Mike Yastrzemski has seen a fair amount of playing time in center field this spring. He is one of the best hitters in the lineup and last year was solid defensively in the corner outfield spots.
However, center is a whole different beast compared to the corner spots.
You become the leader of the outfield and you’re responsible for covering ground ranging from left-center to right-center.
You have to cut off balls in the gap from reaching the wall to turn a triple into a double. In Oracle Park, you must have the speed to reach a fly ball that could go as far as 410 feet if it’s hit to the alley. In short, it is not for the faint of heart.
Yaz is a good enough athlete that he should be able to adjust and grow into the position. The one thing that scares me is that he doesn’t have the kind of speed that one typically looks for in a center fielder.
With Yaz in center ,it would give the team a lot more options on the corner outfield spots. Instead of having Steven Duggar or Hamilton out in center as offensive liabilities, they could have Yaz in center with maybe an Austin Slater and Darin Ruf combination at the corners.
However, there is a case to be made that defense should come first with a center fielder, and the next two players fit that bill.