Top 10 Right Now – First Basemen

Lots of moving parts this year with career years (Max Muncy, Jesus Aguilar and even Steve Pearce), down years (Eric Hosmer, Carlos Santana) and injuries (Brandon Belt, Jose Abreu, Greg Bird).  Last year, I wasn’t into the Chris Taylor breakout which turned out to be correct, but I’m a little more bullish on Muncy being able to come closer to repeating what he did.

Note: Between this list coming out (12/10) and the left fielders list (published 12/3), Santana was traded to Seattle which opened up first base for Rhys Hoskins in Philadelphia.  With that, he’ll appear on this list with the left fielders list being updated.  Matt Carpenter will appear on the third base list (his current projected position) when that is published.

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. 12 – Executives
Nov. 19 – Managers
Nov. 26 – Catchers
Dec. 3 – Left Fielders
Dec. 10 – First Basemen
Dec. 17 – Starting Pitchers
Dec. 24 – Designated Hitters
Dec. 31 – Third Basemen
Jan. 7 – Right Fielders
Jan. 14 – Relief Pitchers
Jan. 21 – Second Basemen
Jan. 28 – Center Fielders
Feb. 4 – Shortstops
Feb. 11 – Ultimate Top 10

Below are two lists, one (“Statistical”) shows players ranked per a combination of their 2018 stats and where they ranked in those stats per their respective position. Offensive, defensive, base running 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 2019.

The list in which the players appear depends mostly on where they played the most games (or innings) in 2018 but also where they project to play this coming year if substantially different than last (i.e. role player getting a more permanent position).

2018 Statistical Top 10
10. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
9. Carlos Santana, Seattle Mariners
8. Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers
7. Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics
6. Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers
5. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
4. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
3. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
2. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
1. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

Adjusted Top 10
10. Jesus Aguilar, Milwaukee Brewers
9. Max Muncy, Los Angeles Dodgers
8. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
7. Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics
6. Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
5. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
4. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
3. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
1. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves

In consideration (with their rank from last year’s list): Carlos Santana (7), Eric Hosmer (8), Greg Bird (9), Miguel Cabrera (10), Justin Bour, Ronald Guzman

Notes: Freeman has taken firm hold as the top first baseman in the game with another incredible season… Votto vows to be better in ’19 and I believe him… counting on Rizzo to have a full strong season… a healthy Belt belongs in this spot… a ton of Olson’s value comes from his defense, looking for a big step forward at the plate… Abreu could easily be in the 5-7 spots, but his injury scares me… didn’t like what I saw from Santana last season… still high on Bird… this could be the last chance for Cabrera to reclaim a sliver of what he was not that long ago… went with Muncy over Aguilar which could be completely wrong… Guzman has a lot of promise on both sides of the ball.

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