Thursday, January 22, 2009

Center Field

  Here it is the long awaited Center Field comparison. Let’s start with the easy ones. The Rays feature B.J. Upton as their deep man. He has showed great speed and decent power. 2007 was his best year when he batted .300 with 24 HR. Last year was down from that but he had more hits overall and 44 stolen bases. He had 16 assists against only 7 errors. One thing to note is that he can also play the infield and in 2007 split his time between second, short and center. Overall a young talented player that can play muti positions. Grade B+

The Red Sox Jacoby Ellsbury is a Gem of a Center Fielder. At only 25 years old he is a five tool player. Although he hasn’t shown allot of HR power I believe it’s there. He has a plus arm and is super fast with 50 stolen bags in 2008 and boy can he cover ground. In his short 2 year career he has yet to make an Error. He batted .280 in 2008 and you can tell if he stays healthy he will have more years over .300 than under. Grade A

With the Yankees it gets more confusing. Last year the position was shared between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. Melky started the season for the Yanks and after a poor showing was optioned back to AAA in August in favor of Brett Gardner. Gardner added a dimension that Melky did not provide. Speed, and allot of it. He didn't hit well but showed some signs of life in September after some adjustments to his swing were made by hitting Guru Kevin Long. It has been stated that the barring a trade made prior to spring training the two of them will compete for the Job. If Gardner can continue to hit like he did in September he definitely has more value. Both Cabrera and Gardner are thought to be stop gaps for Austin Jackson who is by far the organizations best Athlete. He like Gardner is very fast and has the potential to be a power hitter and great defender in the future. Unless something unusual happens in spring training he is probably a year away from the majors. Based on what the Yankees have now they get a B
The Center field edge goes to Boston but it could be different my mid season

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