Astros: Comparing the 2020 outfield lineup against the Yankees
Center Field – Advantage Astros
Ranking third behind Mike Trout (No. 1, AL MVP) and Cody Bellinger (No. 2, NL MVP) in MLB’s 2019 top 10 in center field, George Springer had an MVP-caliber year marred only by his lack of playing time because of injuries. His fielding percentage in CF was a mere 1.000 over the course of his 75 games played in that position. And in his overall 122 games, he ended 2019 with career-high numbers in all offensive categories with an average of .292, OPS of .974, slugging of .591, on-base percentage of .383, 39 home runs and 96 RBIs.
Initially separated by $5 million at the deadline, Springer and the Astros came to an agreement of $21 million for the 2019 season. There are some rumors floating around that an extension could happen this spring, and with his stellar 2019 season added to the books, the Astros really need to lock him him down to an extension.
In 98 games, center field was covered for the Yankees mostly by Brett Gardner with Mike Tauchman and Aaron Hicks picking up the remainder. For purposes of comparison, we’ll focus on Gardner and Hicks.
Hicks and Gardner respectively placed 8th and 10th in MLB’s 2019 top 10 center fielders, and with their respective fielding percentages, .991 and .995, this is understandable. Offensively speaking, Gardner had a bit of a stronger year with his career high of 28 homers, but Hicks missed more than just a few games due to injury and his offensive stats were pretty much in line with his career numbers.
Again, advantage ‘Stros!