I read a tweet this evening as the game was getting started.
I am not attempting to single out Mr. Johnson but I do want to examine the statement he made and determine if this is an accurate sentiment or if expectations of Drew are a bit unrealistic. For the purposes of this analysis I decided to look at the Center Fielders across the National League and get an idea how Drew measures up against the opposition. For those who follow me on Twitter you know that I am critical of Stubbs but not necessarily for the reason most cite.
We know about Drew’s defense. It is not perfect but it is far better than average and would be next to impossible to replace. Looking up and down the league the only player who stands out is Matt Kemp. He is not quite the defender but produces more along the lines of Ken Griffey Jr. in his prime. He is a 40/40 man so is beyond this discussion for all intents and purposes. Stubbs has scored more runs than anyone except for Kemp in spite of the 200 strikeouts on the season.
If I were ranking the top 10 CF’s in the National League I would rank them as follows:
- Matt Kemp, in my mind he deserves to be the MVP this season.
- Andrew McCutcheon, who like Stubbs has not played up to his potential. His production is impressive though when you consider he is alone on the Pittsburgh offense as a consistent offensive threat.
- Shane Victorino, no errors all season, playing well for the Phillies, and he has the second highest OPS in the group.
- Chris Young, not much of a batting average but good production numbers and defense.
- Micheal Bourn with a .298 BA and a league leading 55 steals.
- Drew Stubbs, combined 135 runs scored and driven in makes him a very productive center fielder.
- Dexter Fowler, defense is a liability here.
- Angel Pagan has committed the most errors in CF this season but is productive at the plate.
- Andres Torres. Terrible batting average hurts him.
- John Jay would be higher on this list if Colby Rasmus had been traded sooner. He will improve.
Drew is a good center fielder in comparison to players around the league. We hold him to a higher standard because we have had a taste of what he is capable of and yearn for more. If the Reds can get him to invest himself in a program to reduce his power to insure making contact. Yonder Alonso is a perfect example of this kind of disciplined behavior. When Yonder falls behind in the count with 2 strikes he gives up a little power by choking up slightly on the bat to insure making contact with the ball. This is the approach that Drew needs to take to work to eliminate the Ks and get on base more. If he could cut even 50 strikeouts out of his season and get on base 20 more times we would see a marked difference in the effectiveness of the Reds offense.
Tomorrow I will take a look at Jay Bruce and his Right field competition around the league.
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