Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts recently made waves when he shared a worrying centerfield update. Roberts was asked who will be the centerfielder in 2023 to which he replied, “I think your guys’ guess right now is as good as mine,” via Bill Plunkett. James Outman and Trayce Thompson have been regarded as the top two options for the position. Others have campaigned for either Mookie Betts or Chris Taylor to shift to CF from their corner outfield spots.

However, the Dodgers best best is to roll with Trayce Thompson.

Why Dodgers must start Trayce Thompson in centerfield

Mookie Betts would probably be an excellent centerfielder. He’s already one of the best right fielders in baseball. Having him move over to CF wouldn’t be productive for his overall game. Betts’ comfort level in right field will allow him to focus on the offensive side of things.

It wouldn’t be a terrible decision to have Betts play center. But having him in right has worked up to this point so LA will not want to mess that up.

Chris Taylor is extremely versatile. He can play almost any position on the diamond. The Dodgers need Taylor to have a resurgence at the plate in 2023. As a result, keeping him in left field and having him focus on one position will also allow him to potentially bounce back at the dish.

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Prospect James Outman is already 25-years old and the Dodgers want to put him on the 26-man roster out of Spring Training. However, that reason alone isn’t enough to warrant a starting spot in centerfield for a team with World Series aspirations. Outman can win the job with a strong Spring Training. But the Dodgers need to make him earn it.

Other possibilities include Bradley Zimmer and Jason Heyward. Both could be fine CF alternatives, but the starter needs to be Trayce Thompson.

Thompson enjoyed a tremendous 2022 after joining the Dodgers midway through the campaign. He posted a superb .901 OPS over 74 games for Los Angeles. His offense was a positive development amid Cody Bellinger’s struggles.

Bellinger undeniably added impressive defensive value. Although Thompson likely won’t be a Gold Glove centerfielder, he’s talented enough to hold his own.

Trayce Thompson needs to be the Dodgers’ 2023 centerfielder.