Is Franklin Gutierrez the Best Outfielder in the Majors?

Kyle McAreavyContributor IApril 18, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - APRIL 08: Franklin Gutierrez #21 of the Seattle Mariners catches a ball hit by Kevin Kouzmanoff #5 of the Oakland Athletics during an MLB game at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on April 8, 2010 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

           In the past 20 years many people would say that the Seattle Mariners have had three of the best defensive center fielders of their time. In the 90’s there was Ken Griffey Jr. obviously most people know who he is. Then he was traded for Mike Cameron when he wanted to be closer to his new family. Mike turned out to be an amazing player who greatly impacted the Mariners in the years he played hear (2000-2003). He is also greatly known around the league, a lot of people know him for his 4 home run game which tied the major league record. After 2003 the Mariners tried a few players such as Randy Winn, Jeremy Reed and they had Ichiro try center for a while. Two of those three guys are well known around the league.           

Now they have a kid named Franklin Gutierrez. Outside of Cleveland or Seattle who had heard of him before last season? The only reason people in Seattle knew him was because he was in the J.J. Putz trade. Franklin has the potential to be the best defensive center fielder that the Mariners have ever had. Griffey was great and so was Cameron but if Gutierrez keeps up what he has been doing lately he could win 10 straight gold gloves. He should have won last year but he didn’t because nobody knew who he was.

Gutierrez is now beginning to hit very well. He started this season on a complete tear. Hitting over .400 after 12 games he is second over all for the American League. He has 6 RBI’s, 2 stolen bases and a fielding percentage of 1.000. Remember that those stats are all in 12 GAMES. He is leading this Mariner team to its wins with his consistent hitting in clutch situations. When most games are 1 or 2 run decisions those small contributions could be the difference between winning and losing.

Overall Franklin is becoming known this year. I believe that he will become a household name in the future, will win multiple gold gloves and be the best outfielder in the league for years to come.