It might be an oxymoron to say any ballplayer in the majors is underpaid when the bare minimum MLB salary is over $400k a year but when you look at the insane contracts thrown out every offseason to free agents you can say these 10 guys are steals for the production they put on the field. Not surprisingly all of these guys have yet to explore the free agent market while most are on their rookie contracts. What is surprising is how many Yankees and Dodgers are on this list starting off with the rookie of the year.
1) Aaron Judge, Yankees ($544,500)
Judge was the MLB story of the year with a historic rookie season in the Bronx. Judge led the league with 52 HRs, 128 runs, 127 walks and 208 strikeouts. Factor in his WAR of 8.1 along with his rookie salary and Judge was by far the most underpaid player in the game while also being arguably the face of the game last year.
2) Tommy Pham, Cardinals ($438,450)
In his 4th big league season with the Cardinals Pham put up career high numbers with an incredible .931 OPS in 530 plate appearances which was more than he had his first 3 years combined. Pham finished 11th in MVP voting while making just barely over the league minimum.
3) Luis Severino, Yankees ($550,975)
In just his 3rd season Severino had a breakout season for the Pinstripes while making his first All-Star team and finishing 3rd in the Cy Young race. Severino nearly tossed 200 innings while maintaining and ERA under 3 which is no small feat especially with pitching in home run friendly Yankees Stadium.
4) Corey Seager, Dodgers ($575,000)
Coming off his rookie of the year season in 2016 Seager put up a 5.6 WAR season for the Dodgers while playing an excellent shortstop and winning his 2nd Silver Slugger Award. I would say he's worth every penny and he made less than what a duplex would sell for in Los Angeles.
5) Chris Taylor, Dodgers ($485,218)
Another Dodger makes the list as Taylor enjoyed a breakout season in Los Angeles for the NL Champions in just his 4th season. The utility player got 140 starts at a combination of middle infield and outfield while hitting 21 HRs and an excellent .850 OPS.
6) Jimmy Nelson, Brewers ($547,000)
This Brewers starter enjoyed a breakout campaign in his 5th season with 12 wins, 199 strikeouts and finishing in the top 10 for the NL Cy Young. With a 4.9 WAR the cost was about $111k per WAR which made Nelson a bargain considering CC Sabathia cost nearly $20 million per WAR last year alone.
7) Zack Godley, Diamondbacks ($409,220)
For the league minimum in salary the Dbacks got a pitcher in Godley who threw over 150 innings with a 3.37 ERA and 165 K's.
8) Cody Bellinger, Dodgers ($476,480)
Make that 3 Dodgers on this list of underpaid players which seems crazy since their payroll was north of $200 million last season. The NL Rookie of the year put up 39 HRs and nearly drove in 100 runs despite being in the minors for the first month and a half.
9) Aaron Nola, Phillies ($544,000)
Despite playing on an awful Phillies team Nola put up some outstanding numbers while securing a spot in the rotation in just his third big league season. A winning record, 3.54 ERA and 184 K's is no small feat while making less than a tenth of what Cole Hamels made last season.
10) Gary Sanchez, Yankees ($557,900)
What in the world is going on when you have 3 Yankees that are actually UNDERPAID? Sanchez followed up his excellent rookie season with an even better sophomore campaign which included 33 HRs, an All-Star appearance and a Silver Slugger award. It's amazing to think the combination of the two Baby Bombers (Aaron Judge) made just a tad over a million last season while putting up over 80 HRs and 200 RBIs.