CF- This is where things get a little interesting...

Starters- The job is kind of a toss up between Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner. At this point in the spring, I would say the job will end up going to Gardner, just because he is tearing up the Grapefruit League. For spring, Gardner is hitting .382/.447/.765 with 3 HR in 34 ABs. That is absolutely ridiculous. Despite the fact that he is absolutely raking in March, he didn't fare too well in the regular season last year. He ended up hitting .228/.283/.299, which is pretty bad, but he showed great improvement towards the end of the year. Kevin Long has been working with him on opening up his stance. Hopefully, these changes will help Brett to develop at the plate. Gardner is very quick, swiping 13 bases in 42 games. He is a constant threat on the base paths. His speed also factors into his solid fielding. Because of the speed, he has great range in CF and can track balls down very well. It doesn't hurt that he has a very very strong arm. I, personally, see Gardner as the Opening Day starter. I think he can have a really solid season out in CF. 

Backup- Melky Cabrera did not live up to expectations at all last season. He only his .249/.301/.341. It was by far his worst season in the Bronx and it earned him an extended trip down to AAA. Melky really needs to find his swing again if he wants to be considered for the CF job. As a fielder, Cabrera has a very strong arm, but is constantly criticized for the awkward routes he takes on fly balls. If he doesn't win the job for CF and continues to play poorly, he should be the backup OF. If he continues to struggle, he will be a very competent 4th OF.

Prospects- Austin Jackson is our main CF prospect. Last season in AAA, Jackson hit .285/.354/.419, which is not too shabby for a 21 year old. He is a very strong defender, and pretty much has all 5 tools, so I am pretty excited about the emergence of this young kid. 

1 comment:

Bronx Baseball Daily said...

It sounds like you are a little too high on Austin Jackson. Maybe he has 5 tools, but none of them are exceptional. He's not exceptionally powerful, he's quick, but certainly not fast. His defense and his average are probably his only tools that could end up being exceptional. And that might be a long shot.