ALL NL-CENTRAL TEAM: OUTFIELD
Here is the All NL-Central Outfielders.
Left Field: Soriano, Lee, Rasmus/Duncan, Morgan, Braun, Dickerson
The Pick: Alfonso Soriano. This was an extremely tough call. I have concerns about Soriano’s ability to stay on the field after going from 159 games in his season with the Nats, down to 135 and then 109 last year. But I can’t assume injury (didn’t work out for me last year, did it?) so Ryan Braun waits one more year. Their offensive numbers might be equal, but Soriano gets the edge for his throwing prowess.
Center Field: Fukudome, Taveras, Bourn, Ankiel, McLouth, Cameron
The Pick: Nate McLouth. Another tough call. But McLouth’s power, speed and defense give him the edge over Rick Ankiel’s power and arm. McLouth had 46 doubles, 26 homers and was 23/26 in stolen bases last year. Ankiel has the better arm in the outfield, but McLouth won the Gold Glove last year. At 27, he may have his career year in 2009.
Right Field: Moss, Bradley, Pence, Ludwick, Bruce, Hart
The Pick: Ryan Ludwick. Hunter Pence may have been named “Best Outfield Arm”, but right behind him was Ryan Ludwick. Ludwick also hit 37 homers and had a monster OPS of .966 with 80 extra-base hits. He’ll keep this spot warm for Jay Bruce, at least for this year. What about Milton Bradley? There is no DH in the National League. Considering Bradley almost killed himself going for a flyball and twisted his ankle on a jog to first, it’s unlikely he’ll be around very long in 2009. He only played 20 games in the outfield last year. I wonder why? And even if he does stay healthy, I still think Ludwick can match Bradley’s offensive numbers.