Originally Posted by RedsManRick
I'm sorry, but this just isn't true. For any given game, each team has just one. But some teams have the same guy starting the vast majority of their games and some don't.
If you want to go through each team and select their "starter", be my guest. But I wanted to paint the picture of what a starter-worthy player looks like so we'd have some basis for the conversation of whether a certain offensive line qualified a player to be a starter. And you don't get to that picture by including fill-ins and back-ups.
I got my data from Fangraphs. What's funny is that the differences are pretty much the same whether you include the starters or not. LF is about .35 points higher than CF. RF is about 50 points higher. Some years it's 40, some 60. You can split starters out from backups. Whatever. The point is that corner OF don't hit a ton better than CF.
For each game, there are two center fielders. Sure, some of them are in platoons, have occasional off days, get optioned, get injured, etc., but that's not the point.
The point is that if Sappelt were to produce in the way I stated above, he would be an above-average center fielder worthy of being the starter for more than half the teams in MLB. If you reduce the field to only 18 center fielders, he would be in the middle of the pack, but why would you close your eyes to the other 12 teams that need to field a center fielder every day?
I'm not saying he would be an above-average starter amongst teams that have a player with enough plate appearances to qualify. I'm simply saying he would be an above-average starter amongst all the teams in MLB. Period.
But if you still don't agree with that, I understand because it seems like a semantic debate to me. I'll reword it. Amongst all the Major League teas using a center fielder, Dave Sappelt would OPS better than half of the starting center fielders.
Just so you know, by your definition of 'starter', there are only enough outfielders to field 15 baseball teams.