Change-UpAugust 26, 2008
Perspective Time
By Patrick Sullivan

In a 4-3 win over the Detroit Tigers last night, Grady Sizemore hit home runs number 30 and 31, pushing his season line to a phenomenal .271/.383/.532 mark. Having turned just 26 three weeks ago or so, Sizemore has affirmed that his outstanding 2006 campaign (.290/.375/.533) was no outlier. It seems safe to say that he has arrived as a superstar for years to come.

Of course that he may have reached a new, sustained performance level should strike fear into the rest of the league. Sizemore is already a player of historic significance, as there just have not been many center fielders able to produce, both with the glove and the bat, the way Grady has so early on in his career. He won the 2007 Gold Glove, and defensive statistics show him to have been one of the finest defenders before last season as well. Offensively, well, have a look at the table below.

          From   To   AVG   OBP   SLG   OPS+
Griffey   '89 - '93  .303  .375  .520   145 
Lynn      '74 - '78  .303  .372  .498   133
C Cedeno  '70 - '74  .294  .346  .476   131
Sizemore  '04 - '08  .280  .372  .494   126
Wynn      '63 - '67  .254  .336  .4444  125

Over the last fifty years, that's your list of center fielders who have managed a 125 OPS+ or better in their first five seasons. If Sizemore stays healthy and settles into the .375/.520 hitter it appears he is, Sizemore will eventually take his place among the finest center fielders ever to play.


Nice article, except for the fact that Sizemore hit homeruns number 30 & 31, not 31 & 32, last night in Detroit.

Fixed, DJ. Thanks for catching that.

Yeah, he's amazing, and one of the best-looking guys in the majors too. It's not fair. I hate him.