Option 3: Wynton Bernard
If you read my posts or have followed the Tigers farm system at all in the past two seasons, you might know Bernard’s story. Bernard was drafted late by San Diego in 2012 and used as a minor league filler player until they released him in 2013. He went to a Tigers workout camp in 2014 and got himself a minor league deal and won the 2014 Midwest League MVP. Last year he hit over .300 in Erie after skipping a level completely. Bernard has tools that I’ve said remind me of Rajai Davis. He’s easily the best fit to replace Cameron Maybin because he’s the only true center fielder and frankly he’s a bit similar to Maybin.
Like Maybin, Bernard can play left or right field and he has a lot of the same tools, only I’d say he has potential to be a better hitter with less power. Bernard seems like a slam dunk to be the replacement for Maybin after hearing all this and knowing his work ethic is second to none, but he faces one issue. Bernard has had the weakest spring of the four realistic candidates. His spring hasn’t been terrible, but his .250/.276/.250 slash line in 29 plate appearances is the worst of any of the candidates, which will make the choice hard for Brad Ausmus and company.