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Yankees, best outfield in baseball?

Eddie Altamonte

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http://mlb.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20...s&fext=.jsp

The Best: Yanks' outfield is tops
03/09/2007 10:00 AM ET
By Jim Molony / MLB.com

The best all-around starting outfield in baseball?
The final installment of MLB.com's "Best of 2007" series also proved to be the toughest to reach a consensus on, as a dozen trios earned mention from the panel.

The "problem" is that so many potentially great outfields have question marks.

Such as:

? Will J.D. Drew stay healthy in what could be a dynamite Boston outfield of Drew, Manny Ramirez and Coco Crisp?

? Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford, Rocco Baldelli and Delmon Young all hit over .300 last season, but can Young, who hit .317 in a 30-game audition, do it for a full season?

Ultimately, past performance outweighed potential. The finalists were those who combined exceptional offense with above-average defensive skills and a proven track record of All-Star caliber production:

5. Toronto Blue Jays
They don't get as much notoriety as other outfields, but left fielder Reed Johnson, center fielder Vernon Wells and right fielder Alex Rios certainly make up one of the best all-around units in the game. Johnson raised his batting average 50 points last season, to .319, and he also chipped in 12 homers and 49 RBIs in 134 games. Wells batted .303 with 32 homers and 106 RBIs and pilfered a career-high 17 bases. Rios, playing in 128 games, hit .302 with 17 homers, 82 RBIs and 15 stolen bases. What will this trio do if each gets 500 at-bats this season? The Blue Jays can't wait to find out.

4. Chicago Cubs
Another trio that will be fun to watch, the Cubs' starting outfield is centered around a center fielder who has never played the position. But Alfonso Soriano made the move from second base to left field last season and wound up with 22 assists, a stat often overshadowed by Soriano's 41-46-41 (doubles-homers-stolen bases) season. Left fielder Matt Murton, a career .303 hitter in 195 games, should improve on his 2006 numbers (.297 average, 13 home runs, 62 RBIs). Right fielder Jacque Jones (.285, 27, 81) made a career-high seven errors last season, more than he made in the previous two seasons combined, but he still is a reliable contributor defensively and offensively.

3. New York Mets
Left fielder Moises Alou has his days defensively, but one thing Alou always has done is hit (.301 average with 22 homers and 74 RBIs for San Francisco last year). Center fielder Carlos Beltran put up MVP-caliber numbers (.275, 41, 116) and is as good as there is defensively. Right fielder Shawn Green had a down year by his standards (.266, 15, 66), but the two-time All-Star and '99 Gold Glover still can contribute at the plate and in the field.

2. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Left fielder Garret Anderson, center fielder Gary Matthews Jr. and right fielder Vladimir Guerrero hit for power and average and field their positions extremely well. Anderson, who hit .280 with 17 homers and 85 RBIs last season, has fallen off slightly from his peak years of 2000-04, but he still is a force. Matthews hit .313 with 19 homers, 79 RBIs and 10 stolen bases last season with Texas. Guerrero underwent knee surgery two years ago, yet he remains one of the most feared hitters in the game and an outstanding fielder. In 2006, Guerrero batted .329 with 33 homers, 116 RBIs and a .552 slugging average while swiping 15 bases.

1. New York Yankees
This trio has it all: power, speed, high on-base percentages and defense. Left fielder Hideki Matsui averaged 110 RBIs over his first three seasons with the Yankees before injuries limited him to 51 games last season. The two-time All-Star plays his position well and is primed for a bounce-back year. A career .297 hitter, two-time All-Star center fielder Johnny Damon hit .285 with 24 homers, 80 RBIs and 25 stolen bases last season. The best defensive outfielder of the bunch, Gold Glove-winning right fielder Bobby Abreu, has one of the strongest arms in baseball and is coming off a season in which he hit .297 with 15 homers, 107 RBIs, 30 steals and 124 walks. Abreu, who has a career .412 on-base percentage, has walked 100 or more times in each of the last eight seasons.
 

The_Godfather

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The Mets at #3 is ridiculous. I actually like the Blue Jays outfield the best, they have at all- They can hit,awesome defensively, and younger than the Yankees.
 

Ramp

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how about Seattle?

Gotta think Guillen bounces back (if happy lol)
 

Mauer7

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the mets at #3 is nuts. They have one good player in the outfield: Beltran. Alou is ancient, I doubt that he plays well this year...he's on the decline. Shawn Green sucks.
 

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