The 2024 MLB season isn’t too far away, with pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training in less than a month. With that, it makes now the perfect time for position ranking across the MLB. That is something that I have decided to do, alongside the guys at the Ball Blab podcast, releasing rankings for the top ten players at each position, including the top twenty relievers and top fifty starting pitchers.

Our system of ranking players did not have any specific criteria, and was just us picking who we think are/will be the best ten players at each position. If you missed the starting pitcher rankings that came out last week, make sure to go check it out. The position player rankings will begin today with the top ten first basemen in baseball. 


1. Matt Olson

Where MLB Network ranks Matt Olson among all first basemen

2023 Stats: 720 PA, .283/.389/.604, 54 HR, 139 RBI, 160 wRC+, 6.7 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 679 PA, .269/.371/.543, 42 HR, 117 RBI, 142 wRC+, 4.7 fWAR

2023 was the best year of Matt Olson’s career. He became an all star for the second time, won his first Silver Slugger award, and finished fourth in the NL MVP voting. Olson played in all 162 games, led the MLB in home runs and runs batted in, and led the NL in slugging percentage. Olson’s 54 homers, 139 runs batted in, .283 batting average, .389 on base percentage, and .543 slugging percentage in 2023 were all career highs over a full season. It will be tough for Olson to replicate those monster numbers, but he is in an extremely strong Braves lineup that will give him plenty of opportunities to try to match the big numbers he put up in 2023.


2. Freddie Freeman

Dodgers' Freddie Freeman records 2,000th career hit | CBC Sports


2023 Stats: 730 PA, .331/.410/.567, 29 HR, 102 RBI, 163 wRC+, 7.9 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 679 PA, .302/.389/.508, 26 HR, 98 RBI, 143 wRC+, 4.5 fWAR

Freddie Freeman had the highest finish in MVP voting in a full 162-game season in 2023, finishing in third place in the NL MVP voting. Freeman was an all star for the seventh time in what turned out to be the best year of his career other than his shortened MVP season of 2020. He led all of MLB in doubles, racking up a Dodgers franchise record with 59. Freeman also stole a career high 23 bases in 2023, dwarfing his previous career high of 13, which he set in 2022. Freeman should continue to be one of the best players in baseball in 2024, and he may be in store for even more opportunities to drive in runs thanks to Shohei Ohtani’s arrival in Hollywood.


3. Bryce Harper

Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper leaves game versus Nationals with mid-back spasms | AP News

2023 Stats: 546 PA, .293/.401/.499, 21 HR, 72 RBI, 142 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 630 PA, .283/.389/.518, 29 HR, 95 RBI, 142 wRC+, 4.0 fWAR

Bryce Harper missed the first few weeks of the 2023 MLB season due to offseason Tommy John surgery, yet he made a miraculous John Cena-esque comeback less than six months after surgery despite being expected to miss at least nine months. Harper was first limited to DH, as he was throughout the majority of 2022 before getting TJ surgery, but then was moved to 1B to help solve the Phillies outfield defense issues by allowing Kyle Schwarber to DH. Harper still managed to win a Silver Slugger at DH and finish twelfth in NL MVP voting despite the missed time. If Harper stays healthy throughout 2024, he creates a three-headed monster at the first base position in the NL. Harper has a chance at being the best in the league at his new position.


4. Yandy Diaz

Yandy Díaz is Finally Hitting Fly Balls Hard - Baseball ProspectusBaseball Prospectus

2023 Stats: 600 PA, .330/.410/.522, 22 HR, 78 RBI, 164 wRC+, 4.7 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 630 PA, .295/.388/.469, 20 HR, 68 RBI, 144 wRC+, 4.1 fWAR

In my opinion, Yandy Diaz was one of the more underrated players entering the 2023 season considering his 146 wRC+ in 2022. He had the best season of his career in 2023, posting career highs in plate appearances, hits, doubles, homers, runs, runs batted in, batting average, on base percentage (in a full season), slugging percentage, wRC+, fWAR, average exit velocity, max exit velocity, barrel rate, hard hit rate, and even more. Diaz hit his way to his first all star appearance, won his first Silver Slugger, and finished sixth in the AL MVP voting, helping lead the Rays to a 99-win season in the stacked AL East. Diaz has gained respect and notoriety, but there are some who still don’t see him for what he is, which is one of the better pure hitters in all of baseball.


5. Triston Casas

Triston Casas Embraces the Science of Hitting | FanGraphs Baseball

2023 Stats: 502 PA, .263/.367/.490, 24 HR, 65 RBI, 129 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 616 PA, .259/.370/.487, 29 HR, 89 RBI, 129 wRC+, 3.0 fWAR

The start of the 2023 season Casas was a struggle for Casas, but once he got his feet under him and started to turn things around it was off to the races. Casas hit .293/.386/.536 with 21 homers, 57 runs batted in, and a 146 wRC+ in 406 plate appearances from May 3rd through the end of the season.  If Casas can put up numbers like that throughout a full season, and maybe even improve on those numbers, he will form one of if not the most dangerous lefty duo in the league between himself and Rafael Devers. Don’t forget that Casas was seen as a solid defender in the minor leagues either. If he improves his first base defense from 2023, Casas could start closing in on the discussion for best first baseman in baseball in the near future.


6. Pete Alonso

Pete Alonso: News, Stats, Bio, & More - NBC Sports - NBC Sports

2023 Stats: 658 PA, .217/.318/.504, 46 HR, 118 RBI, 121 wRC+, 2.8 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 672 PA, .250/.340/.515, 42 HR, 113 RBI, 130 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR

The Polar Bear has been hitting homers ever since stepping foot in the major leagues, and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to be stopping anytime soon, especially considering 2024 is his contract year. The 2023 season brought along a third all star appearance for Alonso, and he has a chance to put in another very good year prior to entering free agency. Alonso could make himself even more coveted by continuing to do what he does best, which is being a massive power threat in the middle of the lineup. A midseason trade away from the Mets to a postseason contender could be on the table if the Mets struggle in 2024, and Alonso could make his stock rise even more if he is in the postseason and performs well.


7. Paul Goldschmidt

Goldschmidt Off the Diamond - Texas State Athletics

2023 Stats: 687 PA, .268/.363/.447, 25 HR, 80 RBI, 122 wRC+, 3.7 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 672 PA, .269/.361/.467, 27 HR, 88 RBI, 126 wRC+, 3.1 fWAR

Paul Goldschmidt’s 2023 season was a massive step back from his stellar NL MVP season in 2022, but some sort of regression was kind of expected. The 2022 season had been Goldschmidt’s career year, and 2023 was his age-35 season. However, most still expected Goldschmidt to perform better than he ultimately ended up performing. 2023 was Goldschmidt’s worst year since 2019, his first year in St. Louis.  Entering his age-36 season, the question will be whether or not Goldschmidt bounces back, or if the 2023 season marked the start of his downfall. 


8. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Blue Jays avoid arbitration with 11 players, including Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

2023 Stats: 682 PA, .264/.345/.444, 26 HR, 94 RBI, 118 wRC+, 1.0 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 665 PA, .285/.366/.528, 36 HR, 108 RBI, 144 wRC+, 4.2 fWAR

After being the AL MVP runner-up in 2021, Vladimir Guerrero Jr’s numbers have regressed in each of the past two seasons. Guerrero is still young, entering his age-25 season this year, but he is only two seasons away from free agency. He could help himself considerably by having two strong seasons before hitting the market. 2024 is an important year for Guerrero, as it will tell us whether or not he can get back to the level he was at in 2021. That is the Vladimir Guerreo Jr. who many unfairly expected him to be from the day he was called up to the big leagues. 


9. Christian Walker

Best MLB Player Prop Today: Christian Walker Is The Guy (July 6)

2023 Stats: 661 PA, .258/.333/.497, 33 HR, 103 RBI, 120 wRC+, 3.8 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projections: 665 PA, .256/.335/.468, 30 HR, 99 RBI, 115 wRC+, 2.4 fWAR

Although Christian Walker has never been an all star, he is one of the better first baseman in MLB and, defensively speaking, he is probably the best there is. Walker has won back-to-back gold gloves while posting 26 DRS and 26 OAA over the past two seasons combined. The closest to Walker defensively over the past two seasons at first base is Carlos Santana with 14 DRS and 6 OAA, a difference of 12 DRS and 20 OAA. Walker has also been a very productive hitter the last couple years, cranking 36 and 33 homers the last two seasons with a wRC+ of 123 in 2022 and 120 in 2023. Walker should continue being a steady presence in 2024 on a young and exciting D-Backs team that is coming off a World Series appearance.


10. Vinnie Paquantino

Vinnie Pasquantino may be a truly unique player - Royals Review

2023 Stats: 260 PA, .247/.324/.437, 9 HR, 26 RBI, 103 wRC+, 0.0 fWAR

2024 FanGraphs Projected Stats: 588 PA, .276/.362/.483, 24 HR, 84 RBI, 128 wRC+, 2.6 fWAR

2023 was a year to forget for Vinnie Pasquantino, as he only played in 61 games before missing the rest of the season due to a torn labrum. Pasquantino was a strong pick to have a breakout year in 2023, posting similar batted ball numbers to Freddie Freeman while hitting .295/.383/.450 with 10 doubles, 10 homers, and posting a 136 wRC+ in 72 big league games. Due to the somewhat small sample sizes we saw from him in 2022 and 2023, it’s unsure to know exactly how good Pasquantino can be in 2024. If he can post numbers similar to what he did in 2022 over a full season, the Royals could have a star lefty bat to pair with Bobby Witt Jr. in the heart of their lineup for years to come.


That is the top ten first baseman in baseball as ranked by myself and the guys on the Ball Blab podcast. Make sure to follow the @ballblabpod X account as well the @BleacherBrawl X account to check out the rankings and the upcoming columns for each set of rankings. Also make sure to follow myself @derrik_maguire on X and give your feedback on the top ten first baseman in MLB.

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