According to reports the Miami Marlins have a new center field target: Ramón Laureano from the Oakland Athletics. Laureano plays right field for Oakland at the moment, but center field is his natural position, and he has played it almost exclusively to this point. Laureano is a free agent in two years and the rebuilding Oakland is apparently potentially open to moving him. This article isn’t going to focus on the potential return (it’s not going to involve any of our top prospects or at least shouldn’t), but on if he’s worth acquiring.
Ramón Laureano might be the next Miami Marlins center fielder.
Ramón Laureano is currently batting .242/.326/.358 in 120 AB’s for a total of 0.6 WAR. Career-wise Laureano is batting .261/.334/.455 with 10.3 WAR. Laureano has decent pop, but doesn’t stand out contact or OBP wise. He currently has 0.0 dWAR and had 0.6 last season in 378 games. Interestingly, he has actually been better defensively in center field than right field this season.
Is Ramón Laureano better than the player that he would presumably be replacing: Jesús Sánchez? Sanchez is currently batting .222/.267/.418 with 8 home runs and 23 RBI in 55 games and 189 AB’s. He’s showing power but a lack of contact and on-base skills. Interestingly he has 0.3 WAR and 0.1 dWAR. The interesting part is that he appears to be better defensively than Laureano so far this season. A demotion to the Minors seemed like a good idea recently.
It’s clear to me that Sánchez has a lot of potential based on his power and young age, but he needs to hit better in order to warrant a starting spot on a team with playoff aspirations. Ramón Laureano is clearly the better and more experienced player, but one has to wonder if the difference really that big? Laureano also has a bit of a worrying injury history that makes me wonder if he’s someone that The Fish should really invest in.
Ramón Laureano is an upgrade for the Miami Marlins in center field, but would require The Fish moving Jesús Sánchez to the bench or the Minors, unless we trade RF Avisail Garcia to open up room for him in right field. As long as the Miami Marlins don’t give up too much in prospects it could be a good move.