I’ve never been a big Alex Sanchez fan. Speed is fine, but if it’s not used the right way, it hurts more then it helps. The threashold of hurting and helping your team has been established at a 75% stolen base percentage, and Sanchez is at around 68% for his career. Last year, he was only 59% effective. Throw in a non-existant walk rate, and you have a guy who can bunt his way on base, and that’s about it.
Personally, I’d like to see Bobby Higginson start in centerfield, but from what’s been reported, even he has reservations. In fact, I also think Higgy would make a decent lead off hitter. He’s got a good eye, and since his power has evaporated, he can concentrate on getting to first via the walk.
Craig Monroe would also be an option, but he’s not the best fielder when playing one of the corners. Only a masochist would be morbidly interested in seeing him play centeron a regular basis.
So we’re back to Sanchez. I’m going to make my first prediction. By the end of July, Alex Sanchez will not be the starting centerfielder. Centerfield prospect Curtis Granderson will be. He tore up the Arizona Fall League, and I hoping he does the same at Toledo, earning a spot on the big league club.