Who Will Win the Tigers’ Center Field Derby
“Put me in Coach.” After the Tigers decided not to re-sign Cameron Maybin, a lot of "would-be" centerfielders are saying that to Manager Brad Ausmus.
- Tyler Collins, 26. Bats Left. Throws left. Lifetime .253 hitter. Good hustler; streaky hitter with power.
- Mikie Matook, 27. Bats right. Throws right. Lifetime .231 hitter. Good outfielder with decent speed, but not much power.
- Anthony Gose, 26. Bats left. Throws left. Lifetime .240 hitter. Good outfielder, with decent speed, but not much power.
- JaCoby Jones, 24. Bats right. Throws right. Lifetime .269 hitter in the minors. Has almost no major league experience. Potentially a great outfielder with good speed and power.
Left hand hitting Tyler Collins has paid some dues, has hit in the clutch, and can do the job. But an injury early in the spring may have cost him a chance to take the job.
The fleet of foot Mikie Matook came to the team in January from Tampa Bay. He’s hitting .190.
Anthony Gose won the job last spring, only to completely self-destruct. The fact that he’s in camp at all leads me to think that he has naked pictures of Al Avila. Rookie JaCoby Jones was a shortstop when Detroit traded Joakim Soria to the Pirates for him, one of those final deals that former GM Dave Dombrowski made in 2015. For a shortstop, the guy is phenomenal, and may already be the best outfielder the Tigers have. Jones has hit well this spring, and keeps improving.
Prediction: JaCoby Jones will be the Tigers every-day Center fielder, with Tyler Collins the extra outfielder. With Andrew Romine, the Tigers don't really need a fifth outfielder, unless someone is out with an injury. Steven Moya is out of options, and could make the club, but he's certainly not a center fielder.
Click to read more of my predictions on the Tigers' 2017 Team: