We have moved to our new permanent home at HighHeatStats.com!

All existing content will remain, but all new content is posted at our new location.

2011: The year of the 24-year-old center fielder

Posted by Andy
Baseball history is filled with great young center fielders. For some reason, they seem to capture the excitement of the fans more than any other position players. Think of a great young center fielder from baseball's past--chances are good that you thought of Joe DiMaggio, Willie Mays, Mickey Mantle, Kirby Puckett, or Ken Griffey Jr.

This past season, two more young center fielders put up great seasons.
Here are players in their Age 24 seasons who primarily played CF and had a WAR of at least 5:

Rk Player Year WAR/pos Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OPS
1 Peter Bourjos 2011 5.0 LAA 147 552 502 72 136 26 11 12 43 32 124 22 9 .765
2 Andrew McCutchen 2011 5.5 PIT 158 678 572 87 148 34 5 23 89 89 126 23 10 .820
3 Matt Kemp 2009 5.8 LAD 159 667 606 97 180 25 7 26 101 52 139 34 8 .842
4 Grady Sizemore 2007 6.1 CLE 162 748 628 118 174 34 5 24 78 101 155 33 10 .852
5 Carlos Beltran 2001 5.9 KCR 155 680 617 106 189 32 12 24 101 52 120 31 1 .876
6 Ken Griffey 1994 6.6 SEA 111 493 433 94 140 24 4 40 90 56 73 11 3 1.076
7 Eric Davis 1986 5.2 CIN 132 487 415 97 115 15 3 27 71 68 100 80 11 .901
8 Kevin McReynolds 1984 5.5 SDP 147 571 525 68 146 26 6 20 75 34 69 3 6 .782
9 Tim Raines 1984 5.4 MON 160 718 622 106 192 38 9 8 60 87 69 75 10 .830
10 Lloyd Moseby 1984 6.2 TOR 158 688 592 97 166 28 15 18 92 78 122 39 9 .837
11 Dale Murphy 1980 7.1 ATL 156 633 569 98 160 27 2 33 89 59 133 9 6 .858
12 Chet Lemon 1979 5.3 CHW 148 632 556 79 177 44 2 17 86 56 68 7 11 .887
13 Cesar Cedeno 1975 5.1 HOU 131 576 500 93 144 31 3 13 63 62 52 50 17 .811
14 Amos Otis 1971 5.3 KCR 147 607 555 80 167 26 4 15 79 40 74 52 8 .789
15 Willie Davis 1964 7.6 LAD 157 652 613 91 180 23 7 12 77 22 59 42 13 .729
16 Vada Pinson 1963 6.5 CIN 162 695 652 96 204 37 14 22 106 36 80 27 8 .861
17 Al Kaline 1959 6.0 DET 136 595 511 86 167 19 2 27 94 72 42 10 4 .940
18 Mickey Mantle 1956 12.9 NYY 150 652 533 132 188 22 5 52 130 112 99 10 1 1.169
19 Willie Mays 1955 9.3 NYG 152 670 580 123 185 18 13 51 127 79 60 24 4 1.059
20 Richie Ashburn 1951 5.6 PHI 154 712 643 92 221 31 5 4 63 50 37 29 6 .819
21 Joe DiMaggio 1939 8.9 NYY 120 524 462 108 176 32 6 30 126 52 20 3 0 1.119
22 Heinie Manush 1926 5.1 DET 136 563 498 95 188 35 8 14 86 31 28 11 5 .985
23 Edd Roush 1917 5.3 CIN 136 567 522 82 178 19 14 4 67 27 24 21 0 .833
24 Tris Speaker 1912 11.0 BOS 153 675 580 136 222 53 12 10 90 82 0 52 28 1.031
25 Ty Cobb 1911 11.4 DET 146 654 591 147 248 47 24 8 127 44 0 83 0 1.088
26 Roger Bresnahan 1903 5.6 NYG 113 486 406 87 142 30 8 4 55 61 46 34 0 .936
27 Emmet Heidrick 1901 5.3 STL 118 539 502 94 170 24 12 6 67 21 32 32 0 .837
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/23/2011.

Bourjos and McCutchen join an incredibly impressive list of more than 10 current or future Hall of Famers plus a bunch of other really good players.

McCutchen's been a good player for several years now and just had his best season. Bourjos's numbers are bit more of a concern to me--I can live with 120+ strikeouts but only with a little more power and a few more walks (see, again, McCutchen.)

I'll take this opportunity to say one more time that Cesar Cedeno is one of the most underrated players of the last 40 years. From 1972 to 1980, he posted a 135 OPS+ over 1179 games. Over those years, here are the only players with an OPS+ of at least 130 over at least 1100 games:

Rk Player WAR/pos OPS+ G Age PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB Pos Tm
1 Joe Morgan 64.6 144 1295 28-36 5535 4469 882 1267 237 32 163 661 430 *4 CIN-HOU
2 Mike Schmidt 60.3 144 1234 22-30 5158 4261 778 1104 208 39 283 787 129 *5/643 PHI
3 Rod Carew 54.5 145 1304 26-34 5692 4983 796 1719 247 74 57 611 266 *34/D7 MIN-CAL
4 Johnny Bench 49.3 133 1242 24-32 5124 4422 667 1175 222 12 242 872 53 *2/9357 CIN
5 Reggie Jackson 48.2 153 1284 26-34 5357 4650 783 1306 242 23 278 887 142 *9D8 OAK-BAL-NYY
6 Cesar Cedeno 45.8 135 1179 21-29 5025 4460 717 1305 263 45 141 621 438 *8/35 HOU
7 Ted Simmons 42.2 132 1342 22-30 5543 4914 643 1476 292 30 162 825 8 *2/3795 STL
8 Gene Tenace 40.9 136 1259 25-33 4729 3753 556 900 145 20 174 581 33 *23/59D4 OAK-SDP
9 Ken Singleton 37.0 142 1377 25-33 5858 4899 730 1444 233 18 177 747 20 *97/D MON-BAL
10 Dave Winfield 30.4 134 1117 21-28 4512 3997 599 1134 179 39 154 626 133 *987/3 SDP
11 Bob Watson 29.3 136 1297 26-34 5274 4674 636 1427 239 32 142 762 24 *37/D2 HOU-TOT-NYY
12 Greg Luzinski 19.5 133 1253 21-29 5187 4518 605 1267 245 21 220 796 27 *7/39 PHI
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 11/23/2011.

Ranked by WAR, you can see that Cedeno was pretty much right there with the best players of the era.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Post a Comment