NL East Outfield Preview
For the NL East Infield preview, click here.
Let’s face it. Ochoa should be a DH. He can’t field at first base, and he’s awful in the outfield, but he is on the Braves, so being a DH is out of the question. That being said, he still posted a 1.4 WAR, almost entirely based off of his sound hitting.
With Matt Clark sold in the player option, the Marlins give the starting left field gig to Silverio. He has never been a full time starter, but he has been excellent for the Mariners the past two seasons. He’s not going to provide the same level of power that Clark had, but he replaces it with much stronger defense, and higher batting average.
Gómez only played for 46 games, as he missed the majority of the season with a ruptured finger tendon. In that time he amassed a 1.1 WAR, but look back to 2015 and you see what Gómez can do. He’s an elite level defender in left field, and has routinely put up OBP over .100 points higher than his batting average. If he does this, he’s a great top of the lineup hitter.
Collins is a nice player, and that’s just about it. He’s a very average fielder, and above average hitter, but he doesn’t stand out in any way. He’ll likely be very similar to what he’s been his first two seasons, a .265 with 15 home runs hitter.
Myers has always been seen as a player poised to break out, and become a truly excellent hitter. But, after 2 full seasons, and over another season of games spaced out over 3 years, he has never put it together. He has won a Gold Glove in left field, back in 2015, and if he continues at this pace he’ll be a good player for the Nationals.
Gose is an amazing defender, good enough for 5th best zone rating in the league. When he came over to the Braves from St. Louis on June 28th, he then took off offensively, which ultimately earned him the nod to bat leadoff in 2017. The incumbent Gold Glove winner is also a threat on the base paths, good enough for 2nd in the league.
Guyer will likely not be the starter all season. Not only is he not a standout defender at a position that demands it, but he is coming off of a career worst season, where he also was sent to AAA for a period of time. It’s unclear who would take over in center field, but it would likely be Trayce Thompson, who came over in the Joey Votto trade.
Den Dekker is coming off of one of his worst seasons. Yes, you read that right. It was partly because of injuries, as a sprained ankle and back tightness kept him out for 7 weeks and 3 weeks respectively. The Mets center fielder has come 2nd in the MVP voting twice, and if he stays healthy, it’s likely he’ll be in the running again. If he gets his power back up to near 30 home runs, and continues his Gold Glove worthy defense, he will certainly be a favorite for every award he can win.
Sappelt had a very good season last year, having a career high in almost every statistical category. The 30 year old also plays a superb center field, and the Phillies can only hope that he continues to build upon the success he found. His hard work may have finally paid off, and being the full time starter certainly helped his confidence.
CarGo was traded 3 times in 2015, but 2016 he spent the entire season with the Nationals, and it appears that 2017 will be similar. The $20 million aging superstar has played 148 games in centerfield in his career, and boy is he not cut out for it. If he can somehow figure it out, maybe he’ll stick in CF, but if not he may be passed over and moved to one of the corners.
Cabañas was acquired by the Braves to lead their offense. The 22-year old is going to be one of the best players in the league for years to come. Not even at full potential, he averages over 30 home runs a season, while batting over .300, and his eye is getting progressively better. He also played the best defense in right field in the league, and added 33 stolen bases. What more could you want from this kid?
Sierra is a very nice player, having played well the last 5 seasons with Arizona. The Marlins thought he would be an upgrade in right field, and made the move to acquire him. If he can provide another offensive season like he had in 2016, he should be a vital piece to their offense.
Vasquez had a nice rookie season, after being a rule 5 draft pick from the Indians. He last the whole season and started in 121 games, hitting .287 and adding 11 home runs. He also played well in the field. No he’s not going to be an All-Star, but he is a solid player to have on a winning team.
The 29 year old has had a fantastic career, but his first full season with the Phillies did not go quite as planned. Yes, he did still have a good year, but nowhere near what he did when he first came to the Phillies from their division rivals, the Mets. Both his power and batting average have dropped, and there’s no knowing if he’ll return to his past form.
He spent 5 seasons with the Angels as a 5th outfielder, splitting time between AAA and the MLB, and the Nationals acquired him in a trade this past season. He then played well in the capital, and they hope he can continue that success. He’s been good in the time he has spent in the MLB, showing some power and has a lifetime average of .284. If he does that again, the team will be happy.