This is an excerpt from the Joe Sheehan Baseball Newsletter, an e-mail newsletter about all things baseball, featuring analysis and opinion about the game on and off the field from the perspective of the informed outsider. Joe Sheehan is a founding member of Baseball Prospectus and a contributor to Sports Illustrated and Baseball America. He has been writing about baseball for more than 20 years.
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"In all, I found nine examples in the last six years of a player who was a terrible full-time center fielder in one season, and a corner outfielder in the next. Most, though not all, of these were older players who had been good center fielders but were asked to play there a bit too long. As a group, these players were worth -1.4 dWAR in their last season in center. After moving, they were worth -0.3 dWAR. Simply getting out of center field was worth a full win. Most of these players still had negative dWARs (the exceptions were the younger players in the pool, like Adam Eaton, Marcell Ozuna, and Cameron Maybin), but they gained value just by not being asked to do what they could no longer do."