AL East 2015: Center Fielder Rankings

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Feb 25, 2015; Sarasota, FL, USA; Baltimore Orioles center fielder Adam Jones (10) walks out of the clubhouse during spring training workouts at Ed Smith Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

1. Baltimore Orioles – Adam Jones, David Lough

Jones takes the top spot for the second year in a row, and at this point the Orioles’ star and centerpiece is one of the best in the game.  A career .280 hitter, Jones hit .281/.311/.469 in 2014. Of course, that on-base percentage is very low for someone who hit .281, but on that point, Jones is who he is.  He’s a guy who is very aggressive and does not take many walks, walking 19 times in 2014 and stricking out 133 times.  But, he also had 30 doubles, 29 home runs, 96 RBIs, scored 88 runs, and played another year of Gold Glove center field.

No, Jones may not be the best fielder in the world, and he may not have quite the range displayed by the guys in Kansas City, but there are very few balls he doesn’t get to.  And that is an attribute that shows Jones’ hustle.  Every play, even a routine ground ball.  Jones is a leader on the Orioles and is what helps make them one of the teams with the most wins in baseball over the last three years.

David Lough is fighting for a spot on the team with all of the corner outfield candidates.  If he wouldn’t make the team (which I expect him to), then Alejandro De Aza would move from left field to center when Jones gets a day off, which does not happen often.  In the last three years, Jones has only missed four games total. Lough is out to prove that the second half of his 2014 is more who he is, rather than the first half, as he tried to deal with the pressure of being on a new team and dealing with post-concussion issues.

Next: Second Place ... Again