Detroit Tigers: Internal center field candidates as it stands for 2018
It’s easy to get excited about a full season’s worth of games out of JaCoby Jones from a defensive standpoint.
While his UZR/150 and Def numbers (4.3 and 0.1 respectively) don’t jump off the page, Jones tied for 12th in the league among all center fielders with at least 350 defensive innings in DRS with a +5 number.
Among the same group, he also finished 14th in RngR with a 2.7 stat.
If the former Pittsburgh farmhand can hit at a higher rate than his 2017 stats (34 wRC+, .229 wOBA, .240 on-base percentage), he should be the hands-down starter due to his defense.
In this scenario Mahtook would shift to left or right.
He doesn’t quite have Christin Stewart’s raw power or Derek Hill’s blazing speed, but Gerber is one of, if not the most, well-rounded prospects.
Predominantly a center fielder as of late in the minors, Gerber batted .291 with a .363 on-base percentage, a .477 slugging percentage, a .374 wOBA and a 131 wRC+ in 394 plate appearances for Double-A Erie.
The 25-year-old also tacked on 62 runs scored, 45 RBI, 13 doubles and 10 stolen bases to go along with a 9.9% walk rate and a .186 ISO.
After a successful four-game stint in Toledo (18 plate appearances, eight hits, two doubles, two RBI, two walks and a triple), it wouldn’t be a shock to see Gerber win a job with the Detroit Tigers in Spring Training.