Preliminary 2020 Rankings: Top 10 First Baseman (Where To Rank The 2019 Breakouts, Any Surprises? & More)

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As you view these rankings keep in mind that they are extremely preliminary and will change as we continue our evaluations and projections for 2020. They will also be expanded here on the site, with even deeper rankings and more in-depth analysis available via our draft guide (click here for information on pre-ordering the guide for just $8.25).

With that said, let’s get to the rankings:

RankPlayerTeamQuick Thoughts
1)Cody BellingerLos Angeles DodgersWho is the real Cody Bellinger? Is he closer to the player who hit .336 with 30 HR in the first half or .261 with 17 HR in the second? The truth likely lies in between, though that's still more than enough.
2) Freddie FreemanAtlanta BravesLong one of the elite in the game, Freeman fully erupted in '19 as he hit .295 with 38 HR, 121 RBI and 113 R. Whether or not he can maintain the power is the question.
3) Peter AlonsoNew York MetsIt was a rookie season for the ages, setting the single season record with 53 HR. He did regress in the second half, though his overall approach was fairly consistent. If he can maintain closer to the 24.5% strikeout rate from the first half, a believable mark, he's a .260 hitter with unlimited power.
4) Matt OlsonOakland AthleticsThere were questions entering the season, with a wrist injury potentially zapping him of his power. Instead he slugged 36 HR over 547 PA and could take another step forward assuming he improves his production against LHP.
5) Josh BellPittsburgh PiratesIt's easy to look at his second half regression and dub him a player to ignore, but he maintained his approach and a .241 BABIP speaks to poor luck more than anything.
6) Paul GoldschmidtSt. Louis CardinalsThe overall results weren't bad, though a big July helped to change the narrative. It easily could've been more of an adjustment to his new team than anything, so don't downgrade him significantly.
7)Max MuncyLos Angeles DodgersThose who believed that 2018 was an aberration were quickly proven wrong and the positional flexibility along with his ability to produce against both RHP and LHP only adds to the appeal.
8)Anthony RizzoChicago CubsWhile power around the game spiked, Rizzo hit .293 with 27 HR. As a first baseman, a second straight sub-30 HR campaign is highly concerning. He's a player we will dig into more in the near future, but he may no longer be among the elite.
9)Rhys HoskinsPhiladelphia PhilliesIt was a disappointing season for Hoskins, hitting .226 with 29 HR. However the underlying metrics do scream of a low batting average, though better than this (.218 BABIP in the second half). Maybe he's not Top 5 at the position, but he's better than this and could emerge as a strong buy low candidate.
10)Jose AbreuFree AgentFor now he's tentatively in this spot on the rankings, though where he ultimately lands via free agency will impact his outlook.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

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2 COMMENTS

    • I’d surprisingly lean Murphy. I’m not sure Aguilar gets enough playing time and Votto is clearly on the downside

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