MLB Top Ten Right Now: Center fielders and Catchers

CENTER FIELDERS

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Christian Yelich
  3. George Springer
  4. Jackie Bradley Jr.
  5. A.J. Pollock
  6. Adam Eaton
  7. Lorenzo Cain
  8. Charlie Blackmon
  9. Kevin Kiermaier
  10. Dexter Fowler

Analysis: Fowler had a WAR of 4.2 and slashed .276/.393/.447, and has the 6th best OBP among outfielders since 2012. Kiermaier leads the MLB in DRS since 2015 with 67 and has a 12.8 WAR in that span. He also hit 12 homers with 21 steals. in 2016 and seems to be trending upward with the bat. Even away from Coors, Blackmon still hit .313 and slugged better away than at home, batting .324/.381/.551 with 29 homers and 82 RBIs. While Cain had a down year after his 2015 spike, two injuries kept him to just over 100 games, while he still produced 2.9 WAR and batted .287 with 14 steals, despite only hitting nine homers. Eaton will again play center field for the Nationals, a better lineup than he played in last season. Slashing .284/.362./428, Eaton will move from right to center and many are unsure of his defense in center. Pollock despite a lost season, still is only one season removed from an impressive season. After an all-star first half batting .296 in the first half, his offense leveled out, but his defense remained with 11 DRS, hitting 26 homers and 87 RBIs overall with a 5.3 WAR in 2016. Springer had another solid season, playing all 162 games, scoring over 110 runs and slugging 29 homers, as he now moves for right to center. Yelich batted .298 with a .372 OBP and hit 21 homers and had 98 RBIs in left season and is now moving to center at age 25. 

MY LIST

  1. Mike Trout
  2. Christian Yelich
  3. George Springer
  4. Charlie Blackmon
  5. Adam Eaton
  6.  Jackie Bradley Jr.
  7. Lorenzo Cain
  8. Adam Jones
  9. Ender Inciarte
  10. Kevin Kiermaier

 

CATCHERS 

  1. Buster Posey
  2. Jonathan Lucroy
  3. Yasmani Grandal
  4. Wilson Ramos
  5. Russell Martin
  6. Yadier Molina
  7. Francisco Cervelli
  8. J.T. Realmuto
  9. Salvador Perez
  10. Wellington Castillo

(Gary Sanchez and Willson Contreras did not play enough games to qualify for the Shredder’s list).

Analysis: For Castillo, a top five slugging catcher since 2015 at .437, he batted .264/.322/.423 in 2016 and caught would-be base stealers at a 37.5% clip, the 4th best among catchers. Perez threw out 48.1% of would-be base stealers and has caught the most innings in baseball over the last three seasons. He had a poor second half but overall he hit 22 home runs and 89 RBIs. Realmuto caught the second most innings in the majors and threw out 35.4% of base stealers all the while stealing 12 bases, slashing .303/.343/.428 and even batted .350 on the road, although he was the third-worst amongst catchers in DRS at -13. Cervelli only played 101 games and only had the fifth lowest slugging percentage in baseball at .322. Cervelli only had a 19% caught stealing percentage while getting on-base at a .377 clip and batting .264. Molina slashed .307/.360/.427 with 58 RBIs in 147 games, a career high, but he only caught 21.2% of would-be base stealers. After Memorial day, Martin slugged .458, overall he slashed .231/.335/.398 with 20 home runs but only a 15.3% caught stealing percentage. Ramos led all catchers in WRC+, slashed .307/.354/.496 and pounded 22 home runs with a 37.3% caught stealing percentage, although he has now had two major knee injuries in his career. Grandal only hit .228 but had a .339 OBP and .477 SLG with 27 home runs and over a 28% caught stealing percentage and going into his age 28 season, he may be poised for a career year. Lucroy led all catchers with a .500 SLG and threw out 39% of would-be base stealers. 

MY LIST

  1. Buster Posey
  2. Jonathan Lucroy
  3. Yadier Molina
  4. J.T. Realmuto
  5. Yasmani Grandal
  6. Salvador Perez
  7. Wilson Ramos
  8. Wellington Castillo
  9. Gary Sanchez
  10. Willson Contreras

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