There are some that cross over into the mainstream, such as Justin Upton, Paul Goldschmidt, or Brandon Webb. Others still are bought that were already in the mainstream, like just about anyone on the 2001 World Series team. Yet even if most baseball fans have heard of Aaron Hill, they probably don't realize how great he was last year. They probably don't realize how good Parra was in 2011 or is this year.
'Underrate' is one of those words people like to use fast and loose because it's largely a matter of perspective. It requires the position to believe a player isn't as good as they are simply by lack of reputation. Fans of the team obviously will be less likely to underrate their own. Of course, the flip side to this coin is overrating, because we want to believe our players are always really, really good, even when they're slipping helplessly into Miggy Time. Non-fans are also guilty of overrating players, because they're relying on reputation as a substitution for knowledge (see, most national fans opinions about Trevor Bauer).
Yet there are players that we as fans underrate. I'll admit I'm guilty of underrating Gerardo Parra. I've always felt his bat was a little light, and although he can rake, I didn't think he'd keep it up. Yet here were are, almost to June, and he's put up a slash of .316/.381/.492, and has a bWAR of 3. He's already earned as much Wins Above Replacement as he did for his entire 2011 season.
Another player I find myself underrating, if we're looking at all-time Diamondbacks, is Jay Bell. Sure, I remember him scoring the winning run in the 2001 World Series, but I forget that in 1999 he was money in the bank and had one of the best all-time Diamondback seasons. Of course, it was virtually out of line with the rest of his good career, but I'll admit I don't think Jay Bell when I think of players with nearly 5 bWAR in a season.
Sometimes we consider a bad player to be underrated simply because we like him for extraneous reasons. Sure, Willie Bloomquist is Doomquist and No Offense Willie Bloomquist, the current inspiration for Diamondbacks TOOTBLAN, and probably a hundred other negative things we could say, but I can't help that I root for him a little more because he went to ASU. He's not really underrated, though, he's just awful and I have weird criteria for who I root for.
So what about you? What are some of your underrated Diamondbacks on the 2013 squad and all-time?