2022 Prospect Position Rankings: Center Field
Position Rankings are voted on by Baseball America staff members. Players are listed at their primary positions.
RATING: 3 Stars (Out of 5)
There are few elite center fielders in this year's prospect class. Top prospects Riley Greene and Brennen Davis both project to eventually move to a corner, although they have an outside shot to remain in center field, and No. 3 prospect Corbin Carroll is a question mark after having season-ending shoulder surgery early last year. Alek Thomas and Josh Lowe are close to the majors, but other no-doubt center fielders in the upper levels like Cristian Pache, Jarren Duran and Garrett Mitchell face significant questions about their offensive potential.
BEST HITTER: Riley Greene, Tigers
Lauded for his hitting prowess since high school, Greene soared up to Triple-A in his first full season and hit .301/.387/.534 with 24 home runs, 74 RBIs and 16 stolen bases. He has elite bat speed, takes confident, aggressive swings, handles both lefties and righties, and possesses exceptional barrel control that allows him to drive any pitch in any part of the zone. He has a chance to compete for batting titles while consistently hitting 20-plus home runs per season.
BEST DEFENDER: Cristian Pache, Braves
Pache remains an 80-grade defender in center field with plus-plus speed and plus-plus arm strength. He gets excellent jumps off the bat, runs efficient routes and has the body control and natural timing to make highlight-reel diving catches and rob home runs at the wall. If he hits enough to stay in the lineup everyday, he'll be arguably the best defensive center fielder in the majors.
SLEEPER: Steven Kwan, Guardians
Kwan has a long track record of making contact as a slap-hitting, leadoff-type, but he made adjustments last year to incorporate his lower half more in his swing and unleashed surprising power. He rarely strikes out, draws walks and has begun driving the ball with authority, giving him a chance to be a plus hitter if he maintains his adjustments. He's an above-average runner who tracks balls well in center and is the best defensive outfielder in the Guardians' organization.
|1||Riley Greene, Tigers|
|2||Brennen Davis, Cubs|
|3||Corbin Carroll, D-backs|
|4||Robert Hassell III, Padres|
|5||Alek Thomas, D-backs|
|6||Josh Lowe, Rays|
|7||Michael Harris, Braves|
|8||Austin Martin, Twins|
|9||Luis Matos, Giants|
|10||Cristian Pache, Braves|
|11||Jasson Dominguez, Yankees|
|12||Jarren Duran, Red Sox|
|13||Colton Cowser, Orioles|
|14||Sal Frelick, Brewers|
|15||Garrett Mitchell, Brewers|