By: Noah Wright
In the upcoming off season, fans will likely be excited to see where some of the biggest free agents like Gerrit Cole, and Anthony Rendon will land, and rightfully so. However, the off season will also come with some underappreciated free agents. Some completely flying under the radar. So here are 5 of the most underappreciated free agents of the 2019-2020 off season.
- Stephen Vogt:
After Vogt started the 2018 season injured, and eventually was forced to undergo season ending shoulder surgery, the former A’s all-star missed an entire season. The Giants decided to take a flyer on the veteran backstop. So far, Vogt has made dividends on that minors deal. In a part time role, Vogt has turned in a .278/.330/.525 line through 218 plate appearances. Overall, he has been worth 118 wRC+. He has been especially good vs RHP this season (.282/.343/.528 line). A very notable fact about Vogt’s season is that he has made soft contact just 9.9% of the time. While Vogt has never been Yadier Molina like with the glove behind the dish, he definitely isn’t bad. He has thrown out 21% of runners trying to take a base on him, and is worth .2 dWAR. Vogt can also be played at first base, and left field in a pinch, so a team looking for a platoon catcher should definitely look into Vogt.
- Brock Holt:
Holt is on pace to have back-to-back career years. Through 206 plate appearances, Holt has a .320/.393/.455 batting line. That also comes with a 122 wRC+. Even if Holt can’t keep up that kind of production, Holt’s main value comes in his versatility. Holt has ample experience at almost every single position on the field. Most of Holt’s innings have come at 2B, but he has played the outfield, first base, third base, and shortstop.
- Howie Kendrick:
In his 14th MLB season, and at 35 years old, Howie Kendrick has had what has easily been his best offensive season. In 304 plate appearances, Kendrick has an outstanding line of .330/.382/.560 with 14 home runs, and a 133 wRC+. He has struck out at a career low 14.1% this year, while walking at a career high 7.6% rate. The former Angel has also made hard contact at 42.6% of the time, which is also a career best. While for most of his career Howie was primarily a 2B, in recent seasons, he has also seen time at 1B, 3B, and left field. Overall, he has been average defensively at those 3 positions, so even if Kendrick can’t replicate his 2019 season, he still should be an asset with the bat, and his versatility.
- Cameron Maybin:
Because of key players like Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks missing large chunks of time due to injury, Cameron Maybin’s door for more regular playing time has opened significantly. Maybin has produced a .291/.368/.490 line through 220 plate appearances. That has resulted in a 126 wRC+. Maybin has been a very good defensive RF (4 DRS, .7 UZR), but has had his struggles in left (-4 DRS, -1.1 UZR).
- Wade Miley:
Out of all the starting pitchers available, Miley will be one of the most underrated on the market. Miley has pitched in 156 innings, and has averaged over 5 innings per start, so he will definitely eat innings for whatever team grabs him. His results through those 156 innings has been pretty solid. Miley has posted a 3.06 ERA, and 1.218 WHIP. Miley has a healthy ground ball % of 50.9%. His FIP might be 4.27, but that might be from the rise in home runs between 2018 and 2019. So far, his HR/9 sits at 1.2. However, he gave up just 3 home runs last year in 80 and two thirds innings. Miley’s K/BB ratio of 2.48 is the highest its been since his 2012 rookie year.
- Matt Joyce:
Despite playing in 105 games, Joyce has just 174 plate appearances. Regardless, that hasn’t stopped him from being one of the Braves best bench bats. Currently, the lefty swinging outfielder is slashing .291/.397/.453 with 5 homers. Overall his offensive production has been worth 120 wRC+. Granted, Joyce isn’t, nor has ever been a great defender, but he is definitely hasn’t ever been awful. Joyce has crushed both lefties and righties this year, but has a history of being mainly a platoon outfielder.