Last week we took a first look at the top catchers heading into 2010 (click here to view), so today we turn to what is likely the deepest position in baseball, first base. What other position can someone hit 39 HR in just 471 AB (Carlos Pena) and not be ranked in the Top 15? If he’s not in, let’s take a look at who made the cut (again, (keep in mind that these are going to be fluid throughout the offseason based on news, transactions and further research):
- Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals
- Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
- Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
- Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies
- Prince Fielder – Milwaukee Brewers
- Justin Morneau – Minnesota Twins
- Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
- Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres
- Lance Berkman – Houston Astros
- Kendry Morales – Los Angeles Angels
- Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
- Derrek Lee – Chicago Cubs
- Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
- Victor Martinez – Boston Red Sox
- When Adam Dunn is not good enough to be a starter in a shallow, 12-team league, you know you are dealing with one of the deepest positions in baseball. Since when is a nearly given 40 HR, 100 RBI season something to sneeze at? We all know that it’s his average that hurts him, since his .267 could easily fall to .220 in 2010. That sounds very similar to the concern for Carlos Pena, though he actually did hit .227 before getting injured.
- The #2 spot is an interesting debate, between Teixeira and Cabrera. In the end, Teixeira is surrounded by a better line-up and calls a hitter friendly park home. Could you imagine the type of numbers he could post if he were to get off to a great start instead of hitting .200 with 3 HR in April?
- Mark Reynolds played 24 games at 1B in 2009, meaning he should be eligible there in the majority of formats in 2010. We’ll be talking about him in detail during the offseason, but it is hard to imagine him putting up another 40/20 campaign. His previous career high in stolen bases, including the minor leagues, was the 11 he stole in ’08. Keep that in mind.
- Ryan Howard vs. Prince Fielder? That’s a match-up that could bounce back and forth all winter long. They tied for the league lead in RBI, showing you how close they are.
- Derrek Lee’s resurgence really came as a surprise. It had been three years since he had more than 22 HR (he hit 35 in ’09) and he set his career high in RBI with 111. The truth is, it is hard to imagine him being able to repeat this amazing success.
- Joey Votto had an amazing season, but what would have happened if he had stayed healthy all year long? The power may not be the same as some of the other top first base options, but he could conceivably hit 30 HR with a .300+ average. How can you go wrong? The interesting comparison is between Votto and Kendry Morales, one of the breakout players in the league in 2009. Which of the two would you rather have?
- While Victor Martinez is among the best catchers in the game, his bat just doesn’t portray as well as a first baseman. The flexibility is nice and something that pushes him a few other deeper options, but I would be disappointed if I was saddled with him as my starting first baseman.
What are your thoughts on the early rankings? Who is too high? Who is too low? Who was omitted that shouldn’t have been?
To read the previous article, click here.
Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.