Detroit Tigers: Internal center field candidates as it stands for 2018
Detroit Tigers fans could see a different mix in center field for the 2018 season. As Detroit looks for a long-term fix, here’s who could man the position next year.
Detroit Tigers front office members and decision makers haven’t had the best luck in replacing Austin Jackson in center field.
Jackson, who last donned a Tigers uniform midway through the 2014 campaign before being traded in the David Price blockbuster, was an impact player at his best.
Curtis Granderson’s direct replacement turned in a 16.1 fWAR in his first four plus seasons in the Motor City.
Since Jackson departed, however, Detroit hasn’t found a long-term successor.
In that time span, Tigers center fielders have a collective fWAR of just 8.3.
The respective Anthony Gose and Tyler Collins experiments failed, while Alex Presley didn’t provide enough defensive value.
JaCoby Jones provides plenty of defensive value himself, but hasn’t adjusted to Major League pitching yet.
Cameron Maybin’s return to Detroit paid immediate dividends, however the team eventually moved the veteran in a salary-saving move.
Additionally, Mikie Mahtook could be a potential fit, but he saw plenty of time in both right field and left field in 2017.
Things could change as the offseason progresses. However, as it stands, these players are the best bets to see playing time in center field in 2018.