MLB Network began their rankings of the best ten players at each position on Thursday night. Last year, Andrew McCutchen got the surprise nod for the top center fielder, beating out Mike Trout. That ranking ended up looking bad, as Trout had another outstanding season and McCutchen had a down year by his own standards. That down year was reflected in the new rankings, as McCutchen dropped to fourth overall for center fielders, slipping behind Trout, A.J. Pollock and Lorenzo Cain.
McCutchen was hurt by defensive metrics, which rate him as one of the worst center fielders in the game. He still posted a 4.8 WAR due to his .292/.401/.488 slash line. Other guests on the show weren’t as tough on McCutchen, as both Brian Kenny and Eric Byrnes had him ranked second overall, while three other guests also disagreed with the #4 ranking.
They covered shortstops in the second episode and Jordy Mercer wasn’t among the top 15 names considered after finishing sixth last year.