The Candidates (2011 stats)
Minnesota Twins - Denard Span- .264/.328/.359(.687) with 11-2B, 5-3B, 2-HR, 16 RBI
Chicago White Sox - Alejandro de Aza- .329/.400/.520 (.920) with 11-2B, 3-3B, 4-HR, 23 RBI
Cleveland Indians - Ezequiel Carrera- .243/.301/.312 (.613) with 8-2B, 3-3B, 0-HR, 14 RBI
Ezequiel Cabrera MILB - 287/.371/.348 (.719) with 8-2B, 3-3B. 2-HR, 25 RBI
Detroit Tigers - Austin Jackson- .249/.317/.374 (.690) with 22-2B, 11-3B, 10-HR, 45 RBI
Kansas City Royals - Lorenzo Cain - .273/.304/.318 (.622) with 1-2B, 0-0-3B, 0-HR, 1 RBI
Lorenzo Cain MILB - 312/.380/.497 (810) with 28-2B, 3-3B, 16-HR, 81 RBI
Span was on his way to a possible All Star appearance when he slid, feet-first, into the Royals’ Brayan Pena. The concussion pretty much cost him the rest of his season. He came back but went 1-31 before being shut down again. He was able to get into a few games late in the season and hopes to be at 100% in 2012. When healthy, he’s a terrific lead-off hitter with some extra base pop. He’s also a very good defensive centerfielder.
De Aza was given the Marlins starting CF job in 2007. It didn’t go well and ended after just 45 games. He resurfaced with the White Sox in 2010, and in 2011, he played very well in 54 games with the White Sox. Which De Aza will show up in 2012? The White Sox will begin the season with him as their cdenterfielder and we will all find out.
Grady Sizemore was re-signed by the Indians, but he got hurt within days of spring training opening. Carrera will likely get a lot of the time in center. He is very fast. In AAA, he stole 35 bases in 39 attempts and added another ten steals in the big leagues.
Austin Jackson was a Rookie of the Year candidate in 2010, spurred by a very high BABIP. His numbers plummeted in 2011, but he still plays great defense and has good speed and a little pop in his bat. Batting average will dictate how good his numbers look in 2012.
The Royals also acquired Lorenzo Cain from the Brewers in the Zach Greinke trade. Despite a huge, breakout season from Melky Cabrera last year with the Royals, they were happy to trade him to the Giants (for Jonathan Sanchez) to make room for Cain. Another very speedy, terrific glove centerfielder, he hit very well in AAA, helping the team to the PCL title.
There is your information, now it is time to vote. Who will be the best centerfielder in the AL Central in 2012?