One of the biggest debates around the Mets right now is where Carlos Beltran should play: center field or right field?
There are many mixed opinions, and both positions have their upside; it's just that one has more upside.
Beltran has been a center fielder his whole career and has established himself as one of the best fielders in the league. He is an amazing center fielder, but so is Angel Pagan.
Angel Pagan had a nice season last year, and some people would like to see him in center field. Pagan is younger, and some people think that he is even faster and stronger.
Both players are great outfielders and are potential Gold Glove winners going into the season. Beltran is turning 34 this year, and Pagan is 28. Pagan is certainly younger, but is he the right choice to play center field?
I don't think so. Beltran has more experience in center field, and I believe that he still has one or two more years of Gold Glove fielding in him. He makes plays that almost no one else can.
By saying that I am not putting down Pagan at all. Pagan is just as good as Beltran, if not better. That said, the best outfielder shouldn't always be in center field. Center field in Citi Field is easier to patrol than right field.
Right field is a lot harder to field in Citi Field compared to center field. Angel Pagan also has had experience in Citi Field's right field. Beltran really hasn't had any.
Another reason that Beltran should stick in center field has to do with his trade value. It is no secret that if the Mets aren't competing at the trade deadline, they will be sellers. Beltran is one of those players that the Mets would be willing to trade.
Most teams that are interested in Beltran would be turned off a little if they see that the Mets don't trust him at his natural position.
At the end of the day it is obvious that Beltran should be in center field for the Mets in 2011. He won't hurt them defensively and won't hurt his trade stock defensively. It will be interesting to see the decision that Terry Collins makes.
This will be an exciting spring training for the Mets.