The B/R MLB 500 started its patrol of the outfield by taking a look at corner outfielders. It's now time to take a look at the guys in the middle.
Center field is similar to shortstop in that it tends to be a home to some of the most talented all-around players. But since it's more of an offensive position than shortstop, we came up with the following scoring system: 20 points for hitting, 25 points for power, 20 points for baserunning, 25 points for defense and, like with all other players, 10 points for health.
As always, hitting entails more than just what happens after the ball leaves the bat. Results do count for something, but so does the process. Each player's approach will be taken into account.
Power is less complicated, but results will be taken into account just as much as scouting reports. A player may have tremendous natural power, but his score will be lowered if he has a hard time making it show up in games.
For baserunning, it's all about whether a guy can steal bases and how well, and whether or not he can get around the bases better (or worse) than the average player.
Defense is also simple. How well can a guy get after balls in center field, and does he have a good throwing arm at his disposal?
For hitting, power, baserunning and defense, keep the following in mind: A score that's, say, 10 out of 20 is not a failing score. That's an "average" score. Anything better is above average. Anything below is below average.
As for health, that's basically 10 free points unless there's a reason(s) to dock points. The scoring is subjective, but the general rule of thumb is that a player is only getting less than five points if he has a potentially career-altering injury.
Lastly, here's a reminder that the whole idea is to round up guys we'd want on a team in 2014. That means top prospects who could potentially make an impact are in play, and they may be ranked higher than you think. And if there are any ties, the edge goes to the player we'd rather have.
That about does it, so let's go ahead and make these guys the center of attention.
Note: All prospect writeups/scores were created by B/R's MLB Prospects Lead Writer, Mike Rosenbaum.