Monday, May 25, 2009

Take 5

Back in the 50's, the classic debate around the New York area centered around... center. This period of time brought 2 of the all-time greats, Mantle and Mays, playing the same position in the same city. Who are the top 5 centerfielders in The Bigs?

1. Luis Martinez, Milwaukee

Mr. 40-40 himself is the reigning AL MVP, so I doubt there's much debate he's the best. Has gone 40-40 twice and hit 61 homers in one of the seasons he didn't- regularly hits around .300 to go with that power and speed. He's not the most gifted defensive CF, but he has improved over time. By the way, he's still only 27 years old.

2. Nate Cox, Salem

Doesn't put up the gaudy numbers that Martinez does, but is a threat to both go deep and steal a base as well. Puts up MVP-type numbers on a team without a lot of big offensive threats. Again, not a gold-glover, but can handle the position.

3. Scott Diaz, Houston

More of your prototypical CF than Martinez and Cox, in that he won't hit many home runs but plays very good defense and steals a lot of bases (70 steals). Has stolen over 50 bases in 5 straight seasons and scored over 100 runs in 4 straight.

4. Lynn Abernathy, Atlanta

2- time All-Star and a former Gold Glove winner. Has hit at least 20 home runs in each of the last 5 seasons. Has double-digit plus defensive plays all 5 seasons, so he's a two-way player.

5. Dewey Greenwood, Cheyenne

Slightly better hitter than Abernathy, but not as good defensively. Could easily drive in 100 runs on a good Cheyenne team. Overcame injury problems in seasons 1 and 2 (with Toronto) to become the star of the team.

Honorable mention: Paul Turnbow, Chicago

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