By: Will Burchfield
Miguel Cabrera might not be the best hitter in baseball anymore, but he’s still pretty darn lethal. So lethal, in fact, that he ranked second on MLB Network’s list of Top 10 first basemen.
The Diamondbacks’ Paul Goldschmidt ranked first.
Cabrera is coming off his seventh consecutive All-Star season, one in which he posted 38 home runs, 108 RBI and a .956 OPS. He was particularly potent in the second half, racking up 20 homers, 55 RBI and a 1.057 OPS after the All-Star break. The 33-year-old finished ninth in MVP voting.
By the looks of his offseason workouts, he’s primed for more of the same this season.
Goldschmidt’s offensive numbers didn’t quite stack up to Cabrera’s in 2016, but the Diamondbacks’ 29-year-old slugger is arguably a more a complete player at this stage of his career.
MLB Network compiled its positional rankings based on the following criteria:
“Taking into account player performance over several seasons with an emphasis on 2016, a number of offensive and defensive metrics both advanced and traditional, and projected performance for the upcoming season, MLB Network’s Top 10 Right Now! series ranks the top players at each position heading into the 2017 season.”
The complete ranking of first basemen is below:
1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
3. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
4. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
5. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
6. Edwin Encarnacion, Cleveland Indians
7. Matt Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals
8. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
9. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
10. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
In addition to Cabrera, Ian Kinsler ranked fifth on MLB Network’s Top 10 Second Basemen list and Justin Upton ranked seventh on its Top 10 Left Fielders list.