Every year the MLB Network has a Top Ten Right Now series at every Position and here I will breakdown my top 10 at every position. Some you may agree with and some you might not everyone’s list would probably be different in some way shape or form and that’s the beauty of baseball always something to debate. First things first my list for the Top 10 First Basemen Right Now is up now.
#10 JOEY GALLO
Gallo in his rookie year played in 145 games and hit 41 homeruns while slugging .537. Gallo also had an OPS+ of 121 (again, league average is 100). Now the knock on Gallo is and will always be that he strikeouts out a ton and he does. Gallo had 196 strikeouts and an overall strikeout percentage of 36.8 but the power is real. Look for another 40 homerun season out of Gallo.
#9 BRANDON BELT
Now Belt had an ok offensive season in 2017 but is projected to have a better year in 2018. Belt is one of the better defenders at first base and look for his slick fielding to help the Giants.
#8 MATT CARPENTER
Carpenter has been a well above average player since enter the league in 2012. Carpenter not a natural first baseman has made himself into a very solid contributor at the position. Carpenter projects for another 20+ homerun season in the middle of the Cardinals order.
#7 JOSE ABREU
Abreu has been an underrated performer and not well known to the mainstream. but Abreu since his Major League debut in 2014 has amassed 124 homeruns and has averaged a career slugging percentage of .524. Abreu will have be the most feared bat in the White Sox lineup and therefore will have to exhibit patience and look for his pitch.
#6 CARLOS SANTANA
Carlos Santana the brand new first baseman of the Philadelphia Phillies is the model of consistency. Santana over a full 162 game season would average 105 base on balls. Santana is a guy that will give you a solid and pesky at bat every time up, look for Santana to pass along that approach to his new teammates in the City of Brotherly Love.
#5 CODY BELLINGER
Unanimous National League Rookie of the Year Cody Bellinger had a huge year in 2017 with nearly 40 homeruns and 100 rbi’s. Bellinger also had an OPS+ of 142 a supreme All Star caliber season. Look for Bellinger to continue on his All Star caliber path.
#4 ANTHONY RIZZO
Rizzo has provided the Cubs with a lot of stability no matter where in the lineup Joe Maddon decides to place him. Rizzo over the last 4 seasons has had over 30 homeruns so 2018 should be no different. And as a leader in that Cubs clubhouse Rizzo will help push the Cubs into the playoffs again in a much more competitive NL Central.
#3 FREDDIE FREEMAN
Freeman is an amazing player and should continue getting better. I covered Freddie in another post so if your interested in knowing more about how good he is the article is entitled “Fly Ball Freddie”
#2 PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT
The most unknown superstar in baseball is the Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldy is one of the best all around players in the MLB. He can field, run hit for power and average. Goldschmidt is a franchise type player that every organization would want representing them. Goldschmidt is projected to have the 30/100 (hr/rbi) and .300/.400/.500 (slash line) type season you want from every superstar type player. Look for Goldy to compete for the NL MVP in 2018.
#1 JOEY VOTTO
As much as I gushed over Goldschmidt Votto I admire even more. Votto’s plate discipline is other worldly. Also like Freddie Freeman I covered Votto more in-depth so I won’t go on long here on Votto. However, Votto has the “Eye” at the plate that you that is only had by the best of the best. Watchan at bat from the “Prince of Process” Joey Votto and you will appreciate the beauty in the game of baseball. The game while being a team sport is an isolated event; hitter vs pitcher, man vs man, strengths vs weakness. Ultimately whoever can make the fewest mistakes is the victor. And to the victor (Joey Votto) go the spoils of being #1 on my Top 10 First Basemen Right Now.