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Baseball Positions: Center Field is the Best

February 2, 2013

Center field is the best position on the baseball field.  The center fielder covers the most ground.  To do that, the center fielder needs a lot of speed.  This speed translates very well to offense.  The center fielder is also the captain of the outfielders.

Center fielders cover a lot of ground.  They must patrol center field and both the left-center field and right-center field gaps.  They need to get a good jump on the ball off the bat in order to cover that much ground.  Good center fielders will turn singles into outs and extra-base hits into singles.

A center fielder’s speed is crucial.  It can mean the difference between a great play and a ball in the gap.  They don’t just use their speed on defense either.  On offense, speed can help beat out a ground ball, take an extra base, or steal a base.  All of these things lead to more runs scoring.

On top of their speed and quickness, a center fielder needs a good throwing arm.  They will often be making throws from the gaps to home plate.  These are some of the longer throws on the field.  Because of the combination of speed and strong arm, young center fielders tend to be among the best athletes on their team.

Center fielders also need to be smart.  They are the captains of the outfield.  They help position the other outfielders and communicate with them to avoid collisions.  On a fly ball, if the center fielder calls it, it is their ball.  Everybody else yields to the center fielder.

So there you have it. Center field is the best position to play.  Center fielders get to cover the most ground, using their speed and strong arms to shut down opposing offenses.  They also have speed on the base paths that can create rallies by taking extra bases or stealing a base.  And they are the captains of the outfield.

If you are a center fielder, you are in company with baseball greats such as: Ty Cobb (the all-time batting average king and fourth on the all-time stolen base list), Joe DiMaggio (56 game hitting streak), Hack Wilson (single season record 191 RBIs), Mickey Mantle (20 time all-star and triple crown winner), Willie Mays (24 time all-star), and Robin Yount (most hits in the 1980s).  More recently, center field has been Jim Edmonds, Torii Hunger, Andrew McCutchen, and Mike Trout.

This is part of a series of articles explaining why each position on the baseball field is the best. This series is aimed towards coaches at all levels. It is my belief that every position is important, and they each need players with different strengths.

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