ESPN the Magazine released an anonymous poll of MLB players for its preview issue this month. (I can attest there is a physical copy of the magazine since I read it inside the Bristol Vistor’s Center last week during my trip to the Worldwide Leader.) Here’s an HTML link to the poll and the nifty infographic it produced, if you want to check it out before it arrives in your mailbox or at the newstand.
Mike Trout (surprise) is deemed by his peers to be the best player in the sport, while his fellow phenom — Bryce Harper — is the game’s most overrated player. Is that fair on Harper? In the two fantasy drafts I’ve done he’s gone in the first round in both, perhaps a product of the hype or his vast potential. He’s still only 21 and posted a pair of 20 home run seasons, but I can fully understand his fellow pros thinking the kid is overrated. Anytime someone arrives in a given sport with as much hype as Harper did, there’s going to be a backlash. It’s how it works.
Yasiel Puig finished second in the overrated poll and given the difficulty Don Mattingly is having with him, that’s a situation to monitor — independent of anonymous polls.
The best takeaway from ESPN’s poll is that 51 percent of players asked would kick Alex Rodriguez out of the union. At the same time only 49 percent of players would consider using marijuana for pain relief were it legal in every state.
So there you have it, A-Rod is officially less popular than getting high. Well done. [ESPN]