2009: Michael Bourn
Alright, you caught me. I’m a sucker for centerfielders whose game is centered around their speed. But I can’t forget the Michael Bourn Era. He was occasionally one of the few reasons the Houston Astros were watchable as they headed into the Dark Era.
In 2009, Bourn stole 61 bases, which led the N.L. and was only second to Jacoby Ellsbury’s 70 for the Boston Red Sox. He hit 12 triples, which was second in the N.L. And on top of all of that, he hit .285/.354/.384, a pretty solid slash line for a speedy centerfielder.
His one downfall was strikeouts, as he whiffed 140 times in ’09, but it’s hard to fault a guy for that when he picks up a Gold Glove. It was the first of two in his career thus far, both coming with the Houston Astros. He was second in the N.L. in assists and putouts, with 11 and 371, respectively.
Overall, the dude can fly. He was a more consistent version of Willy Taveras, but it’s a shame that he only got to play on one team that finished over .500 (2008) in Houston before his career continued in Atlanta and Cleveland.
Next: 1967: Jimmy Wynn