MLB  > General MLB  > Ranking the 2013 NL East First Basemen
February 8, 2013, 10:15 PM
1. Ryan Howard
2. Freddie Freeman
3. Ike Davis
4. Adam LaRoche
5. Logan Morrison

There is no denying that the NL East has some traditional power hitting first basemen. Even though Ryan Howard had a horrible year by his standards (although he missed a good chunk of the season and was coming back from a horrible injury) he is still the king here. Since his first full season in 2006 there has not been a more feared hitter in all of baseball. However, Kings are meant to be dethroned.
Freeman and Davis are two young power hitters that could challenge Howard, especially since he is getting up there in age. It was difficult to choose Freeman over Davis who clearly has the potential to consistently hit 30+ homeruns and possibly top 40 on occasion. He also seems to have the more superior glove between the two. The edge that Freeman has right now is his average and the fact that he has has two consecutive successful seasons. Davis missed most of the 2011 season with an ankle injury and valley fever. If Davis can improve on his average and 2012 season then he should be the clear #2 by the end of the 2013 season.
It is hard putting LaRoche a .268 career hitter with six consecutive years of 20+ homeruns, who was also coming off a career year with 33 HR and 100 RBI at 4th place. LaRoche's biggest problem is his age, 33. Davis and Freeman haven't even entered their prime and they are already putting up numbers comparable to LaRoche's best seasons. Putting this guy at number 4 just attests to the talent in the NL East at first base.
Morrison in 5th was a no brainer. His best year came in 2011 when he hit 23 homeruns and 74 RBI in 123 games. However last year was horrible for Morrison, hitting only .230, 11 HR, 36 RBI in an injury shortened season. Speaking of injuries, he had his second surgery on the same knee in the past year which has forced him to move from the outfield to first base. He hasn't played the position much in the majors but did log 400+ games there in the minors where he had a .989 FPCT. The only thing he has going for him is his relatively young age giving him time to turn things around.

Feel free to argue, like I said this is a tough group to rank. Essentially you have two great established first basemen leaving their prime (Howard/LaRoche) and two young up and coming hitters (Davis/Freeman)...and then there is Morrison.

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