25 year old Brian Anderson had the starting job last season but he had big hitting problems. He played in 134 games and he hit .225 with 46 runs scored, 8 homers, 33 RBIs and a .649 OPS. At least Anderson didn’t let his hitting problems follow him out to the field on defense. He only made 2 errors in 134 games in CF last season while showing outstanding range. I think Anderson will be hard pressed to hold off Darin Erstad for the starting job in 2007.
32 year old lefty swinging Darin Erstad will return to center field and try to take the starting job away from Brian Anderson. Erstad has two Gold Gloves as a CF, but he’s coming off of a severe ankle injury that limited him to only 40 games last season. He hit .221 with a .605 OPS in 2006. Erstad is a career .286 hitter, so look for him to rebound in 2007 if he’s healthy which he claims to be. Erstad will win the starting job in CF as long as he doesn’t hurt himself running into a fence or a teammate.
22 year old lefty swinging Ryan Sweeney is the darkhorse to win the CF job in 2007. He played in 118 games in AAA ball for the White Sox last season and he hit .296 with 64 runs, 13 homers, 70 RBIs and a .802 OPS. He came up at the end of the season and played in 18 games for the White Sox going 8 for 35 (.229 avg). Look for him to begin the season in AAA again, but he will get the call if Anderson or Erstad are injured.