Who is going to play center field?
According to the men behind Roster Resource, the Brewers projected starting center fielder for 2016 is none other than Mets legend Kirk Nieuwenhuis, owner of a career .232/.306/.389 slash line, with 17 home runs and 40 doubles in 693 plate appearances spread across four MLB seasons. Defensively, Nieuwenhuis is incredibly average, good for 3 DRS over 723.2 career innings in center field. The only other viable CF candidate on their bench is Shane Peterson, who posted so-so offensive numbers in 2015 but accrued a -2 DRS in 159.2 innings at center field, good for a -18.8 UZR/150. In short, the Brewers don’t have a legitimate center fielder. With any luck (for Brewers fans, at least), Nieuwenhuis and Peterson are simply biding time for Brett Phillips to rack up some AAA at-bats early in the season before making the jump and becoming the Brewers center fielder. If not, the two next best options are journeymen Alex Presley and Eric Young Jr., who both have extensive MLB experience but are unproven performers and both are past age 30 at this point in time. While Nieuwenhuis, Peterson, Presley or Young won’t be too awful, Brewers fans will be waiting for Phillips’ call-up before anything exciting comes out of the center field position in Milwaukee.
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