cubs players? Now hopefully they're different players, although I bet you I could make a pretty convincing case for Carlos Zambrano on both accounts. And give me some reasoning behind the choices because I'm going to have to justify them somehow.