Cover Photo: Getty Images
Major League Baseball is a game rooted in statistics, which often makes it easier to separate the pretenders from the contenders. Whether it's overrated pitchers, sluggers or slashers, it's hard to hide from your performances by the numbers.
However, before we go throwing around any accusations of overrated talent, it's important to keep one key point of reference in mind: the MLB's yearly batting average. Considering this league-wide mean has come out to approximately .253 over the last three seasons, here are the most overrated hitters heading into the 2019 season.
1. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
It seemed like the entire MLB world was teetering on Bryce Harper's extended period of free-agency indecision this offseason, which is what you'd expect for one of the best hitters in the league. However, Harper was far from that caliber in his final season with the Nationals. The 26-year-old outfielder tallied just 137 hits (T-75th most in the MLB) with a .249 batting average in the 2018 season. That split is just .001 better than the .248 league-wide batting average last year.
2. Kyle Schwarber, Chicago Cubs
Kyle Schwarber may have been considered a critical piece in Chicago's 2015 rise to World Series contention, but the Cubs' 2016 title has now faded another year in the rear-view mirror as we open the 2019 season. Beyond Schwarber's 26 home runs, there wasn't much to cheer for from his hitting in 2018. Schwarber posted a .238 batting average (T-120th in the MLB) and 140 strikeouts. Schwarber has also never hit better than .246 over the course of a full MLB season.
3. Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees
Giancarlo Stanton has proven himself one of the best power sluggers in the MLB over the last two seasons, which has overshadowed some of his lesser hitting numbers when the ball stays inside the park. Stanton's 164 hits from the 2018 season were tied for the 28th most in the league last year, but his .266 batting average was the second-lowest percentage among all Top-35 hitters ranked by total hits in the 2018 season. Stanton also finished with the second-most strikeouts in the league (211) last season. He is a fantastic power batter, but his hitting efficiency and strikeout numbers have room to improve. Not to mention, Stanton's .266 batting dependency comes with a hefty $26 million price tag this season.
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David Hayes is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, David Hayes also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username DavidWHayes. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.