Kevin Kiermaier may not be a household name, but then few Tampa Bay Rays are. Nonetheless, he's someone who casual fans might be familiar with given his penchant for spectacular defense, which has made him a staple of highlight collections on TV and online as well as earned him not only a pair of Gold Glove Awards but also the 2015 AL Platinum Glove and the 2016 Wilson Defensive Player of the Year. Earlier this week, the 26-year-old centerfielder reached an agreement with the Rays on a six-year, $53.5 million extension. It may very well turn out to be a bargain, because despite his modest offensive skills, he's been one of the most valuable players in the majors over the past three seasons—so good that he heads up our preseason All-Underrated Team.
Thanks to his 82 Defensive Runs Saved from 2014 to '16, including 25 last year (the MLB high among centerfielders) and a single-season record 42 in '15, Kiermaier has been worth 16.4 WAR since the start of the '14 season. That's the highest total in that span for any player who has never made an All-Star team, a reasonable proxy for underratedness even given his defensive hardware.
With that in mind, I went looking for similarly unheralded players, ones who have been particularly valuable over multiple seasons—generally three, but sometimes the situation was clarified by using two years—without being chosen for an All-Star team or winning MVP, Rookie of the Year or Cy Young honors. In the end, I chose one at each position to make up this squad.