B/R MLB 500: Top 35 First Basemen

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B/R MLB 500: Top 35 First Basemen
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If you ever find yourself on a baseball diamond and desperately needing to charge your phone, just plug it into first base. That's where the power is.

First base is also where we're going to start a very special journey known as the B/R MLB 500. We'll be taking a look at all the best players in Major League Baseball position by position, and first basemen are up first.

As with all other position players to come, the league's top first basemen are going to be scored on their ability to hit, hit for power, run the bases and field their position, and we're also going to take into account how healthy they are/have been.

Because first base is such an offense-oriented position, the priority for first basemen will be on the offensive categories. The scoring goes: 30 points for hitting, 35 points for power hitting, 10 points for baserunning, 15 points for defense and 10 points for health. Add it all up, and you get 100 points.

Hitting entails more than just what happens after the ball leaves the bat. Results do count for something, but so does the process. Each player's approach will be taken into account.

Power is less complicated, but results will be taken into account just as much as scouting reports. A player may have tremendous natural power, but his score will be lowered if he has a hard time making it show up in games.

For baserunning, it's all about whether a player can steal bases and how well, and whether he can get around the bases better (or worse) than the average player. Defense is also simple. How well can a guy do the things first basemen are supposed to do, and can he do anything extra?

For hitting, power, baserunning and defense, keep the following in mind: A score that's, say, 15 out of 30 is not a failing score. That's an "average" score. Anything better is above average. Anything below is below average.

As for health, that's basically 10 free points. Unless, of course, there's a reason to dock points. The scoring is subjective, but the general rule of thumb is that a player is only getting fewer than five points if he has a potentially career-altering injury/injuries.

Lastly, here's a reminder that the whole idea is to round up guys we'd want on a team in 2014. That means top prospects who could potentially make an impact next season are in play, and they may be ranked higher than you think. And if there are any ties, the edge goes to the player we'd rather have.

That's all there is to it, so let's take it away.


Note: All prospect write-ups/scores were created by B/R's MLB Prospects Lead Writer, Mike Rosenbaum.

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