MLB The Show 19: Best Young Center Fielders (CF)

Is there a future Mike Trout waiting in the wings? Who are the young center fielders that could be stars for years to come?


Young players don’t often get a lot of hype in baseball. Years of Minor League development are required before even a high draft pick makes a Major League ball club, which means there is very little excitement around draft day. However, there are plenty of teams willing to give time to a young player around the Majors, and that means that in MLB The Show 19 there are several young players that are, or could be, good building blocks for a franchise.

How to choose the best young center fielders in MLB The Show 19’s Franchise Mode

This article will be looking at the best young center fielders in MLB The Show 19’s Franchise Mode. These players all have center field as their primary position and are aged 25 or younger when you start a new Franchise Mode. We are looking for players on the MLB roster, as the Triple-A and lower rosters are very changeable save to save with stats and potentials often shifting. 

*For a full list please see the table below

Byron Buxton, Minnesota Twins (OVR 79)

Age: 25

Potential: A

Throws/Bats: R/R

Secondary Position: LF, RF

Hitter Tendency: Whole Field

Best Stats: Speed (99), Reaction (91), Stealing (89), Durability (86), Bunt (84), Fielding (82)

Byron Buxton made his MLB debut with the Minnesota Twins in 2015 as an exciting and fearsomely fast prospect. He immediately established himself as a strong defensive talent and he won the 2017 gold glove for American League center fielders. Offense has been a problem with Buxton though. He entered the 2019 season with a career .230 average and just 28 home runs in over 1,000 plate appearances.

In The Show 19 Buxton has elite speed (99) to help him reach balls in the field and steal (89) bases. He’s a good fielder (82) and has the durability (86) to play regularly. What Buxton doesn’t have is a lot of offensive production. His power is negligible and his contact skills aren’t much better. As a defensive center fielder he is excellent, but he won’t be producing many runs unless you master the art of the bunt (84).

Harrison Bader, St. Louis Cardinals (OVR 77)

Age: 24

Potential: A

Throws/Bats: R/R

Secondary Position: LF, RF

Hitter Tendency: Whole Field

Best Stats: Speed (94), Fielding (85), Reaction (85), Arm Strength (84), Durability (84), Contact vs L (72)

Harrison Bader was a third-round pick for the Cardinals in 2015 and got his debut with them in 2017, playing 32 games. In 2018 Bader played 138 and was their full-time center fielder, posting a strong 2.0 dWAR with the glove and hitting .264 with 12 homers and 15 steals.

In The Show 19 Harrison Bader has terrific speed (94) to aid his overall fielding (85). He’s got the arm strength (84) to potentially catch some runners out too. Bader’s durability (84) is good and he has nice contact skill vs lefties (72) to help him produce at the plate. His defense isn’t as strong as Buxton’s but he is more offensively gifted and so can help produce some runs at the bottom of the lineup.

Mallex Smith, Seattle Mariners (OVR 77)

Age: 25

Potential: A

Throws/Bats: R/L

Secondary Position: LF, RF

Hitter Tendency: Whole Field

Best Stats: Bunt (92), Speed (92), Durability (86), Contact vs R (75), Reaction (75), Clutch (74)

Mallex Smith has moved around a lot already in his young career. He was a 5th round pick for the San Diego Padres but was traded to the Atlanta Braves in December 2014 and made his MLB debut there in 2016. In January 2017 he was traded to Tampa Bay and then in November 2018 he was traded to the Seattle Mariners. Through all that Mallex Smith has played solid defense with a .277 career average and 72 stolen bases. Smith has an extreme lack of power at the plate, but his solid on-base and defense makes him a very useful player.

In The Show 19 Mallex Smith is another speedster (92) that can bunt (92). He’s got good durability (86) and nice contact skills at the plate (75/68). He has no power to speak of, and his arm strength (56) and accuracy (55) is very poor which is extremely disappointing. Smith is solid in the clutch (74) and can steal (72) but his very much a small-ball player.

Ketel Marte, Arizona Diamondbacks (OVR 75)

Age: 25

Potential: C

Throws/Bats: R/S

Secondary Position: 2B, SS, LF, RF

Hitter Tendency: Whole Field

Best Stats: Durability (94), Vision (79), Contact vs L (78), Reaction (77), Speed (75)

Ketel Marte made his MLB debut with the Seattle Mariners in 2015. Over two years he played 176 games for Seattle with a .267 average and three homers. Ahead of the 2017 season he moved to Arizona and has hit .260 for them in his two full years. In 2018 he hit an MLB -best 12 triples and set a new career high with 14 homers as he played 153 games across multiple positions with good defense.

In The Show 19 Marte is not as fast as some other young center fielders, but his fielding (71) is solid and his speed (75) is not bad. Marte has nice contact (78) and ok power (56) vs lefties at the plate and his vision (79) is good, meaning he can see strikes very well. His durability (94) is excellent and he is very versatile with his ability to play middle-infield too.

Albert Almora Jr, Chicago Cubs (OVR 74)

Age: 24

Potential: B

Throws/Bats: R/R

Secondary Position: LF, RF

Hitter Tendency: Whole Field

Best Stats: Durability (93), Contact vs L (86), Clutch (82), Arm Strength (77), Reaction (76), Vision (75), Contact vs R (74)

Albert Almora Jr was a first-round pick for the Cubs in 2012 and got his debut with the team in 2016. By 2017 he was playing nearly every day and turned into a solid producer for the Cubs. He comes into the 2019 season with a career .289 average and plays solid defense in center field.

In The Show 19 Almora Jr has really good contact skill against all pitchers (74/86) and is the best offensive young center fielder even though the power is lacking. He’s solid as a fielder (70) and doesn’t nearly have the speed (62) of others, but his arm strength (77) is good. He has the durability (93) to play nearly every game in a season and is good in the clutch (82).

All the best young center fielders

PlayerOVRAgePotentialClubBat HandBest ContactBest PowerFieldingSpeed
Byron Buxton7925AMinnesota TwinsR53 (L)47 (R)8299
Harrison Bader7724ASt. Louis CardinalsR72 (L)59 (L)8594
Mallex Smith7725ASeattle MarinersL75 (R)34 (R)6992
Ketel Marte7525CArizona DiamondbacksS78 (L)56 (R)7175
Albert Almora Jr7424BChicago CubsR86 (L)45 (L)7062
Manuel Margot7224ASan Diego PadresR56 (L)40 (R)7486
Ramon Laureano7024BOakland AthleticsR59 (R)48 (R)7579
Ian Happ6924AChicago CubsS56 (R)76 (R)5959
Myles Straw6824BHouston AstrosR62 (L)13 (L)7489
Cedric Mullins6824ABaltimore OriolesS50 (R)45 (R)3984
Roman Quinn6825BPhiladelphia PhilliesS54 (L)39 (L)6098
Brett Phillips6724AKansas City RoyalsL49 (R)49 (R)7679
Raimel Tapia6625BColorado RockiesL64 (R)37 (L)6289
Victor Robles6621AWashington NationalsR57 (L)36 (L)6784
Magneuris Sierra6522BMiami MarlinsL50 (L)30 (L)4998
Steven Duggar6425ASan Francisco GiantsL51 (L)38 (L)6978
Franchy Cordero6224BSan Diego PadresL50 (R)54 (R)5583
Lewis Brinson6224AMiami MarlinsR32 (L)55 (L)6986
Derek Fisher6225AHouston AstrosL41 (L)49 (R)6782
Victor Reyes6224BDetroit TigersS44 (R)32 (R/L)6984
Braden Bishop6125BSeattle MarinersR54 (L)28 (L)7483
Anthony Alford6024BToronto Blue JaysR55 (L)35 (L)5170
Dustin Fowler6024BOakland AthleticsL45 (R)48 (R)4781
Carlos Tocci5423BTexas RangersR44 (L)32 (R/L)4659
Chris Muriel4921CColorado RockiesR40 (R/L)26 (L)4955

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Toby Durant

Deputy Editor at RealSport. A life-long gamer, I have been with RealSport since 2016 and spent time covering the world of Formula 1, NFL, and football for the site before expanding into esports.

 

I lead the site's coverage of motorsport titles with a particular focus on Formula 1. I also lead RealSport's Madden content while occasionally dipping my toe into Football Manager and esports coverage of Gfinity Series events.

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