Miami’s outfield is where the most available playing time can be found ahead of the 2020 season. The Hurricanes have only one established starter in the outfield, Jordan Lala, and another player in Gabe Rivera who played well in the outfield last season but was in and out of the lineup with injuries. The third outfield spot is wide-open, and is one of the main competitions heading into the coming season.
If the Hurricanes can find consistent production to go along with good defense in that third outfield spot, this season’s outfield could be even better than the unit that took the field last season.
OF Jordan Lala
2019 Statistics: .276 AVG, .446 OBP, .386 SLG, 18 RBI, 9 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 61 BB, 210 AB
Jordan Lala displayed an elite ability to get on base last season. He also played strong defense in both corner outfield spots and in centerfield. At the end of the season Lala started to struggle with strikeouts, something he’ll need to cut back on in 2020. Lala could also add more power to his bat, as his value would exponentially increase if he could get more extra-base hits from the lead-off spot. Lala’s greatest quality though, may be his base running, he was Miami’s leader in stolen bases last season and is all-around great on the basepaths.
Jordan Lala should remain Miami’s lead-off hitter. He has an excellent ability to get on base and plays solid defense in the outfield. Lala will continue to be a key piece in setting up the power hitters that bat below him in Miami’s order.
LF/RF Gabe Rivera
2019 Statistics: .290 AVG, .374 OBP, .590 SLG, 31 RBI, 5 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 9 BB, 100 AB
Gabe Rivera was a surprise standout for Miami last season. Almost halfway through the season Rivera began to see consistent starts in the corner-outfield positions and hit the ball very well. This season he should see starts from the start of the season, and with a full year of playing-time Rivera should be able to have an even better year in 2020 than the one he had in 2019.
Gabe Rivera is an excellent offensive outfielder with a lot of power in his bat. He’s a valuable piece of Miami’s offense and could have a great offensive season in 2020.
CF Tony Jenkins
2019 Statistics: .268 AVG, .392 OBP, .330 SLG, 12 RBI, 4 2B, 1 3B, 0 HR, 15 BB, 97 AB
Tony Jenkins saw time both as a starter and off the bench last season and had a solid year. Jenkins is fantastic as a defender in the outfield, and is easily Miami’s best option to play in centerfield. He also has offensive potential, and if he can improve it slightly he could help Miami’s outfield become an elite group.
Tony Jenkins is a great defender with good ofensive skills hoping to build off of a solid year last season. With Adrian Del Castillo moving to become the full-time catcher this season Jenkins should begin the year as a starter in the outfield and will look to build on 2019 to have a great 2020.
OF/IF Luis Tuero
2019 Statistics: .333 AVG, .400 OBP, .417 SLG, 2 RBI, 3 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 4 BB, 36 AB
Luis Tuero was off to a fantastic start in his freshman season in 2019 before suffering an injury that ended his year and caused him to take a redshirt. Tuero was adjusting to playing the outfield last season, and could see time both in the infield and outfield in 2020. He’s an extremely talented player who should certainly help fill-in off the bench this year.
Luis Tuero will hope to continue the success of his early career in 2020. Tuero could be a pleasant surprise for the Hurricanes this year after showing flashes of great talent last year.
OF Chad Crosbie
2019 Statistics: .200 AVG, .296 OBP, .243 SLG, 7 RBI, 0 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 8 BB, 70 AB
Chad Crosbie had a solid 2019. He saw occasional starts in mid-week games along with in a few weekend series. Crosbie also saw time as a defensive replacement, a role he did extremely well in. Crosbie showed some offensive potential last season, and with more at-bats in 2020 he could see his numbers improve at the plate.
Chad Crosbie is an excellent bench-player and a great defender. He should continue to see around 15-20 starts and also earn some playing time off of the bench in 2020.
OF Chet Moore
2019 Statistics: .185 AVG, .258 OBP, .185 SLG, 3 RBI, 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 1 BB, 27 AB
Chet Moore saw limited playing time in his true freshman season in 2020. Moore should continue to develop in 2020 and could see more playing time this season both off the bench and in the occasional start. Moore needs more at-bats to develop, but with those he could grow into an increased role next season and the year after.
Chet Moore has seen limited at-bats in his career and needs to continue to develop this season. 2020 could be a big year for Moore as he hopes to continue to develop for the future.
OF/IF Mykanthony Valdez
2019 Statistics: N/A
Mykanthony Valdez is an extremely talented freshman that could have a great career for the Hurricanes. Valdez has great offensive tools, with a solid ability to make contact to go along with very good power. It’s not clear where Valdez will play defensively long-term, but he will almost certainly be a member of the ‘Canes starting lineup at some point in the future. In high school, Valdez was a first-team all-county and all-district player, and he could develop into an excellent collegiate player.
Mykanthony Valdez will probably see limited playing time in his freshman season due to more experienced players ahead of him, but he is a key piece of the ‘Canes roster going forward.