I remember, when I’ve written some positional power rankings before, I got to write about shortstops. And when I wrote about shortstops, Troy Tulowitzki ranked way above everyone else. It was always laughable at the time how much better he was than his peer group. It’s no longer so laughable because now this paragraph just serves as a reminder that we all get older and time is a monster to even the innocent. Tulowitzki is never healthy these days and we’ve entered a whole new age of young and talented super-shortstops. But anyway, I’m drifting from the point. When I wrote about prime Tulowitzki, I got a kick out of how much better he was than the next-best guy. Now I’ve gotten the chance to write about center fielders. This is the hardest I’ve laughed in days.
When this post went up a year ago, the Angels were first at 8.3 projected WAR, and the Rays were second at 4.7. And now, the gap has only grown. The gap between the Angels and the Rays is, by itself, bigger than almost every single team’s center-field WAR projection. You aren’t here because you needed to be reminded that Mike Trout is good. I’m not here because I need to remind you that Mike Trout is good. But just in case anyone was slipping — just in case you hadn’t thought about it enough recently — Mike Trout is good. Mike Trout is so good that, if you took Mike Trout, and then you removed from him enough talent to make the next-best center fielder, you’d still have enough left over to have an All-Star center fielder. Provided you took only talent, and not arms or legs or eyes. Even Trout’s career couldn’t survive the loss of one of those. (Probably.)
Below, summaries of every team’s center-field situation. Here’s the introduction to this series, in case you’re behind. If you are behind, boy, do you ever have a lot of reading to do. Cancel your plans for the weekend.
Jeff made Lookout Landing a thing, but he does not still write there about the Mariners. He does write here, sometimes about the Mariners, but usually not.