Top 10 Right Now – First Baseman

A traditionally deep position got even deeper in ’17 with breakouts from Cody Bellinger, Justin Smoak, Logan Morrison, Josh Bell, Joey Gallo and Yonder Alonso.  Plus, all the usual suspects (save for Matt Carpenter and Miguel Cabrera) turned in predictably big campaigns.

A new list will be published each Monday leading up to pitchers and catchers reporting in February. The lists will highlight the Top 10 players at each position, managers and executives, finishing up with the Ultimate Top 10 list, a ranking of each of the position’s number one player.

Here’s a list of what’s to come and already been published:
Nov. 13 – Executives
Nov. 20 – Managers
Nov. 27 – Second Basemen
Dec. 4 – Relief Pitchers
Dec. 11 – Center Fielders
Dec. 18 – Shortstops
Dec. 25 – Designated Hitters
Jan. 1 – Left Fielders
Jan. 8 – First Basemen
Jan. 15 – Starting Pitchers
Jan. 22 – Catchers
Jan. 29 – Third Basemen
Feb. 5 – Right Fielders
Feb. 12 – Ultimate Top 10

Below are two lists, one (“Statistical”) shows players ranked per a combination of their 2017 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. Offensive, defensive, baserunning and all-inclusive stats are included in the calculations.  The second (“Adjusted”) list is based on stats but then given adjustments based on track record, injuries and projections and reflects our ranking of the players as they head into 2018.

The list in which the players appear depends mostly on where they played the most games (or innings) in 2017 but also where they project to play this coming year if substantially different than last (i.e. role player getting a more permanent position).

2017 Statistical Top 10
10. Ryan Zimmerman
T-8. Joe Mauer
T-8. Eric Hosmer
7. Carlos Santana
6. Jose Abreu
5. Freddie Freeman
4. Anthony Rizzo
3. Cody Bellinger
2. Paul Goldschmidt
1. Joey Votto

Adjusted Top 10
10. Miguel Cabrera
9. Greg Bird
8. Eric Hosmer
7. Carlos Santana
6. Cody Bellinger
5. Jose Abreu
4. Anthony Rizzo
3. Freddie Freeman
2. Paul Goldschmidt
1. Joey Votto

In consideration (with their rank from last year’s list): Wil Myers (6), Chris Davis (7), Brandon Belt (9), Mauer, Zimmerman, Josh Bell, Justin Smoak, Joey Gallo, Justin Bour, Eric Thames, Yuli Gurriel, Matt Carpenter, Mitch Moreland

Notes: Votto put up an historic season so takes over our top spot, as well… Freeman was on his was to a monster season before injury and seems to keep getting better… while Bellinger was exposed in the World Series, I don’t feel he’ll have a huge sophomore slump… spots eight through ten were the hardest as it could just as easily be Bour, Zimmerman and Carpenter in some order… Bird will hit 30 homers this year (barring injuries, of course)… giving him one more chance and banking on a Cabrera rebound, not to his MVP days, but with (hopefully) his off-field concerns lessened, he could have a bounce back… Smoak finally did what many thought he was capable of doing, but can he repeat?… there is more to come from Justin Bour… if Belt could just hit, he’d be an easy top 10 as the defensive metrics love him… Bell is a better candidate to hit a sophomore slump, but if he doesn’t, he could very well earn a top 10 spot in ’19


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