We all know that first base may be the deepest position in baseball, but when you look at the rankings it really is amazing. When Derrek Lee, Victor Martinez (much better suited as a catcher) and Carlos Pena all fall short, that tells you all you need to know. Let’s take a look at who did make the cut:
- 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
- Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres
- Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
- Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
- Kendry Morales – Los Angeles Angels
- Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
- Lance Berkman – Houston Astros
- Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
- Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
- Billy Butler – Kansas City Royals
- The top three first baseman are pretty easy to pick, but after that you get some interesting individual debates. Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder for #4? The real difference is Howard has proven that he can put up the power and RBI every single season. With Fielder, given his 2008 performance, are you really so sure? That doubt makes me take Howard first every time.
- Kevin Youkilis or Mark Reynolds? It’s a tough call and my decision may be an unpopular one, but I just don’t trust Reynolds. The potential for a terrible average is too great and it is impossible for me to expect him to replicate his 2009 power display. No matter what, I would have Reynolds at #8, at best, though I’ll revisit that next time around.
- Would anyone have thought we’d see the day that Lance Berkman was barely a usable first baseman? It certainly says a lot about the position, now doesn’t it?
- The depth at the position makes Pablo Sandoval better suited to be used as a 3B, but if you miss out on all the names above him it wouldn’t be terrible. Given the word that he’s expected to be the team’s cleanup hitter, it makes him all that more attractive.
- As can be seen by my projection of Billy Butler (click here to view) I’m extremely high on him for the upcoming season and think he should outperform Derrek Lee in 2010. That’s why Lee fell short of the Top 15 (just barely) and Butler gets the nod for the final spot on the list.
- Don’t be mistaken by the absence of Victor Martinez from this list. I would take him ahead of many of the lower guys, but as a 1B he just doesn’t measure up. He gets a lot of his value from his catcher eligibility, which I didn’t take into account in doing these rankings.
Previous Early Rankings:
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