INTRO: THE BEST EVER CROP OF FIRST BASEMEN
As a bit of a stats geek (though I can’t quite hang with the elite), I’ve been amazed at how first basemen now dominate the offensive stats in both leagues. No other single position can boast close to the combined production of the first sackers.
I wonder if any one position has ever so dominated the game.
Yes, the AL of the 1930s featured three Hall of Famers with seven MVPs between them—Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, and Hank Greenberg.
The 1950s gave us Willie (Mays), Mickey (Mantle), and the Duke (Snider) lyrically mastering center field in New York.
But while there may not be a similar big three today, there are more than 10 first basemen this season who are absolutely tearing it up.
Let’s visit the top 10 MLB leaders in various offensive categories. HRs? Six out of 10 are first basemen. RBI: 5; BA: 3; Runs: 4; Slugging %: 5; OPS: 5. If Justin Morneau weren’t on the shelf, you could probably add one for each of those categories too!
Here's my premise: If I were picking a first baseman to anchor my infield next season, here are my picks—in ascending order. Find out where Ryan Howard and others rank, and let the debates begin!