Ladies and Gentlemen: 30 days, 30 MLB position rankings. Nine positions and the top starting pitcher ranked from each team in three parts each. Each player on the list is based on the projected starter for a team for the 2020 season by position. On day nineteen of this series, we’ll look at the MLB center fielders ranked from 30-21.
Check out my previous rankings from this series:
Catchers 30-21 | Catchers 20-11 | Catchers 10-1 | First Base 30-21 | First Basemen 20-11 | First Basemen 10-1 | Second Basemen 30-21 | Second Basemen 20-11 | Second Basemen 10-1 | Third Basemen 30-21 | Third Basemen 20-11 | Third Basemen 10-1 | Shortstop 30-21 | Shortstops 20-11 | Shortstop 10-1 | Left Field 30-21 | Left Field 20-11 | Left Field 10-1
30. Derek Fisher, Toronto Blue Jays
2019: 57 games, .185/.287/.370 splits, .657 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 17 RBIs
After three poor seasons as a backup with the Astros, Derek Fisher was traded to the Blue Jays last July. Fisher doesn’t bring much to the table for Toronto. At the plate, he doesn’t hit for a high average or hit many home runs. Defensively, he’s right around league-average, but far from elite.
29. Billy Hamilton, San Francisco Giants
2019: 119 games, .218/.289/.275 splits, .564 OPS, 0 Home Runs, 15 RBIs
Throughout his career, Billy Hamilton has known for one thing, and one thing only: speed. However, after stealing at least 56 bases every year from 2014-2017, he only had 34 in 2018 and just 22 stolen bases in 2019. He’s never had much, if any, power, which showed last year as he didn’t hit a single home run. A career above-average defender, Hamilton also struggled with his glove in 2019 with Kansas City and Atlanta. .
28. Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners
2019: 134 games, .227/.300/.335 splits, .635 OPS, 6 Home Runs, 37 RBIs
Like Billy Hamilton, Mallex Smith’s best attribute is his ability to steal bases. He led the AL with 46 stolen bases in 2019, while only getting caught nine times. However, he doesn’t provide a ton of power at the plate and strikes out too much. Defensively, he has a poor arm and posted an Rdrs of -11 last season.
27. Jarrod Dyson, Pittsburgh Pirates
2019: 130 games, .230/.313/.320 splits, .633 OPS, 7 Home Runs, 27 RBIs
There’s a trend forming on the bottom of this list: players who make a living off stealing bases. A career pinch-running specialist, Jarrod Dyson is projected to be the Pirates’ everyday center fielder for 2020 after having the best offensive year of his career with Arizona in 2019. Dyson has stolen at least 26 bases every year since 2012, except for 2018.
26. Delino DeShields Jr., Cleveland Indians
2019: 118 games, .249/.325/.347 splits, .672 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 32 RBIs
Steals, steals, steals! Like the previous three guys on this list, Delino DeShields Jr.’s best ability is his base running. He’s stolen over 20 bases in four of his five MLB seasons, including 24 in 2019. At the plate, he doesn’t hit for much power and struggles with strikeouts. His defense puts him above the other steal-dominant players as he posted an Rdrs of 8 in center in 2019.
25. Trent Grisham, San Diego Padres
2019: 51 games, .231/.328/.410 splits, .738 splits, 6 Home Runs, 24 RBIs
At age 22, Trent Grisham showed occasional flashes of potential as a backup with the Brewers. Following his rookie season, Grisham was traded to the Padres in exchange for Zach Davies. Grisham is still very young and could project to be a 25 home run type of player for a 162 game season. It will be interesting to see how he performs as an everyday starter.
24. Austin Hays, Baltimore Orioles
2019: 21 games, .309/.373/.574 splits, .947 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 13 RBIs
After getting the call-up in September, Austin Hays showed what he could do at the MLB level. Despite playing 21 games, Hays hit above .300 with an OPS well above .900 and four home runs. However, due to his lack of experience, I can’t rank him much higher. It will be interesting to see how he performs across an entire season.
23. Adam Haseley, Philadelphia Phillies
2019: 67 games, .266/.324/.396 splits, .720 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 26 RBIs
After getting called up following Andrew McCutchen’s injury, Adam Haseley showed potential in 2019. Haseley hit for a decent average but didn’t provide a lot of power. However, where he showed the most promise was in the field, including robbing a home run last year. If he struggles, he may split time with Roman Quinn in center for 2020.
22. Cameron Maybin, Detroit Tigers
2019: 82 games, .285/.364/.494 splits, .858 OPS, 11 Home Runs, 32 RBIs
After Aaron Hicks and Aaron Judge went down, Cameron Maybin filled in nicely for the Yankees in 2019. After signing with the Tigers for 2020, it appears he’ll have the slight edge in center over JaCoby Jones. Maybin now prides himself on hitting for a high average while playing above-average defense after once being viewed as a steals guy.
21. Shogo Akiyama, Cincinnati Reds
2019 (Japan): 143 games, .303/.392/.471 splits, .864 OPS, 20 Home Runs, 62 RBIs
One of the best players in Japan, Shogo Akiyama decided to come over at age 32 for the 2020 season. He signed a 3 yr 21M contract to be the center fielder for the Reds. Akiyama does a great job getting on base while also providing some power at the plate. However, since he hasn’t played in MLB yet, I can’t place him on the second part of the center fielders’ ranking.
Come back tomorrow for part two of my center fielders ranking!
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