Best Center Fielders of All Time in MLB

Best Center Fielders of All Time

The Best Center Fielders of All Time is the next installment of the MLB series for KnupSports.

There have certainly been many great CFs in Major League Baseball’s history. This is my attempt to identify the top 10.

10 Best Center Fielders of All Time

Let’s dive into the 10 best Center Fielders of all time one by one.

10. Jim Edmonds

He blossomed when he was traded from the Angels to the Cardinals. He garnered 8 Gold Gloves and was a 4-time All Star selection. He won one Silver Slugger award and is a member of the St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Fame.

9. Oscar Charleston

Overall, he played for 43 years and finished with a lifetime .365 batting average. He amassed 1210 hits and 143 home runs with 210 stolen bases. He played in the MLB from 1921-1941. He later became a successful manager.

8. Mike Trout

Playing with the LA Angels, he is an 11-time MLB All-Star, three-time American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) (winning the award in 2014, 2016, and 2019, while finishing second in 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2018), and nine-time winner of the Silver Slugger Award. He also captained the United States national team during the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He is often regarded as the best player of his generation, and one of the greatest baseball players of all time

7. Andruw Jones

He was a 10 time Gold Glove winner and a five time All Star selection. In 2005, he was the home run leader, the RBI leader and was named the Hank Aaron Award winner. Jones had over 400 putouts for six seasons in a row.

6. Duke Snider

Snider was a seven-time All Star and was a home run leader in one season and led the National League in RBIs once. He was the NL leader in fielding average for center fielders for three seasons. Snider was part of two World Champion teams. He was the  Dodgers: career leader in home runs (389), RBI (1,271), strikeouts (1,123), and extra-base hits (814). Also the Los Angeles Dodgers: single-season record holder for most intentional walks (26 in 1956). He led MLB in RBI for the decade of the 1950s (1,031).

5. Joe DiMaggio

He was a 13 time all Star selection and he was on 9 world championship teams. Three times he was named American League MVP and two times he led the league in home runs and runs batted in. His record of a 56 game hit streak is one many feel will never be broken. In 955, he was named to the Baseball Hall of Fame.

4. Tris Speaker

Speaker compiled a career batting average of .345 (sixth all-time). His 792 career doubles represent an MLB career record. His 3,514 hits are fifth in the all-time hits list. Defensively, Speaker holds career records for assists, double plays, and unassisted double plays by an outfielder. His fielding glove was known as the place “where triples go to die.”

3. Mickey Mantle

In his career, Mantle batted .298 with an on-base percentage of .421 and an on-base plus slugging percentage of .997. He accumulated 2,415 hits, including 536 home runs, 344 doubles, and 72 triples. While Mantle led the league in strikeouts five times, holding the all-time record at the time of his retirement, he was also adept at drawing walks. He led the majors in walks five times and finished with at least 100 walks in a season ten times.

As an outfielder, he recorded a career fielding percentage of .982. Mantle was selected as an All-Star every season during his 18-year career except for 1951 and 1966. He was a seven-time World Series champion with the Yankees, playing in twelve overall. In the World Series, he hit .257 over 65 games and holds the all-time World Series records for home runs (18), runs scored (42), and RBIs.

2. Ty Cobb

It is difficult to put Cobb second and not the top spot but here is his resume. Cobb is widely credited with setting 90 MLB records during his career. His combined total of 4,065 runs scored and runs batted in (after adjusting for home runs) is still the highest ever produced by any major league player. He still holds several records as of the end of the 2022 season, including the highest career batting average (.366) and most career batting titles with 11 (or 12, depending on source).

He retained many other records for almost a half century or more, including most career hits until 1985 (4,189 or 4,191, depending on source), most career runs (2,245 or 2,246 depending on source) until 2001,[11] most career games played (3,035) and at bats (11,429 or 11,434 depending on source) until 1974, and the modern record for most career stolen bases (892) until 1977. He still holds the career record for stealing home (54 times) and for stealing second base, third base, and home in succession (4 times), and as the youngest player ever to compile 4,000 hits and score 2,000 runs.

Cobb ranks fifth all time in number of games played, and committed 271 errors, the most by any American League (AL) outfielder.

1. Willie Mays

He was a 24-time All-Star selection and on the 1954 World Series champions. He won the National League MVP twice along Rookie of the Year in 1951. He has 12 Gold Gloves and a batting championship.He was the NL Home run leader in four seasons and stolen base leader four times. Other accolades include:

  • San Francisco Giants No. 24 retired
  • New York Mets No. 24 retired
  • San Francisco Giants Wall of Fame
  • Major League Baseball All-Century Team
  • Major League Baseball All-Time Team
  • Baseball Hall of Fame

First ones out: Andre Dawson and Richie Ashburn

Thanks for reading our best center fielders of all time article. Below we’ve linked out to a few of our other “best” MLB lists.

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