The major difference between catchers and first base can be seen immediately. Sometimes you have a strong group of free agents and sometimes it’s weak. The catchers list is pretty weak this year, with maybe two starters available. All of the first basemen are capable of being regulars, and nearly half of them are All-Star quality performers.
As with the catchers, we will be looking at the top 10 available first basemen on the free agent market.
First, a couple of points for those just joining us. These first basemen will be listed in alphabetical order. I don’t want to rank these guys because some of them will be fits for different teams. Plus, I should add that there are some multiple position players here. I will only list them once, so some guys will be left off this list because they fit better at another position.
As we get started, we will see a few statistics some may be unfamiliar with. The first two lie on the hitting side of the equation. Secondary average (SEC) measures everything a hitter does that does not include batting average. This includes base running, power and patience. When you combine batting average and secondary average, you get real offensive value (ROV). It is expressed like batting average.
We will also include batting average on balls in play (BABIP) as a final offensive statistic. Additionally, we will look at defensive statistics. Primarily, we will look at innings and composite runs (combination of Fangraphs, Baseball-Reference, Baseball Prospectus and The Fielding Bible). Finally, we will show wins above replacement. WAR is a combination of offense and defense.