Tool Time: Best Defensive Outfielders

What does a solid defensive outfield do? The San Diego Padres may know best. They targeted Mike Cameron for centerfield and his ability to cover the spacious ground in PETCO Park has been instrumental to the team's success. These Padres prospects are the next wave of outfield defense.

1. Yordany Ramirez

He may have questions but his glove is not one of them. Ramirez is major league ready as a centerfielder today. He is so ready that he is better than 90 percent of the centerfielders currently playing.

He has a strong arm, takes good routes to the ball, incredible range and will put his fellow fielders in position. The only knock is he will sometimes look bored.

2. Mike Sansoe

Reading the ball at the crack, Sansoe has an explosive first step to put himself in position to make a play with good routes and few wasted steps.

He will make the safe play on the ball and will dive when confident. Rarely does a ball trickle by. He does not have a strong arm but is very accurate and throws moving forward.

3. Drew Macias

Losing a step last year because of 15 pounds of muscle being packed on caused his defense to slip just a tad.

Over the years, Macias has saved countless runs with his heady play and tremendous range. He is one of the best at tracking balls that appear destined for the wall.

4. Josh Howard

With good first step quickness and an aching desire to be dirty, Howard cuts balls off that others would play off the ball.

Howard takes solid routes to the ball, is adept at taking the sun out of play on those tough days in the summer and puts himself in good throwing position to eliminate players tagging.

5. Mike Epping

Solid positioning means Epping is taking less steps than your average centerfielder.

He has good speed to close the distance between himself and the ball and will round the ball to keep it in front of him. He also moves exceptionally well going back towards the wall.

Also in consideration (alphabetical):

Sam Carter
A solid defender with a strong arm, Carter moves well in the outfield and understands positioning.

Cedric Hunter
He plays the ball well off the bat, making good reads and giving himself extra time to make the play.

Will Venable
Rarely does he take extra steps getting to the ball and will make the spectacular play as well.


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