Put Me In Coach! Fantasy Baseball Center Field Options

If you are in a fantasy baseball league which requires you to fill each of the 3 outfield positions individually, it can be a little more challenging than simply having 3 outfielders on your roster. Fear not, there are a lot of options at the center field position as we near the mid-point of the 2011 baseball season. Recently, I discussed some of the options for your fantasy baseball left field position. Now, let’s consider your options at the center field position.

If you are looking for a player to target via trade which may be considered a fantasy baseball “buy low” option, there are several players who have had a disappointing first half of 2011 and may be available:
Alex Rios (CWS)
Big things were expected from Rios this season and his average draft position reflected this notion. However, with only 6 HR, 5 SB and a paltry .219 AVG, his owners may be looking to unload him. With past seasons displaying an impressive power/speed combination, Rios definitely has the skills to turn around his season and may be worth the gamble.
Other underachievers to consider include: Jayson WerthVernon Wells and Grady Sizemore.
If speed is a category your fantasy baseball team needs help with, centerfield position offers several candidates to focus upon:
Rajai Davis (TOR)
Davis has speed to burn and will use it on the base paths. Better still, he has the green light from Toronto manager John Farrell. The trouble for Davis has been his inability to get on base consistently in 2011. It’s pretty tough to steal bases from the dugout after all. His struggles at the plate have seen him demoted from the lead-off spot to the number eight hole. His career batting average is almost 60 points higher in the second half, so you could be looking at a candidate to swipe 25 bases after the All Star break.
Other center fielders who will contribute SB to your fantasy baseball team include:Michael BournJacoby EllsburyCoco Crisp and Brett Gardner (eligible at CF due to 2010 games played).
If you are looking for an unsung hero (an underrated performer who will deliver good statistics for your team) at the center field position, there are several players to consider:
Melky Cabrera (KC)
After bouncing around both leagues the past several seasons, Cabrera has found a home in Kansas City and has performed very well hitting out of the number two spot in the Royals’ batting order. A solid (if unspectacular) batting average of .277 has complemented a power/speed combination which has delivered 9 HR and 10 SB so far in 2011. He may not blow anyone away but if you are looking for an underrated gem, Cabrera is your man.
Other underrated center fielders include: Carlos GomezCarlos Beltran (eligible at CF due to 2010 GP), Corey Patterson and Curtis Granderson.
If it is power you are looking to generate from the CF position, there are several players that can help out your cause:
Carlos Gonzalez (COL)
Sure, he only has 12 HR in the first half of 2011 but this kid proved last season that he has the raw talent and skills to be a fantasy baseball stud. He’ll want to prove 2010 was no fluke so you should expect him to dial it up a notch in the second half of this season.
Other players to turn to for power from the CF position include: Curtis Granderson,Matt KempChris Young and Adam Jones.
If scouring the waiver wire for help is a tactic you like to employ, there are several players available in the majority of fantasy baseball leagues which can help your team:
Marlon Byrd (CHC)
After being hit by a pitch in the face on May 21, Byrd has been rehabbing in the hopes of returning to the Cubs’ active roster. He should be back in the line up the week of July 4thand is capable of delivering a .300 AVG with full-season 20 HR power. Watch him closely.
Other waiver wire CF candidates for adding to your roster include: Roger Bernadina,Cameron Maybin, Nyger Morgan and Austin Jackson.
Regardless of your fantasy baseball needs, the center field position offers something for everyone. Taking some time to look at the options will only strengthen your outfield roster.



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