How underrated is Corey Hart?
The movie Office Space is probably one of my favorites. Noted for its dry and cynical sense of humor, it also features Michael Bolton. No, not the singer; one of the main characters in the movie. Now I’m sure Corey Hart can relate to that movie, but in a much different sense. Hart is a real person, yet again, so is his counter part, famous for the 1984 pop rock hit ‘Sunglasses at Night’ (which ironically Brewers’ Hart used as his song during the 2008 All-Star Game). Something that amazes me about Hart, is how underrated of not only an outfielder he is, but of just a player he is.
Hart made his debut in 2004 and has done well ever since. His career numbers are as follows: a .277 batting average, 124 home runs, 798 hits and an OPS of .821. Defensively, Hart is one of the best right fielders in the game. He has a fielding percentage of .987 and has only committed 20 errors. His defensive stats are beyond mind blowing. Here’s the kicker though, Hart has only been an All-Star twice (2008, 2010). During his eight seasons, Hart has been productive each year. 2011 was no different as he batted .285 with 26 home runs, 63 RBIs, 80 runs scored and 140 hits.
In the section of National League outfielders, Hart ranks 12th, right behind Justin Upton and in front of Shane Victorino. Of course, this ranking is purely offense. Out of top ten right fielders in the NL, Hart ranks 3rd in defense, behind Andre Ethier and Carlos Beltran. In the entirety of outfielders in the MLB, Hart ranks 16th offensively and 5th in defense. Needless to say, Hart is a very talented player who really does not get the credit he deserves.
It’s true though that Hart most of the time goes unnoticed. Whenever the Brewers came up last year, it was due to the thanks of Ryan Braun, Nyjer Morgan, the pitching and the former Brewer Prince Fielder. For as much as Hart did on both sides of the both, I never heard his name mentioned all too much. Comparing him to his fellow NL right fielders, Hart is a player that surprises me. Well, maybe I should clarify. It’s not Hart that surprises me, it’s how little he’s noticed because when the word ‘outfielders’ comes to mind, there are the top three that come into everyone’s mind (NL speaking): Andre Ethier, Ryan Braun and Matt Kemp. Maybe Hart doesn’t like the attention, so perhaps it’s a good thing.
Regardless, Hart is, at least in my mind, a center piece for the Brewers. Now that Fielder is gone, Braun’s status is unsure, and Casey McGehee is gone, most the firepower will come from Hart’s bat. The only disadvantage Hart has is that he’s not a huge base stealer as he only had seven stolen bases in 2011. That really, doesn’t affect his overall value; it’s just a nice bonus. Looking into the season which begins in a little over two months (still too far away), if the Brewers wish to succeed like they did in 2011, they’re going to have to look at Corey Hart for that, because he can definitely provide the support. Oh, and to answer the title, my reply is very.