Rob Neyer continued his look at which MLB players will be in consideration for best player at their position over the next decade. This time he turns to center field. Does anyone from the Colorado Rockies make the cut? Not exactly. Neyer does mention Carlos Gonzalez, but then disqualifies him because he will play right field (hint, hint). It's the same reason he was not considered for left field.
What about Dexter Fowler? No, but let's return to him in a little bit.
Who does Neyer pick? Narrowing it down to a group of three, Neyer considers Austin Jackson, Colby Rasmus and Andrew McCutchen, all 24 years old. He comes down in favor of McCutchen over Rasmus, but just barely. Seems like defense is the difference maker.
But let's return to Dexter Fowler. He's not an obvious choice for this, and if I were in Neyer's place I doubt I would have given Fowler any consideration either. But he is currently 24 like the other players, though he turns 25 in March.
In two-plus seasons, he's hit .259 with a .752 OPS. As Andrew Martin at Purple Row wrote about Fowler recently:
Fowler had a relatively normal season for a 2nd year player who skipped AAA: He started out strong, tripped, fell flat on his face, got demoted to AAA, came back up, improved greatly, and ultimately finished the season strong. I get the impression that a lot of us miss that because of the switch-hitting splits, when the reality is that lefties AND righties go through slumps.
This season could be a breakout season for Fowler, and from there? Who knows? Remember, Neyer's reason for doing this exercise was of a previous attempt to figure out the best from 2000-2009, and he got all of them wrong.
If you want to find a dark horse candidate, Fowler may just be the guy.