Graham Womack of Baseball: Past and Present has been going decade by decade to identify baseball’s most underrated players. Today he has his final installment –covering the 1990s through today, with links back to the 60s-70s-80s, the 30s-40s-50s and the 00s-10s-20s.
You’re gonna love the choice for the most underrated of the 1990s. Word on the street is that I worship him.
Really, though: for many of these decades, note that the most underrated is often the best. Which says a lot about how we tend to misapprehend what true baseball greatness actually is.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.