NL First Base Is Close To Call

(Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Sports)

In the National League, electing a few first basemen to the team will be a tough task. On the one hand, there are many great players like Paul Goldschmidt, Joey Votto, and Ryan Zimmerman, but there are also situations where the 1B might not be especially good, but they’re the best player on a team that will only get one all-star like Wil Myers, Eric Thames, Brandon Belt, or Anthony Rizzo. Granted, with the way Buster Posey’s hitting, Belt won’t need to be the San Francisco Giants’ only all-star, but it is a tough choice to narrow it down to merely a handful of first basemen.

A simple case can be made for each player listed, but they’ll probably only have a few. Taking into account the aspect of the designated hitter, there will probably be two first basemen and two just flat-out good hitters in each lineup. To save us some tears over missed players, let’s assume that all four spots will be filled by first basemen and make our list from there.

PAUL GOLDSCHMIDT

The Arizona Diamondbacks’ star has a lot to offer and is an easy choice for the starting spot, for his bat has been absolutely unstoppable this season. Batting .323, he’s acquired 65 RBIs, 18 home runs, and an unbelievable 13 steals! Goldy’s been showing off and he needs to be a part of the NL lineup for it.

ERIC THAMES

Batting a mere .241, all-star hopes do not look good for the Milwaukee Brewers’ first baseman. You could argue that his 20 homers are really something to write home about, but 11 of those blasts were in the first month! Unless a teammate like Travis Shaw or Orlando Arcia misses the cut, I wouldn’t expect Thames to be in Miami, this Mid-Summer Classic.

JOEY VOTTO

The Cincinnati Reds’ Vottomatic has had a possibly Hall of Fame career and his 2017 season has reflected that, so far. He’s clearly been the best Reds player as he has acquired a .303 batting average, 55 RBIs, and a whopping, fifth in all of baseball, 21 home runs! #19 definitely deserves a spot on the NL team, this July.

BRANDON BELT

The Giants’ first baseman might have had a shot at the all-star game if it weren’t for the team’s unbelievable catcher, but his stats simply don’t add up to a couple days in Miami, Florida. The lefty has batted a terrible .228, with only 35 RBIs, and 14 home runs. I’m fairly sure Eddie Gaedel might’ve had better numbers, so let’s just keep Belt in San Fran, next month.

RYAN ZIMMERMAN

In his 266 at-bats, this year, this Washington National has assured us that Bryce Harper won’t be the only Nat heading to the 88th Annual ASG. With 61 RBIs, he’s fourth in baseball, with a batting average of .338, he’s third in baseball, and with 19 home runs, he’s got a shot at the Home Run Derby! There’s no reason why Ryan Zimmerman shouldn’t be in this year’s National League lineup.

ANTHONY RIZZO

Sure, the Chicago Cubs’ first baseman has been playing well in the last month or so, but we can’t just disregard those two months at the beginning of the season. Batting .326 in the month of June doesn’t justify batting .218 in April and .192 in May, and neither does his 18 homers (six of which were hit in the last month), nor does his 50 RBIs (20 of which were in the last month). Say what you will, but one month of skill is not enough to put a player on the all-star team.

WIL MYERS

Okay, Myers has struggled a bit this year, but let’s face it: the San Diego Padres need an all-star. Things aren’t pretty for Myers, as he is batting just .262, with 15 homers, and 40 RBIs, but, let me rephrase: the Padres are desperate for even just one all-star. You could argue that Hunter Renfroe could make it, but he’s not doing an better than Myers, and he’s competing with Harper, Cody Bellinger, Scott Schebler, Jay Bruce, and Marcell Ozuna, so it’s safe to say that Myers will make the NL team because, again, let’s try this one more time: San Diego really, really needs an all-star.

There’s a plethora of applicants for the position of first baseman in the National League lineup, but there can only be a few who actually make the team. Goldschmidt, Votto, and Zimmerman are by far the best at the job in their respective league, but there’s always a chance for maybe one more in the lineup. The other twelve first basemen in the NL, even if they weren’t listed, still have a shot.

 

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5 thoughts on “NL First Base Is Close To Call

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