Since a trip around the bases begins at first base, we'll begin this year's B/R MLB 500 the same way.
First basemen will be scored like so: 35 points for Approach/Hitting, 40 points for Power, 10 points for Baserunning and 15 points for Defense for a total of 100 points.
The approach/hitting category involves not only looking at how good guys are at putting the bat on the ball and how they hit the ball, but also things like patience and plate discipline.
The power category is not so much about raw power. It's more of a look at how much power guys have in actual games, which involves looking into how they tap into their power for extra-base hits.
The baserunning category is one that could be complicated, but we're going to keep it simple by focusing on how good guys are at stealing bases, taking extra bases and avoiding outs on the bases.
As for defense, we're going to look at how sure-handed guys are and if they have the athleticism to make tough plays. For this, we'll be using a combination of defensive metrics and the eye test.
One thing we're not doing this year is a category for health. Rather than handle them separately, any health concerns we do have will be applied to a specific category that could be impacted.
Please note that a score in the middle (i.e. 20/40 or 17/35) denotes average, not failing. And while the discussion will be centered on 2014, we also have one eye on how things are shaping up for 2015.
Lastly, any ties will be resolved with the following question: "If we could pick only one, who would it be?"
When you're ready, you can read on.