Top 5 CF Heading Into the 2018 Season By: Peter Snyder

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Center fielder’s. The captains of the outfield have one of the most important jobs in all of baseball. These 5 athletes express leadership-like qualities and include the best player in the major leagues. We start our list with some what of a surprising pick, as this athlete played his first full healthy season in 2017, and certainly made the most of his opportunity.

5. Tommy Pham – STL Cardinals

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Tommy Pham has had a history of bad luck. In his first 3 season in the major leagues, Pham played for only a combined 136 games and had been battling the injury bug since he stepped foot on a major league diamond. Pham finally had a healthy season in 2017 and did not miss a beat. He finished the season hitting for an impressive .306 BA, drove in 73 runs, stole 25 bases and hit 23 big flies. America is now starting to talk about this Las Vegas native and the expectations for Pham heading into the 2018 season are at a high level. If Pham can stay healthy, I think he is going to have a big season and I have him hitting for .310 BA, have him driving in 80 and hitting 25 HR. It is evident that Pham has the talent to be one of the better CF we have in the game the question now becomes is if he can continue to stay healthy?

4. Lorenzo Cain – MIL Brewers

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Coming into this offseason, Lorenzo Cain was a top FA and teams were lining up trying to land the superstar CF. The Milwaukee Brewers won the lottery and signed Cain to a 5 year, 80 million dollar contract. Cain is a huge addition to the Brewers team and has turned them into contenders in the NL Central heading into the 2018 season. Cain can cover field better than anyone and can also swing the lumber like he is Paul Bunyan. He had an impressive 2017 campaign, finishing the year with a .300 BA, a 5.3 WAR, stole 26 bases and collected 176 hits. I think Cain will fit right at home with Milwaukee and have him having a big season. I have him batting for a .305 BA, swiping 30 bags and collecting 200 hits. The Kansas City Royals will most definitely miss having this star play CF for them as he is one of the better overall players we have in this game.

3. George Springer – HOU Astros

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George Springer is America’s favorite leadoff hitter. The 28 year old from New Britain, Connecticut had one of the best seasons for a leadoff hitter in the history of Major League Baseball. Springer’s powerful swing and explosive strides on the base paths had people talking in 2017. Springer finished the year with a .283 BA, scored 112 runs, drove in 85 runs, collected 155 hits and it 34 homers on the season. The once 48th round draft pick is now one of the elite power hitters we have in the majors and I think he is only going to get better. I like Springer to have a huge 2018 year and have him finishing the season with a .290 BA, hitting 35 homers and driving in 90 runs. Springer will also win a Sliver Slugger award and help lead his team repeat as World Series champions.

2. Charlie Blackmon – COL Rockies

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It’s hard to say what’s better. Charlie Blackmon as a baseball player or Charlie Blackmon’s beard game. Obviously I’m joking but the dude has one hell of a beard. Blackmon is a one of the most likable players in all of baseball and it is almost impossible not to root for him. This 31 year old Texan made headlines in 2017 as he broke out for a career year, finishing with a .331 BA, drove in 104 runs, collected 213 hits and hit 37 home runs on the year. These numbers have not made Blackmon one of the best CF in the game, but one of the best hitters in all of baseball. I expect Blackmon’s bat to stay hot in 2018 and have him finishing the year with a .330 BA, hitting 30 homers and driving in 100. I also have him contending for an NL MVP finalist spot and as long as the beard keeps growing, this star will keep on showing to the world how good he is.

1. Mike Trout – LA Angels

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This might be the easiest choice for a number one in the history of lists. Mike Trout is not only the best CF but is the best player in the entire league and it’s not even up for debate. Trout is a 5 tool superstar and does not have a single flaw in his game. I could go on and tell you all the good things that Trout does but that would make this posts a mini novel. Trout had a huge 2017 season, but due to a thumb injury that left Trout out 8 weeks, the numbers do not show just how dominant of a player Trout is. That being said, Trout still finished the 2017 season with numbers that players would die for, finishing with a .306 BA, a .442 OBP, drove in 72 runs, stole 22 bases, and hit 33 homers. I expect Trout to have a monster 2018 season and have him finishing the year with a .315 BA, have him hitting 40 homers, driving in 120 runs, stealing 40 bases, collecting over 200 hits and scoring 115 runs. I think that Trout will also win the Gold Glove award at the CF position and win the AL MVP come years end. It is no doubt that Trout is a special player, but I truly believe that when his career is over, this Jersey boy will be considered as the greatest player ever to step on a diamond.

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