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The most underrated Yankees of recent years

Because sometimes, there's not enough hype

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

To complete the thought with Tuesday's post on overrated Yankees, I spent some time thinking about players since the 90s whose time in pinstripes is underrated by the media and most fans.

Wade Boggs

It's easy to think less of Boggs' time in pinstripes, but who really compares to peak? He was older, and well past his glory days in Boston. I mean, this was a guy who hit .352/.443/.480 for the '80s and played a consistently above-average to excellent third base. Considering how often slugging and Gold Gloves go together, it is frankly stunning that he didn't win his first Gold Glove until age 36 (when he hit like his old self during the strike shortened '94 campaign). He didn't play a ton of games (averaged 120 with a high of 143) in the Bronx, and his slugging declined steadily. But he was a solid 3-4 win player every year except for his last one, and he rode a horse around the Stadium to celebrate.

Bobby Abreu

You might notice the theme of my list of underrated Yankees is on-base percentage. I might be biased (ok, I am biased, but it's a bias I believe in), but I think the best thing a baseball player can do as a hitter is not make an out, and that's what OBP measures. As a hitter, Bobby Abreu was one of the Yankees' best for the two and a half seasons he played with the team. Unfortunately, Abreu's apathetic defense earned him a ton of grief (most of it well-deserved), but I don't really blame Abreu for that. The Yankees should have made Abreu a DH, but with Johnny Damon, Jason Giambi and Hideki Matsui on the team, Abreu was never the team's biggest problem in the field. In another era, he'd have a Yankeeography and a ring.

Nick Swisher

I look back on Nick Swisher's time with the Yankees with a little bit of disappointment. There was that championship in 2009, and that was fantastic. Please don't misunderstand me. However, I expected the Yankees to pick up another ring in 2010 or 2011 or 2012, and they couldn't quite do it. And I think most people think Swisher is a big reason why: .165/.277/.297 in 47 career postseason game isn't exactly a glowing recommendation. If Derek Jeter and Bernie Williams get bonus points for their postseason record, then surely Swisher gets demerits. He does, but not as many as most people might think. Swisher was never hurt, took pitches, played hard, and did whatever was asked of him defensively, whether that was playing the outfield or giving Mark Teixeira a day off that first. Of course I wish he was a better all-around player (I wish we were all better versions of ourselves), but I think too many Yankee fans have made him the scapegoat of the Yankees' postseason failures. Nowadays, I wish we had postseason failures to complain about. Though I am glad they didn't resign him. Enjoy Cleveland!

Who do you think has been the most underrated Yankee of your lifetime?