Arizona Diamondbacks Spring Training: Will Chris Young Lose Center Field?

Chris GreenCorrespondent IIIFebruary 27, 2012

One of Chris Young's highlight reel catches
One of Chris Young's highlight reel catchesJared Wickerham/Getty Images

Is Chris Young on the way out?

Chris Young, the main stay in center field for the Diamondbacks for the past six years, could be reduced to a late inning defensive replacement or pinch hitter.

Young, while unquestionably a very good defensive player, is streaky at the plate. 

He has hit 20 or more home runs in four of his five full seasons with the Diamondbacks, but he also strikes out at a high rate and usually has a poor batting average.

Young ranked 20th in strikeouts in 2011, 17th in 2010 and 27th in 2009, while only having a batting average over .240 in 2010.

Kevin Towers made it a point of emphasis to cut down on the strikeouts, and he did so almost immediately upon taking the helm at the Diamondback’s front office.

The Diamondbacks had five players with more than 120 strikeouts on the 2010 roster.  Only two, Young and Justin Upton, will be with the team in 2012.

Free agent acquisition Jason Kubel, who has equal or more power than Young, a better batting average and strikes out less is certain to be a lock as the starting left fielder. 

However, with Gerardo Parra, the reigning NL Gold Glove winner at left field, proving he is capable of being an every day player who can hit for average, one of the biggest position battles at Spring Training will be for center field.

The Diamondbacks could likely have a new starting center fielder for the first time in six seasons.

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