The American League Central Division is not as strong in center as it has been in recent seasons. The Twins and Indians will be breaking in new starters, while the rest of the division has high-ceiling or overachieving starters.
No. 1 - Austin Jackson, Detroit Tigers
The Tigers acquired Jackson in a trade a few years ago. He has steadily developed into a five-tool star with untapped power potential. He has good speed, defensive range and a strong arm. He still needs to improve his plate discipline to bring his walk-strikeout ratio up. Despite his speed, he is not one of the better base stealers.
No. 2 - Michael Bourn, Cleveland Indians
The Indians signed the free agent in mid-February. His presence gives the Indians one of the fastest outfields in the division. His game is all about speed. He uses it on the base paths and in the field. He is a solid leadoff hitter, but strikes out too much. He does not have the home run power to make up for the high amount of strikeouts.
No. 3 - Alejandro De Aza, Chicago White Sox
The White Sox turned the center field job over to De Aza last season and he had the best season of his career. He is a speedy, slap hitter that can play all three outfield positions. He needs to improve his plate discipline and production against left-handed pitching. He has also had an issue with injuries during his career.
No. 4 - Lorenzo Cain, Kansas City Royals
The Royals acquired Cain in a trade a few years ago. He continues to be the team's long term solution in center, but he has not been able to stay healthy. He has impressive athleticism and tools for a big player. He needs to improve his walk-strikeout ratio. His tools are still raw and developing, but if he can stay healthy and develop consistency, he could be the best center fielder in the division.
No. 5 - Darin Mastroianni, Minnesota Twins
The Twins appear to have Mastroianni as a stop gap in center field until they feel Aaron Hicks is ready to take over. Mastroianni is a speedy, defense-first outfielder. He can play all three outfield positions and may be best suited to play the fourth outfielder role.