MESA, Ariz. -- Even though being "underrated" can be viewed as a positive, it is a term many baseball players appear to dislike after being asked about their interpretation of the word. Some, however, like the motivation of it.
A's outfielder Mark Canha was recently put on a list that highlighted him as an underrated player, and rightfully so.
His low-key demeanor could have him pinned to embrace the role, but he said he wouldn't mind getting extra attention.
"Of course, you know, I'd like to make a name for myself, but to be mentioned on that list is an honor in its own right, someone who maybe wasn't a household name, and now more people know about," Canha told NBC Sports California.
"I think it just says I did something, I accomplished something last year, had a pretty decent year."
Indeed he did.
Canha had many "bests" in 2019. He hit career-high 26 home runs and slashed a terrific .273/.396/.517 line, good for a 146 wRC+.
During this unprecedented time amid the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), it’s given us an opportunity to give thanks to those who so selflessly have been working hard to ensure the rest of us stay safe.
For A’s closer Liam Hendriks, he wanted to give a special shoutout to those in the medical field working hard:
“We, as an Oakland Athletics organization, want to say, ‘Thank you,’ for everything you’re doing, please stay safe,” he said via the A’s Instagram account.
Hendriks personally has felt the devastation the coronavirus has brought upon us as a society. He revealed recently that a friend of his, Conrad Buchanan, died due to COVID-19. Hendriks announced the news on Instagram last week and urged the world to stay home, “not only for your health, but for the sake of others as well.”
One of the ways the league is making sure everyone stays home is by implementing a way to watch MLB The Show 20 in a tournament put on by the players themselves.
In the game, you’re able to create essentially your own legacy in Major League Baseball.
Just like most games based on professional sports, each individual is given an overall rating.
Here are how some of the A’s players fared, out of a possible best score of 100:
3B Matt Chapman: 92 Closer Liam Hendriks: 88 1B Matt Olson: 86 SS Marcus Semien: 85 CF Ramón Laureano: 83 RP Joakim Soria: 83 SP Sean Manaea: 81 RP Yusmeiro Petit: 81 RP J.B. Wendelken: 78 P Frankie Montas: 76
You can see the rest of the A’s numbers, as well as other players across the league, in this video:
For Matt Chapman, he’s unsurprisingly one of the best third basemen in the game according to The Show’s player ratings -- No. 4 in that category to be specific. Right behind Houston Astros star Alex Bregman, who was rated a 95.
Nolan Arenado leads the hot corner with a 99 overall rating. Chappy earlier this year told NBC Sports California where he believed he ranked compared to Arenado, Bregman and even Anthony Rendon. Rendon was signed by the Angels in the offseason, which only beefed up the AL West at that position.
Last season, Chappy put up solid numbers earning his first All-Star selection and his second, and consecutive Gold and Platinum Glove Awards. He hit 36 home runs and slashed .249/.342/.506 with 91 RBI.
For Liam Hendriks, who was rated the second-highest on the team, he was the third-highest among closers, with Kirby Yates leading the category.
Last season, Hendriks was sensational with a 1.80 ERA and a 0.965 WHIP in 85 innings. He also earned the first All-Star selection of his career.
Marcus Semien also earned high marks with his 85 rating. He was tied with the likes of Adalberto Mondesi, Carlos Correa and Trea Turner. Not a bad group to be associated with.
The ratings at shortstop had a lot to do with fielding abilities. Despite the shift in power we get to see among middle infielders, the glove was a highlight here -- but the bats were all but ignored. Semien has improved drastically over the last couple of seasons with both his glove and offensive game. He was appreciated here.
Angels star Mike Trout also received a 99 rating, which goes to show who the rest of the league has to measure up to.