This is my opinion but I feel like all of these guys aren’t talked about enough. This is current players, and I’m going to avoid Cardinals.
1. Pitcher — Johnny Cueto
This season Cueto is 12-6 with a 2.05 ERA, leads the National League in innings pitched at 162.2, 166 strikeouts (9.2 per nine), and .916 WHIP. He’s receiving no attention though because he’s playing for a fourth place team and there’s Clayton Kershaw and Adam Wainwright in the same league. Since 2011, he’s had an ERA under 3 every year.
2. Catcher — Russell Martin
He’s streaky at the plate from year to year but having a nice season in 2014: .281 average and .409 on base. He got some credit last year but I believe a lot the Pirates improvements with their pitching staff, defense and hitting can be attributed to Martin’s steady influence.
3. First Base — Paul Goldschmidt
He was monstrous in 2013 — 36 home runs, 125 RBI, .302 average, .401 on base and .551 slugging. Until he was recently placed on the DL, he was following that up with 19 home runs, .300 average, .396 on base and .542 slugging. The guy is a beast but he plays for a bad team on the west coast, always a recipe for being ignored.
4. Second Base — Jose Altuve
Did you know Altuve leads the American league in hits (155), steals (43) and batting average (.339)? If you did, you should get a cookie. I had no idea until I looked this up. He’s the best player on what is becoming a frisky Astros team (just swept the Blue Jays) but being the best player on an AL bottom feeder won’t get you much love.
5. Third Base — Ryan Zimmerman
He struggles to stay healthy, including this season, but when he’s right he gives you a .286 average, .352 on base, .476 slugging, 150 hits, 25 homers and 96 RBI. He’s also very good with the glove, except for that inexplicable stretch last season.
6. Short Stop — Alexei Ramirez
Will I take a short stop who hits .288 with 73 RBI and 77 runs each year? Yes, yes I will, especially if he picks it as well as Alexei. He does commit quite a few errors though.
7. Left Field — Brett Gardner
This off-season the Yanks basically tried to push Gardner out of the starting lineup. He responded by doing what he always does — hit about .280, steal some bases (18) and score a bunch of runs (70). I guess they don’t like him because he actually came up through their crappy system.
8. Center Field — Adam Jones
He doesn’t put up crazy stats like Trout or McCutchen and he’s not as flashy as Carlos Gomez but he’s very consistent. This year he’s hitting .284 with 21 homers, 128 hits and 68 RBI. Last year, he hit, .285 with 33 dingers, 108 RBI and 100 runs. The year before, he hit .287 with 32 long balls, 82 RBI and 103 runs. And he’s pretty good with the leather, too.
9. Right Field — Ichiro Suzuki
It seems crazy that I have two Yankees on this list. Ichiro has been pretty good this year, hitting .271, but this is a legacy selection. I believe Ichiro is the most underrated player of all time. Ichiro had 200 hits and a .300 average for nine consecutive seasons. If he would have started his career in the U.S., he would be the all-time hits leader.
Closer — Kenley Jansen
Probably the one thing about the Dodgers that is underrated. Ignore his ERA, currently at 3.20; Jansen has developed into a lock down closer. Teams have to do their work in the seventh and eighth because Jansen owns the ninth.