The 21-year-old notched 23 points during the Lions' tour Down Under last summer, including six conversions and two penalties, as well as a try against a Combined NSW-QLD Country side.
It is that versatility that has persuaded Townsend to move Hogg to where he can do most damage, with the Lion starting the Boxing Day derby against Edinburgh Rugby at 13 alongside Alex Dunbar.
And it paid immediate dividends, with Hogg scoring a late winning try in a 20-16 comeback victory.
"We want Stuart to get on the ball as much as possible and playing him at outside centre is one way to do that," said Townsend."He has got excellent basic skills. His passing, his kicking and when he runs onto the ball are all fantastic.
"He has played ten, he's played 13 and 15, so we think as the game goes on he can step up to become first receiver as well as an auxiliary full-back as well.
"Adaptability is key in the modern game. I love players who can play in as many positions as possible. We have got two or three that can do that, such as Richie Vernon who can play centre too.
"I see it as a big strength. From my time in France, they really rated players who could play in more than one position. They saw the game as being more than the set-piece and your starting position. It's about what you do off of kick returns or phase two to phase 20.
"In that sense you want as many rugby players in your team as possible."