Ranking the NL East: First Basemen
By Pablo Roa
Sep 26, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Atlanta Braves first basemanFreddie Freeman
(5) smiles back at the dugout as he takes the field in the fourth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
1. Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)
While the case can be made that either Zimmerman or Duda could be classified as the No. 2 first baseman in the NL East, it’s pretty clear (in my opinion) that the distinction of No. 1 goes to Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman.
Ever since he won the National League Rookie of the Year award in 2011, Freeman has not only been one of the best first basemen in the NL East, but he’s also been one of the best first basemen in all of baseball.
At just 25 years old, Freeman has been the Rookie of the Year, he’s been an All-Star twice and he’s finished in the top-5 in NL MVP voting once. Freeman’s best season came in 2013, when he hit .319 with 23 home runs and 109 RBIs.
While Freeman wasn’t quite as strong in 2014, he still hit a solid .288 with 43 doubles, 18 home runs and 78 RBIs while scoring a career-high 93 runs. Last season Freeman also showed one of the biggest advantages he has over the other players on this list: his durability. Not only did Freeman play in more games than any of the other players on this list, but he also managed to play in all 162 games last season.
It’s hard to predict what will happen with the first basemen in the NL East next season. Right now, Freeman claims the top spot. That said, with Duda on the rise and Zimmerman at a new position, there’s no telling what this list will look like after the 2015 season.