AL East Positional Face-Off - First Base

[Note by hugo, 02/10/09 3:24 PM EST ] Promoted from Fanposts (Hugo)

I have to admit that 1B is probably one of my favourite positions. Partly because I played 1B as a kid, partly because I’m big and slow like most 1B and partly because I dig the long ball and a first baseman is someone that should regularly put the ball in the bleachers. In this list #1 is pretty clear cut however I could see interchanging #2, 3 and 4 in any order, I put them as below based on their ability to continue to produce at a high level.

1. Mark Teixeira (New York) Big Tex is arguably the best 1B in the game. You can mark him down for 35HR, 100+RBI and a .300 average plus stellar defense at 1B. Being one of my favourite players and an member of my fantasy team since he was a prospect I was saddened to see him join the Yankees yet I am hopeful he will be able to handle the pressure of his new contract and the atmosphere in the Big Apple but that the rest of the team falls apart around him.

2. Kevin Youkilis (Boston) As a guy known more for making contact and getting on base Youk’s 29HR were a big surprise last year. I’m not sure he can duplicate that stat in 2009 but even if he falls off a bit in the power department he should be able to keep up the rest of his stats and that makes him still a top tier offensive player. I do however see Boston attempting to acquire a 1B via trade and moving Youk back to 3B and putting Lowell out to pasture.

3. Carlos Pena (Tampa Bay) I was glad to see Pena come into his own since joining TB in 2007 reaching some of the potential scouts saw in him as a top prospect. He should be good to put up 30+ HR again in 2009 although his average and strikeouts will hurt you a bit. He’s not the best in the game but he will get the job done.

4. Aubrey Huff (Baltimore) I’m not too sure what to expect from Huff in 2009. After many poor seasons at the plate he exploded once again in 2008 posting a .304 average, 32HR and 108 RBI. If he can do that again he’s easily #2 on this list. I suspect he will regress once again and put up something like .275/25/90 which is still respectable. I was leaning towards ranking him #3 however Pena’s potential for 40+ HR bumped Huff to a close 4th.

5. Lyle Overbay (Toronto) Bringing in the rear is our very own Lyle Overbay. I do feel that Lyle has received a bit of a bum rap in Toronto recently, maybe it’s because he’s not your prototypical 30+ HR hulking 1B, maybe it’s because a wrist injury slowed him down. He does hit quite well when he’s healthy I tend to think of him as a poor man’s John Olerud, in a good season we’ve seen Lyle can hit 20 HR and around .300. I don’t think he’ll post those numbers in 2009 though maybe 15HR and .275 is more realistic even if he did he’d still be #5 on the list.

The tally so far: New York: 9 Baltimore: 7 Tampa Bay: 6 Boston: 5 Toronto: 3

Up next…2B

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