MLB: The most valuable center fielders of 2019

ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 15: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels plays centerfield against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 15, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images)
ST PETERSBURG, FL - JUNE 15: Mike Trout #27 of the Los Angeles Angels plays centerfield against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 15, 2019 in St Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images)
(Photo by Victor Decolongon/Getty Images) /

MLB: The most valuable center fielders of 2019

8. Scott Kingery, Philadelphia Phillies, $6.637 million value; $1.5 million salary

In his second full season, Kingery generated undistinguished offensive numbers. His .250 batting average, 19 home runs, and .788 OPS equaled a perfectly normal 100 OPS+. Still, Kingery’s numbers added up to a 3.0 WAR that was the position’s 10th highest, representing $3.989 million in on-field value based on the positional averages.

His defensive performance very much valued range over consistency. As a ball-chaser, Kingery averaged 3.01 chances per nine innings. That amounted to $1.445 million in on-field value. Actually catching the ball was another matter entirely. His .977 fielding average was below the .984 positional average and just 31st of the 38. That added just $685,000.

In his sophomore season, Kingery graded out as a center fielder even though he was often a utility player. Beyond his 65 games in center, he started 37 at third base, a dozen at short and lesser numbers at second, left and right. His total playing time amounted to 1,012 innings, 13th best among centerfielders and valued at $518,000.

As you might guess, the Phillies haven’t quite figured out exactly where Kingery fits into their plans going forward. On the winter line, he’s listed as the primary third baseman, a backup at second and shortstop, and not a factor in the outfield. He was primarily a shortstop in 2018.