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Stars on Center Stage
Stephen Cannella
May 13, 2002
SI polled major league managers, asking each to list baseball's top five defensive centerfielders. Twenty-seven of the 30 provided their choices, and two others delegated the task to a coach or a general manager. Participants were promised anonymity in return for their candor and comments. First-place votes were worth five points, second-place votes four, etc. Here are the top vote-getters.
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May 13, 2002

Stars On Center Stage

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SI polled major league managers, asking each to list baseball's top five defensive centerfielders. Twenty-seven of the 30 provided their choices, and two others delegated the task to a coach or a general manager. Participants were promised anonymity in return for their candor and comments. First-place votes were worth five points, second-place votes four, etc. Here are the top vote-getters.

1) Andruw Jones, Braves (112 points) "Plays shallow, never has to run into a wall. Always knows where he is."

2) Torii Hunter, Twins (69) "He seems like a fearless player. I've seen him crash into walls. He looks like Spider-Man making those great plays."

3) Mike Cameron, Mariners (65) "His first step is potentially the best of anyone's in the major leagues."

4) Ken Griffey jr., Reds (47) "He's the absolute best at taking a home run away from a hitter and breaking his heart."

5) Jim Edmonds, Cardinals (44) "Good arm. Great first step. Really knows how to play hitters."

NEXT SEVEN: Bernie Williams, Yankees (20); Steve Finley, Diamondbacks (15); Kenny Lofton, White Sox (11); Preston Wilson, Marlins (9); Carlos Beltran, Royals, Darin Erstad, Angels, and Tsuyoshi Shinjo, Giants (8)

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