Pittsburgh Pirates: 2021 Center Field Options Entering the Off-Season

PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 02: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 2, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - SEPTEMBER 02: Anthony Alford #6 of the Pittsburgh Pirates in action during the game against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park on September 2, 2020 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) /
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Sep 26, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds (10) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 26, 2020; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates center fielder Bryan Reynolds (10) rounds the bases after hitting a home run against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports /

Bryan Reynolds

Following Alford’s injury, fans of the Pittsburgh Pirates saw a lot of Bryan Reynolds in center field down the stretch. While Reynolds has expressed a desire to play in center field for the Pirates, the question is – should he?

Well… probably not. Reynolds had an Outs Above Average in center field of 0 in 2020. This came after posting an OAA of +1 in center field in 2019. While these numbers are not bad, they are not good either. They are about as average as you can get.

In left field, where Reynolds has mostly played in his MLB career, he owned a -1 OAA in 2019 and a +1 OAA in 2020. So, Reynolds is essentially the same defensive player in center field as he is in left field.

Due to this, it would make more sense to have Oliva or Alford in center field over Reynolds. Especially since if Reynolds is in center field, odds are, Oliva or Alford would end up playing in left field. If you’re going to have the the same gorup of players manning LF/CF, you may as well have the best defensive player(s) of the group roaming center field. Most likely, Reynolds will be in left field on Opening Day 2021

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