The Top 5 Center Fielders all have to be able to do a few key things for a fantasy baseball team, and all of those attributes revolve around getting on base and scoring a bunch of runs. It isn’t always easy to just go by stats alone in a keeper league, so it is important to keep in mind the age of the player, as well as how long he will be manning centerfield for a given team. When selecting a center fielder, also look for someone that can steal bases, score a lot of runs, and hit very high in a line-up.
#1 Keeper Center Fielder — Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Grady Sizemore, Cleveland Indians
Sizemore is one of the great blends of power and speed in baseball right now, and at 26 years of age, has a lot of baseball in front of him. In 2008 Sizemore saw his batting average take a little dip down to .268, but he still stole 38 bases and hit 33 home runs. He has the potential to improve in all areas, and could conceivably be a 40-40 guy in the next 2 to 3 seasons. Get him if you have the chance, and sit back to enjoy the statistics rolling in.
#2 Keeper Center Fielder — Fantasy Baseball 2009 – B.J. Upton, Tampa Bay Rays
Upton has a huge up side (no pun intended) as he is only 24 years old, and just keeps getting better. In 2008 he was able to put up 44 stolen bases and 9 home runs in only 145 games, but look for the power stats to go back up, and for his average to be even better in 2009. With a green light to run on the base paths, Upton could easily get 50 stolen bases, 100+ runs and close to 100 RBI. If he can keep the free-swinging under control, he could even increase his average.
#3 Keeper Center Fielder — Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Carlos Beltran, New York Mets
He probably isn’t worth quite as much as his $18.6 million salary would dictate, but Beltran still fills up the stat sheet to a tune of 25 steals, 27 home runs and 112 RBI in 2008. 2009 should be just as good, if not better for Beltran, and look for him to again pass the 20+ mark in both stolen bases and home runs. He should also easily sail past 100 in both RBI and runs, with a batting average around .280
#4 Keeper Center Fielder — Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
Now that Ellsbury will be the full time guy in Boston, the 25 year old should see all of his statistics increase in 2009. Last season he was able to hit .280 with 98 runs scored in only 145 games, but was also able to steal 50 bases along the way. Those steals make him a very valuable draft pick, and his youth makes him even more valuable in a keeper league. His power is coming along, and with that will be around 15 home runs, and he should also see around 70 RBI for Boston this season and beyond.
#5 Keeper Center Fielder — Fantasy Baseball 2009 – Curtis Granderson, Detroit Tigers
With the Tigers out of contention so early last season, a lot of people forgot what Granderson can do. In only 141 games, he still put up a .280 average with 12 steals and 22 home runs. The mix of speed and power make him a sleeper in the upcoming fantasy baseball drafts, and one of those players that could not only hit 30 home runs and steal 30 bases, but score more than 120 runs. If the Tigers pull it together again, he could become an extremely valuable player to have.
Source of Statistics: www.mlb.com