* All players come from the lists of potential free agents on www.baseballanalysts.com
This is the year of the center fielder. There are 4 big time(so some seem to think) center fielders on the free agent market this year. They go by the names of Andruw Jones, Torii Hunter, Mike Cameron, and Aaron Rowand. Many people agree that this is the position with the most depth this off-season, and hey, I'm not one to disagree. While I may think most of those guys are vastly overrated, that is a different argument for a different blog.
For the outfielder portion of this, I will list the top players, the overall best bargains, and the players that simply aren't worth the money. And the countdown begins......
But it was an overrated countdown, so f that.
Bobby Abreu NYY
Moises Alou NYM
Barry Bonds SF
Milton Bradley SD
Mike Cameron SD
Brady Clark SD
Jeff DaVanon OAK
Adam Dunn CIN
Darin Erstad CWS
Luis Gonzalez LAD
Shawn Green NYM
Eric Hinske BOS
Torii Hunter MIN
Geoff Jenkins MIL
Andruw Jones ATL
Bobby Kielty BOS
Rob Mackowiak SD
Orlando Palmeiro HOU
Corey Patterson BAL
Aaron Rowand PHI
Reggie Sanders KC
Sammy Sosa TEX
Brad Wilkerson TEX
Best outfielder #1- Despite his age, Barry Bonds is still the most productive hitter in baseball. He adds so many runs to a team's totals simply by his ability to get on base. He led the MLB in walks yet again, got on base nearly half the time, as evident by his .480 OBP, and had an OPS over 1.000. He is still one of the best hitters in baseball. Not to mention, he's only 43.
*will without a doubt be a DH in 2008.
Best outfielder #2- Sure, I'll give this spot to Aaron Rowand. He had a contract-year for the ages, Batting .309 with a .374 OBP, and a .515 SLG. Not only was he good with the wood, he has one of the best range factors among all centerfielders with a 2.64, and only made two errors in the outfield.
There are a few things that I worry about in his case. In 2005 and 2006, he posted OBP's of .329 and .321, respectively. Not only that, but his highest SLG % those two years was .425. Was this year a sign of more good things to come, or simply a flukey kind of year?
Best outfielder #3- You can hate me for this pick, I don't care. You're not the one writing this blog. If you were, maybe you would put someone else here. But in my eyes, one of the best hitting outfielders in the game today is none other than Mr. Adam Dunn himself. He has 4 straight 40+ home run seasons, a .381 career OBP, and a .519 SLG %. Not only that, but he has 4 straight 100 walk seasons, and he has not slowed down one bit over his career. I love this guy, he is awesome. I DON'T CARE ABOUT HIS STRIKEOUTS!!!! And if you wanted to see Torii Hunter and Andruw Jones on this list, don't worry, you will.
Best bargain # 1: Brady Clark- You may not know who this guy is. Then again, there is a chance you do. Whatever, the point is, he is currently not on any major league team. This puzzles me. He has a career .358 OBP, and in the only season in which he had 600 plate appearances, he batted .306. Someone needs to give him a shot at playing, and for a guy that doesn't even play right now, he is a great bargain.
Best bargain #2: Brad Wilkerson- This guy isn't going to be the snazziest fielder on your team, but he can give you more offensive production than Torii Hunter for a fraction of the price. If you want a guy who has 20+ home run power and a career OBP of .354, this is your guy. He is solid, solid solid solid. Not great, not even an all-star player, but solid.
Not worth the Money #1: Torii Hunter- Andruw Jones should probably go in this spot, but my pure hatred for this baseball trickster vaults him into the top spot. Again, if you disagree, I really don't care. People give him to much credit for his glove, which really isn't that extraordinary. His range factor was only .04 higher than Aaron Rowand's this year.
What I really don't like about him is the fact that he is not a good offensive player. He is merely average, the average Joe who is so glorified for whatever odd reason. His career OBP is only .324, which is bad. It's not even league average, which means your average player gets on base more than he does. His career high in walks is only 50, which again, is not good.
From 2004-2006, these are his numbers in the following categories
EQAVG- .267, .273, .276
EQA- .274, .281, .281
VORP- 23.4, 19.4, 32.6
He is a downright average hitter, and I don't like him. I DON'T LIKE HIM!!!!
Not worth the money #2: Andruw Jones- This guy is more overrated than just about anything you could think of, because I sure as hell can't. Baseball prospectus compiled a list of the worst 50 home run seasons in history, based on EQA, VORP, and other great statistics, and Andruw Jones' 2005 season ranked first on that list. That is just an example of how much he is overly blessed hitting in that Braves lineup that has a nack for getting on base. I'm not a fan of this guy, he's not a great player.