Around the Diamond: Top Five First Baseman of 2010

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Around the Diamond: Top Five First Baseman of 2010

Four out of the top five (first baseman) come from the American League. There is only one slight surprise on the list, the rest have been mainstays over the past few years. This may be the only position where the top five will remain the top five all season. The number one and two guys should be there all season barring injuries.

5. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox: Konerko the only surprise player on this list has been one of the few bright spots on the woeful White Sox this year. Konerko has found his power once again by crushing 17 home runs so far this season, which is tied for second in all of baseball. Konerko also leads his team in RBI’s- 41, slugging-.610, and on base percentage- .393. Even if Konerko keeps this pace up, the White Sox will still be under .500. The White Sox have too many problems and I wouldn’t be surprised if Konerko were traded in the next month. The White Sox are currently 24-33, nine and a half games out of first. The Twins and Tigers are going to put the White Sox out of contention by the all-star break.

4. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals: Pujols stands as the only first baseman on the list from the National League. Pujols has consistently been great over his career, which started in 2001. Pujols career batting average is an incredible .333. Pujols is only 20 home runs shy of 400 at the age of 30. Pujols power numbers are right there like usual, 14 home runs and 44 RBI’s to go along with a .420 on base percentage which all lead his team. Pujols’s average is a little lower than usual at .306, but I’m sure with time it will go up. The Cardinals are currently tied for first place in their division with the surprising Reds. Pujols will always help give the Cardinals a good chance to make it to the playoffs.

3. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox: Youkilis is on pace to have his best season ever. Every time you turn around this guy is on base. Youkilis’s on base percentage is an insane .453, which is second in all of baseball. Youkilis is hitting .324 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI’s which all lead the team. Youkilis is batting cleanup this year after Victor Martinez and before David Ortiz. The Red Sox three, four, and five may be the best in baseball now that Ortiz is back to his former self. The Red Sox can thank Youkilis for the resurgence of Ortiz because Youkilis is on base so much, which makes other teams want to throw strikes to Ortiz. With Youkilis always on base, the Red Sox have a good chance to score a lot of runs and compete in the tough American League East.

2. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins: With a healthy Morneau, the Twins are rolling in first place this season. Morneau is again having a solid season and he always seems like he is in contention for Most Valuable Player every year. Morneau is carrying the Twins on his back leading his team in almost every hitting category. Morneau is leading the majors in on base percentage -.475. Morneau is basically on base for half of his at bats! With Mauer not having his best year so far this season, Morneau has picked up the slack. Along with his majors leading OBP, Morneau is also leading the league in slugging- .673 and is in second with average batting- .362. The only stats Morneau isn’t leading on his team is triples, he even leads the team in strikeouts-44, which isn’t a good thing, but I think the Twins can live with it.

1. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: Cabrera has moved himself up in the MVP race along with Cano and Morneau this season. Cabrera has brought his team all the way back from a terrible start and are only three and a half games behind the Twins. With the help of Magglio Ordonez, who may be the comeback player of the year, the Tigers are proving that they can contend with the Twins this year. Cabrera is looking to have his best year of his career, he is on pace to have 51 home runs and 150 RBI’s. If the Tigers can turn their pitching around and maybe add one more bat in their lineup, it will be interesting to see if the Twins could hold them off. As of now, the Tigers are the weaker team. Cabrera and Ordonez alone cannot get the Tigers into the playoffs. I expect Cabrera to remain the best first baseman in the league throughout the season.

This may be the only position where the top five will remain the same all season. Cabrera and Morneau should remain in their spots all season barring injuries. (MLB.com)

By Eric Heyer of Sports Fan Blog Network

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