The 2012 AL Central Position Analysis - Center Field

Jason Miller

A review of the position in 2012 down to the A ball level for all of the AL Central franchises.

Sliding over to the middle, we land in the expanse of center field. Austin Jackson clearly leads this group and he still has his prime years ahead of him. As much guff Brantley gets, he fares very well compared to the rest of the division, with De Aza possibly edging him out ever so slightly. But Danks is hot on his heels for that spot. Brantley is 3 years younger than him and has a chance to still push his OPS closer to 800. But with the deal for Stubbs, my bet is that Stubbs lands in center with Brantley shifting back to left. Span had a decent 2012 but has been dealt. The Royals bring up the rear here and unless Dyson or Cain catches a hot streak, there is not much to offer here. I fear 2013 will be another runaway year for Jackson, I expect De Aza to finish second, but that is mainly due to the dearth of good options for the Tribe, Royals and Twins. The Tribe will see if Drew Stubbs can relocate his bat. The Royals are hoping that either Dyson or Cain figures it out. And I am not sure what the Twins are doing after Span and Revere both got dealt. The current depth chart lists Darin Mastroianni as the starter. Brantley and Carrera will back up Stubbs, Wise was resigned and would likely get the call in Chicago. Torii Hunter and Berry can cover in Detroit, and Clete Thomas is the next in line for the Twins. The Royals also have Willy Tavares if needed.

Level

Status

Age

PA

HR

RBI

OBP

SLG

OPS

Cleveland

Michael Brantley

MLB

Pre-Arb-3

25

609

6

60

348

402

750

Ezequiel Carrera

MLB:AAA

Pre-Arb-3

25

438

6

42

345

419

764

Aaron Cunningham

MLB:AAA

Pre-Arb-3/TEX

26

109

1

7

245

247

493

Chicago

Alejandro De Aza

MLB

Arb-1

28

585

9

50

349

410

760

Dewayne Wise

MLB:AAA

2013

34

176

5

22

295

405

700

Jordan Danks

MLB:AAA

Pre-Arb 1

25

264

8

30

428

514

942

Detroit

Austin Jackson

MLB

Arb-1

25

617

16

66

377

479

856

Quintin Berry

MLB:AAA

Pre-Arb-1

27

330

2

29

330

354

684

Avisail Garcia

MLB:AA:A+

Pre-Arb-1

21

513

14

58

333

455

789

Kansas City

Jarrod Dyson

MLB:AAA

Pre-Arb-2

27

330

0

9

328

322

650

Lorenzo Cain

MLB:AAA:AA

Pre-Arb-2

26

244

7

31

316

419

734

Jason Bourgeois

MLB:AAA

FA/TB

30

247

3

8

314

324

639

Mitch Maier

MLB:AAA

FA/BOS

30

156

4

17

385

424

809

Minnesota

Denard Span

MLB

WAS

28

568

4

41

342

395

738

Ben Revere

MLB:AAA

PHI

24

553

0

32

333

342

675

Clete Thomas

MLB:AAA

FA

28

426

12

47

281

405

686

Onto the minor league assessments ...

Cleveland

Level

Status

Age

PA

HR

RBI

OBP

SLG

OPS

Tim Fedroff

AAA:AA

2008-7

25

543

12

54

394

485

879

Ben Copeland

AAA:AA

2011 mFA

28

196

3

18

244

315

558

Tyler Holt

AA:A+

2010-10

23

611

0

34

340

320

660

Jordan Henry

AA

2009-7

24

290

0

16

363

310

673

Delvi Cid

A+

2007 aFA

22

308

5

29

343

431

774

Carlos Moncrief

A+

2008-14

23

407

15

53

339

465

804

LeVon Washington

A+:A

2010-2

20

57

0

4

439

354

793

Marcus Bradley

A+:A:A-

2010-49

21

137

0

3

336

244

579

Luigi Rodriguez

A

2010 aFA

19

521

11

48

338

406

744

Zach MacPhee

A

2011-13

22

281

2

26

319

297

616

Bryson Myles

A

2011-6

22

418

3

59

355

379

734

Fedroff looks ready and could be an option if Stubbs busts out. The Tribe also signed Cedric Hunter this offseason and he will get some play in Buffalo. Holt had a lot of playing time last year but does not seem to be ready yet. Levon Washington got very little playing time due to injury, but is still very young and he may be the top prospect other than Fedroff.

Chicago

Level

Status

Age

PA

HR

RBI

OBP

SLG

OPS

Greg Golson

AAA

FA

26

480

6

52

309

412

721

Justin Greene

AAA:AA

2008-20

26

363

8

38

227

406

743

Jared Mitchell

AAA:AA

2009-1

23

549

11

67

358

420

778

Trayce Thompson

AAA:AA:A+

2009-2

21

588

25

96

328

482

809

Brandon Short

AAA:AA:A+

2008-28

23

100

0

10

343

306

649

Keenyn Walker

A+

2011-1

21

488

4

55

378

379

757

Michael Earley

A+

2010-29

24

503

13

73

352

467

819

Courtney Hawkins

A+:A:Rk

2012-1

18

249

8

33

324

480

804

Adam Heisler

A:Rk

2011 aFA

24

275

1

22

318

363

680

Tillman Pugh

A

2012 mFA

23

35

0

0

294

313

607

Andrew Douglas

A:Rk

2011 aFA

23

148

1

11

345

303

647

Michael Johnson

A+:A:Rk

2011-31

23

293

2

19

322

293

614

With Golson gone, Blake Tekotte (formerly of the Padres) should be the AAA guy. There are a number of high draft picks here. Mitchell still has time to mature. Thompson is the best of the lot based on the stats. Walker is also still young enough to break out. And Hawkins did well as an 18 year old. Earley had good numbers but is a bit old at 24 in A+.

Detroit

Level

Status

Age

PA

HR

RBI

OBP

SLG

OPS

Justin Henry

AAA

BOS

27

543

1

38

372

357

729

Eric Patterson

AAA

FA

29

267

2

23

365

317

681

Jamie Johnson

AAA:AA

2009-7

25

536

2

39

353

337

690

Daniel Fields

AA:A+

2009-6

21

389

3

33

329

357

686

Luis Castillo

A+:A

2007 aFA

23

417

3

39

307

341

647

Austin Schotts

A+:Rk

2012-3

18

181

3

21

360

449

809

Chad Wright

A

2011-9

22

591

4

40

323

331

654

Henry was dealt to the Red Sox, so the Tigers picked up Matt Tuiasosopo this offseason. With Jackson entrenched, no need for a big stick here. Best bet going forward might be Schotts, but 181 plate appearances is a small sample size, especially for an 18 year old.

Kansas City

Level

Status

Age

PA

HR

RBI

OBP

SLG

OPS

David Lough

MLB:AAA

Pre-Arb-1

26

544

10

69

317

420

737

Wil Myers

AAA:AA

FLA

21

591

37

109

387

600

987

Yem Prades

AA

2011 aFA

24

522

8

44

288

390

678

Bret Eibner

A+

2010-2

23

486

15

53

299

388

687

Whit Merrifield

AA:A+

2010-9

23

546

9

44

329

378

707

Lane Adams

A+:A

2009-13

22

576

11

69

326

395

721

Alex Llanos

A

2008-6

21

277

1

23

308

345

653

Tim Ferguson

A

2010-10

23

416

5

40

346

392

738

Lough and Willy Tavares will likely split time in AAA. Myers was really a RF, but he is now Rays property. And of the rest of the guys listed here, I don't see a single prospect going forward. This should be an area of need in the 2013 draft or in a future trade.

Minnesota

Level

Status

Age

PA

HR

RBI

OBP

SLG

OPS

Joe Benson

AAA:AA:A+:Rk

2006-2

24

312

6

36

288

336

624

Rene Tosoni

AAA:AA:A+:Rk

FA

25

355

4

23

293

315

607

Aaron Hicks

AA

2008-1

22

563

13

61

384

460

844

Angel Morales

A+

2007-3

22

420

7

35

310

328

638

Jonathan Goncalves

A+:A

2006 aFA

23

464

2

44

356

354

710

Wang-Wei Lin

A

2007 aFA

24

426

4

30

343

334

677

JaDamion Williams

A

2010-10

21

407

6

39

311

340

651

Eddie Rosario

A:Rk

2010-4

20

449

13

74

347

499

846

If Clete Thomas doesn't beat out Mastroianni, he should be the AAA starter here. The future at the position likely belongs to Hicks. He did very well as a 22 year old in AA and might be on the fast track this year. Rosario looks like another option if he continues his growth.

Austin Jackson should hold the top spot here for quite awhile. None of the other options in division look to have a spike in the near future. Speaking of futures, the White Sox have the best chance going forward with four draftees from the first or second round. For the non-White Sox options, Hicks looks to be the best bet.

This series attempts to review how each position fared within the AL Central last year and what holds for the future. The first chart reviews how the position fared in the majors between the five teams. The subsequent charts track each position through each team's farm system. Status is not always correct as some of the info was culled a few weeks ago. For players not on the 40-man roster, I have taken my best guess as when/how they were acquired. Not every player who played the position in the minors has been identified as again, I have tried to identify core players at the position only. Some identified as minor league free agents, could have been trade acquisitions. I also only reviewed down to the A level as players at A- or in the rookie leagues are still quite volatile.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Join Let's Go Tribe

You must be a member of Let's Go Tribe to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Let's Go Tribe. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker