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MLB Ben Verlander Levels Up: Who Are The Best Base Players?

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with the bulk of MLB Away from the season, the countdown for pitchers and catchers to report to spring training has begun. In the meantime, we’ve started a series where we’re ranking players in each position. First, appropriately, is first base.

In every position we pass through, we will have an “Elite”, “Almost Elite”, “Really Good”, “Pretty Solid” and “The Rest” class.

elite: Paul GoldschmidtAnd Freddie FreemanAnd Vlad Guerrero JrAnd Alonso House

The first two players are obvious inclusions: Paul Goldschmidt and Freddie Freeman. We saw what Vlad Guerrero Jr. did in 2021. He would have won the MVP award if not for someone named Shuhei Ohtani. Guerrero had a drop last year than we knew him to be, but he hit . 274 with 32 home runs. Vlady Jr. is considered one of the best female baseball players in baseball.

Alonso’s house is elite. He hit 40 home runs last year and was tied for first in all of baseball in RBIs Aaron Judge at 131. He had a higher batting average than last year Francisco Lindor And Mookie Pets. Finished 3rd in all-time baseball in wRC+ (weighted runs created additionally, which provides an overall indication of a player’s offensive production relative to the league environment).

MLB First Tiers: Paul Goldschmidt & Freddie Freeman, headliners The Elite

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MLB First Tiers: Paul Goldschmidt & Freddie Freeman, headliners The Elite

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry ranked first in Major League Baseball and have Paul Goldschmidt of the St. Louis Cardinals, Freddy Freeman of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. of the Toronto Blue Jays, and Pete Alonso of the New York Mets in the elite class.

Almost Elite: Matt OlsonAnd Jose Abreu

These are two types of men going in opposite directions. I would have Jose Abreu in the “Elite” class a couple of years ago when he won the 2020 AL MVP award. Abreu is still great, but the power numbers just aren’t there anymore. He hit fifteen tomatoes last year. 300, but I think it’s come down a little bit from where it was in 2020 MVP. “Almost Elite” fits him to a tee.

Matt Olson is interesting because he excels in this area. He has a lot of power. But it does get a ton base. He either hits home wreckers, doubles, or outs. He is not an average guy. While he’s still on the youth side, I wouldn’t consider him one of the first elites in the game.

MLB First Base Tiers: Matt Olson and Jose Abreu headline The Almost Elite

MLB First Base Tiers: Matt Olson and Jose Abreu headline The Almost Elite
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Ben Verlander and Alex Curry are MLB first basemen and have Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves and Jose Abreu of the Houston Astros in The Almost Elite Tier.

really good: Christian WalkerAnd Louis ArazAnd Nathaniel LoweAnd Ty FranceAnd Rhys HoskinsAnd CJ CroneAnd Anthony RizzoAnd Joy Meneses

I think one player off the radar has the potential to step up: Christian Walker. playing with D- backs, who are not a high-level team. I think Christian Walker is awesome. He improved offensively and won a Gold Glove in 2022.

I have a couple more names I’d like to mention here, including Rhys Hoskins. I think Hoskins is “really good” with “almost elite” potential. Let’s look back at last year: 30 home runs with 79 RBI and a 246 average. The reason he wasn’t ranked higher: the tides of his year. It can have a stretch where it’s not very good, it can have a stretch where it’s “Elite” or “Almost Elite”. I had to put him here in the ‘Really Good’ category because I think he’s a really good first baseman. I just can’t believe he’s even the first elite policeman to date.

Another name that can really jump out at people – even though the sample size is small – is Joey Meneses from Washington Nationals. In very limited playing time last year, he hit . 324 with 13 homers and 34 RBI. He came in and was one of the best hitters in baseball at 56 games played. So, I think as this year comes to a close, Joey Meneses is a “really good” first baseman. He has the ability to slip through – or potentially step up and be one of the best first basemen in the game. The Nationals won’t be an exciting team to watch, but watch out.

MLB First Base Tiers: Ty France and Anthony Rizzo headline The Really Good

MLB First Base Tiers: Ty France and Anthony Rizzo headline The Really Good

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry ranked MLB’s first basemen. Among those in the Pretty Good Tier are Seattle Mariners T-France’s Anthony Rizzo of the New York Yankees.

very solid: Ryan MountcastleAnd Seth BrownAnd Jake CronworthAnd Trey ManciniAnd Naughty TellezYuli Gurel. Luke VoightAnd Joy PhotoAnd Josh NaylorAnd Vinny PasquantinoAnd Jared WalshAnd Jarrett CooperAnd Isaac Walls

One of the players that I want to highlight is Yuli Guryel. Heading into the 2021 season in which he won the Gold Glove Award and the AL batting title, he took a big step back from last year. He was getting old and I felt like he was due to decline. 242 last year with eight homers and 53 RBIs.

Joey Votto, in my opinion, is a Hall of Famer as well as an elite person. I think before last year it was in a higher class, which might have been “very good” or “almost elite”, but last year it slipped. He suffered a severe injury growing up. This could be a big year for him. I know he puts in a lot of work. He will come back healthy. Last year, I think he wasn’t very healthy.

I have to take into account what Mancini did at the end of last year – he wasn’t the best finish, and then he really struggled in the playoffs. I think Mancini is a really solid to good starting guy.

MLB First Base Tiers: Jake Cronenworth and more headliners The Pretty Solid & The Rest

MLB First Base Tiers: Jake Cronenworth and more headliners The Pretty Solid & The Rest

Ben Verlander and Alex Curry ranked MLB’s first basemen. Who rotates the last two groups?

the rest: Spencer Turkelson and others

I think Torkelson can be great. As of now, I don’t have anything to go by besides last year — and Torkelson hit . 203 with eight homers as a starter. So I couldn’t put it anywhere, but the former first overall pick could very well slip down the list.

Ben Verlander is an MLB analyst for FOX Sports and host of “Flippins the batpodcast. Born and raised in Richmond, Virginia, Verlander was an All-American at Old Dominion University before joining his brother, Justin, in Detroit for the 14th round of tigers In 2013. He spent five years in the tigers organisation. Follow him on Twitter @tweet.

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