We will continue our rankings of the NL East position battles by looking at the first basemen. Where does the Washington Nationals Ryan Zimmerman fit in?
In 2017, The Washington Nationals are hopeful that Ryan Zimmerman can finally find his form and live up to the 100+ million-dollar contract that he signed.
For the Marlins and Mets there are hopes that their first baseman, Justin Bour and Lucas Duda respectively, can return to form after injuries in 2016. The Braves are hoping that their young star, Freddie Freeman, can be the center of yet another rebuild, while the Phillies are hoping that after a successful rookie campaign they have found their first baseman of the future in Tommy Joseph.
With the exception of Freeman, these first basemen are not projected to hit at the top of their lineups. That does not mean that the success of their respective ball clubs does not weigh on their shoulders.
Many of the young stars in the NL East are relying on solid bats out of their first basemen to come to life in 2017 and stay healthy. Production from the bottom of the lineup is important for success over the 162 game campaign.
Maybe unlike other lists, except shortstops and center fielders, there will be an emphasis on defensive efficiency. Despite popular opinion, you cannot just stick anyone at first base who can swing a bat. In order to have a good infield you need someone who can cover first base.
First base is going to be a position to watch in 2017. Let’s start the countdown to the top first basemen in the NL East by first going to the City of Brotherly Love: