Astros Soon to Face Glut of Center Fielders


For the Houston Astros and any baseball team (at any level), you can never have enough pitching, and theoretically it can’t hurt to be loaded anywhere. But the depth at the center field position is going to be categorized under “good problem to have” in a few months with all signs leading towards a trade.

Jake Marisnick continues to hit well and play the defense he’s known to since coming over from the Miami Marlins in July. George Springer‘s future seems to be at a corner spot because of the acquisition and potential of Marisnick.

Usually the bigger bat profiles into a corner outfield spot and George Springer, while no defensive slouch at all, isn’t as good defensively as the all-around-ground-covering  Jake Marisnick. The big question is Marisnick’s development at the plate not being anywhere near as far as Springer’s and permanently embedding him in the big outfield spot while running the risk that his bat doesn’t come along. But that is another topic for another time which hopefully I never need to get to.

Of course there’s the 2014 incumbent Dexter Fowler, acquired in the offseason from Colorado on the cheap with potential plans to flip him and move George Springer to center–or now Marisnick–either way, there’s a surplus at the position marked “8” on the scorecard and Fowler’s age of 28 makes him the most likely candidate to be dealt, as well as these factors:

Marisnick is a project the team rightfully wants to work with.

Springer is going nowhere.

Fowler’s health is his big bugaboo and equally so the team’s biggest hurdle to find value in a trading partner come this offseason.

However, his power-speed abilities aren’t just hanging around and the free agent market is dominated by pitching (Max Scherzer, Jon Lester) with the top outfielder potentially being Melky Cabrera and the next Cuban prize prospect Yasmani Thomas.

He’s signing–but not a contract I don’t think.

Photo Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

If someone comes to Jeff Luhnow with a young pitcher or even a position player or two with big upside that the organization can develop for the years following into assets on the field or again on the trade market when Houston starts to become a contender, the bottom line remains that more consistent playing time for the rookie phenom Springer, the intriguing Marisnick and perhaps Domingo Santana (0-17 in 18 2014 AB’s) in 2015 is something I believe would benefit them greatly going forward for this ballclub.