Deep Dive: Free agent center fielders

Anger management: Brett Gardner, with a 4.0 bWAR in 2019, is easily the best of this relatively weak free agent class of center fielders.  


“Deep Dive” focuses on the depth of each position in the Chicago White Sox organization. Each position is broken into a five-part series:

  1. Depth in the rookie levels (Dominican through Great Falls)
  2. Depth in A-ball (Kannapolis and Winston-Salem)
  3. Depth in the higher levels (Birmingham and Charlotte)
  4. Under the Radar-type detail on one of the White Sox players at that position
  5. Free agent options at that position


With center field seemingly a lock long-term with Luis Robert, and two players already on the roster who can play the position in Leury García and Adam Engel, the White Sox likely won’t be looking at a center fielder in this year’s free agent class. This is a good thing, because aside from Brett Gardner (who likely will return to the Yankees) and Japanese import Shogo Akiyama, there really wasn’t much production from this group in 2019. While it’s possible the White Sox could pursue reserve depth here, it’s more likely they’d look at the outfield corners due to better overall options on the market.

(age as of April 1, 2020)


Brett Gardner
New York Yankees
B/T: L/L
2019 bWAR: 4.0
Stats: .251/.325/.503, 491 AB, 26 2B, 28 HR, 74 RBI, 10 SB, 52 BB, 108 K
Other positions played: Left field
Age: 36

Jarrod Dyson
B/T: L/R

2019 bWAR: 1.3
Stats: .230/.313/.320, 400 AB, 11 2B, 7 HR, 27 RBI, 30 SB, 47 BB, 86 K
Other positions played: Right field, Left field
Age: 35 

Kevin Pillar
San Francisco Giants
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 1.0
Stats: .259/.287/.432, 611 AB, 37 2B, 21 HR, 88 RBI, 14 SB, 18 BB, 89 K
Other positions played: Right field
Age: 31

Billy Hamilton
Atlanta Braves
B/T: S/R
2019 bWAR: 0.3
Stats: .218/.289/.275, 316 AB, 14 2B, 0 HR, 15 RBI, 22 SB, 32 BB, 87 K
Age: 29

Guillermo Heredia
Tampa Bay Rays
B/T: R/L
2019 bWAR: 0.3
Stats: .225/.306/.363, 204 AB, 13 2B, 5 HR, 20 RBI, 2 SB, 18 BB, 60 K
Other positions played: Right field, Left field
Age: 29

Erick Mejia
Kansas City Royals 
B/T: S/R
2019 bWAR: 0.0
Stats: .227/.333/.273, 22 AB, 1 2B, 0 HR, 4 RBI, 0 SB, 4 BB, 7 K
Other positions played: Second base, Shortstop
Age: 25

Shogo Akiyama
Seibu Lions (Japan)

B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: 0.0
Stats: .303/.392/.471, 590 AB, 31 2B, 20 HR, 62 RBI, 12 SB, 78 BB, 108 K
Age: 31

Austin Jackson
New York Mets

B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: 0.0
Stats: Did not play in 2019
Age: 33 

Jacoby Ellsbury
New York Yankees
B/T: L/L
2019 bWAR: 0.0
Stats: Did not play due to injury
Age: 36

Mason Williams
Baltimore Orioles
B/T: L/R

2019 bWAR: -0.1
Stats: .267/.324/.300, 30 AB, 1 2B, 0 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB, 3 BB, 6 K
Age: 28

Leonys Martin
Cleveland Indians

B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: -0.3
Stats: .199/.276/.343, 236 AB, 7 2B, 9 HR, 19 RBI, 4 SB, 21 BB, 78 K
Age: 32

J.T. Riddle
Miami Marlins

B/T: L/R
2019 bWAR: -0.4
Stats: .189/.230/.371, 132 AB, 6 2B, 6 HR, 12 RBI, 0 SB, 5 BB, 42 K
Other positions played: Shortstop
Age: 28 

Carlos Gomez
New York Mets
B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: -0.4
Stats: .198/.278/.337, 86 AB, 3 2B, 3 HR, 10 RBI, 4 SB, 7 BB, 30 K
Other positions played: Right field, Left field
Age: 34

Juan Lagares
New York Mets

B/T: R/R
2019 bWAR: -0.7
Stats: .213/.279/.326, 12 2B, 5 HR, 27 RBI, 4 SB, 22 BB, 75 K
Age: 31

 


 

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Despite my entire family being Cub fans, I grew up listening to Harry Caray and Jimmy Piersall on the radio as I listened to the entire season of the South Side Hit Men of '77. While it's true I have a myriad of other interests (American history, classic literature, classic rock, classic country, blues, jazz, gardening, family,etc.--not all in that order), few things aside from family surpass my interest in all things baseball--especially the White Sox.

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katiesphil
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I’ve never been a big Brett Gardner fan, and his age scares me, but I’d be curious as to how he might handle RF on a reasonable 1 or 2 year contract. No one else here interests me in the least.