The Cincinnati Reds are having a banner year. They are just about to sew up their second divisional crown in the last three years. Of course, they are not perfect or without blemishes that will probably cost them dearly in the playoffs. One blemish that has baffled me for quite some time is the fact that Chris Heisey is not an everyday fixture in centerfield for the Reds.
As of right now, Drew Stubbs is considered the starting centerfielder. I understand the draw for allowing Stubbs to start. He is an excellent fielder who gets a great jump on the ball and has blazing speed. I get that. Plus, you will see him run into one at the plate at a very opportune time and win one for the Reds. For the season, though, Stubbs is having a terrible year. He’s batting .214, has a .280 OBP and 146 strikeouts. He does have 14 HR, 29 SB and 39 RBI, so there is value, but man, is he inconsistent.
Heisey, on the other hand, is consistent. He doesn’t have the speed (although he does have enough), but he is fearless in the field. He is diving all the time trying to make a play out there. At the plate, he is having a great season. Although Heisey has only appeared in 106 games, he is batting .281 (notice that is better than Stubbs’ OBP) and has a .318 OBP. Admittedly, his power numbers are down from last year, but he does have 7 HR, 16 2B, 5 3B and 31 RBI. Let’s not forget that Heisey is a far superior bunter.
Even though you give up a little on speed with Chris Heisey, I think that the positives with him far outweigh the negatives and that he deserves to be the regular centerfielder. Stubbs can be the guy off the bench or the pinch runner in a key situation.
In short, Chris Heisey should be the starting centerfielder for the Cincinnati Reds.