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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Boston Red Sox
(Photo by Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /

MLB: The most valuable center fielders of 2019

3. Ronald Acuna Jr., Atlanta Braves, $9.767 million value; $560,000 value.

Acuna beat out Juan Soto for the Rookie of the Year Award in 2018 and made the All-Star team in 2019. Obviously he’s won the respect of teammates and foes alike.

Acuna combined 41 home runs with a league-leading 37 stolen bases in a power-speed combination rarely seen these days. His .280 batting average won’t get a lot of attention, but check out that .883 OPS. It boils down to a 5.5 WAR, third-best at his position.

That WAR works out to $7.313 million in actual on-field value.

Despite his obvious and touted foot speed, Acuna is not especially adept at getting to the ball. His 2.21 chances per nine innings is below average for the position, ranking 29th and valuing out to just $1.061 million. His .991 fielding average is fractionally above average, ranking 14th and adding $695,000 to his value.

Nobody will criticize Acuna’s work habits. He put in 1,364 innings, the most of any center fielder in baseball in 2019, and equating to a final $698,000 of value.

The Braves are sold. Although he’s completed just two seasons, they have locked up Acuna to a $123 million deal that will pay him amounts ranging to $17 million by 2023, and potentially extending for five seasons beyond that.