Miami Marlins veteran Jonathan Villar gets a crack in centerfield

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Jonathan Villar #2 of the Baltimore Orioles takes a swing during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 20: Jonathan Villar #2 of the Baltimore Orioles takes a swing during a baseball game against the Seattle Mariners at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 20, 2019 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The Miami Marlins figure to have a new centerfielder when the team opens the 2020 season against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The Miami Marlins may have tipped their cap a bit on Monday about how at least two-thirds of the team’s outfield may look on Opening Day. In the team’s first full-squad practice, it was Jonathan Villar out in the middle of things with the hope of the front office the newly acquired veteran will play the position.

The move would also mean Brian Anderson would once again assume his role at third base, where he started 2018 and 2091 seasons. Anderson split time in right field and the hot corner last season, and it was assumed he may move back to the outfield given Villar’s ability to play multiple infield spots.

"“The Marlins have talked about Jonathan Villar as a potential center field option since the day they acquired him, and manager Don Mattingly confirmed to reporters today that the organization’s plan is to work the speedster out as a potential center fielder this spring,” Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors writes.“Villar will still get some work in the infield, and the club has other options to fall back on if the results aren’t favorable.”"

Those options may include prospect Monte Harrison on Jesus Sanchez. Lewis Brinson has experience in centerfield, but it is not likely he will win a role as a starter. Harold Ramirez spent time there last season, but it is not a natural fit. Jon Berti has the speed to burn and could also be an option.

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The Marlins front office made it a point to add multiple veterans to the roster this offseason, with Matt Joyce being brought in late in the process. Matt Kemp could make the team as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training. He has done some work at first base as well.

"“Villar, 29, started six games in center field for the Brewers in 2017 and has only 39 career innings at the position,” Adams adds. “He’s traditionally been a middle infielder, but with Miguel Rojas penciled in at shortstop, well-regarded prospect Isan Diaz hopefully emerging at second base and Brian Anderson lined up at the hot corner, the Marlins will hope that Villar can make the transition to the outfield.”"

Villar and first baseman Jesus Aguilar were two of the first bats to sign with Miami during Hot Stove. Miami also added Corey Dickerson to play in one of the corner outfield spots.

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