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Ike Davis is the NL’s second-best first baseman?

Jan 24, 2012, 7:32 PM EDT

Ike Davis, Miguel Montero AP

With Albert Pujols and now Prince Fielder following Adrian Gonzalez to the American League, the NL has bled some remarkable talent at first base the last two winters. That’s one sure Hall of Famer and two more legitimate possibilities switching leagues while still in their primes. Left is Joey Votto and, well…

Reds: Joey Votto – .990 (2012 projected OPS)
Mets: Ike Davis – .864
Cardinals: Lance Berkman: .860
Phillies: Ryan Howard – .850/Ty Wigginton – .739
Braves: Freddie Freeman – .823
Rockies: Todd Helton – .815
D-backs: Paul Goldschmidt – .814
Marlins: Gaby Sanchez – .809
Astros: Carlos Lee: .787
Dodgers: James Loney: .776
Nationals: Adam LaRoche: .776
Brewers: Mat Gamel: .761
Cubs: Bryan LaHair: .756
Giants: Aubrey Huff: .739/Brandon Belt: .782
Padres: Yonder Alonso: .725
Pirates: Garrett Jones: .710/Casey McGehee: .728

In his MVP season of 2010, Votto only made the NL All-Star team by winning the final vote for the 32nd spot. I’m going to take a stab and say he’s not going to have much to worry about this year.

Davis and Freeman are potential All-Stars and new Cubs acquisition Anthony Rizzo might also have that kind of potential, but the list above simply isn’t very inspiring. Howard is likely to miss two months or more with his torn Achilles’ tendon, leaving Wigginton as the Phillies’ primary first baseman. I don’t understand why the Pirates decided to spend $15 million on Rod Barajas, Clint Barmes and Erik Bedard, only to get gunshy on reupping Derrek Lee. He’d be a┬ábig upgrade for them and a somewhat lesser one for the Brewers.

  1. hammyofdoom - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:39 PM

    Wow, I really hadn’t noticed that. I mean my roommate and i were just talking about how the poor Astros are walking into a hornets nest when it comes to the AL, but this is really just crazy

  2. proudlycanadian - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:40 PM

    I am sure that Mets fans like Ike, however, I would not want to be in a NL only fantasy league.

  3. lyon810 - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:51 PM

    $25 million for the 4th best first basemen in the NL

    • dennisund - Jan 25, 2012 at 11:34 AM

      With that kind of analysis, you could be making money commenting on sports!

  4. sdelmonte - Jan 24, 2012 at 7:54 PM

    I’ll take my bright spots where I can get them.

    And I like Ike anyway.

  5. Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:02 PM

    Votto and Davis are probably the only top ten 1B left in the NL.

    The NL similarly dominates RF, though.

  6. rambodiaz - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    Man, I’ve been so disgusted about the PIT 1B situation this winter. I didn’t think my mood could get worse on it. Then you go and show the league comps, which I’ve been too afraid to look up. Ugh isn’t a strong enough word. And now I’m pining for the days of Adam LaRoche.

    I don’t think the Bucs were necessarily gunshy on Lee. The reports seem to indicate the reverse however. Lee’s the gunshy one, and you can’t blame him.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:42 PM

      Maybe. I haven’t followed it closely of late.

      I think Alvarez is the first baseman of the future — he’s never going to be an asset at third — but my opinion is that he needs to start at Triple-A this year.

      • rambodiaz - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:53 AM

        I should’ve written my comment better, Matthew. Dejan Kovacevic mentioned a Jerry Crasnick report about Lee that seems to indicate that the Bucs have tried and failed.

        Also, I think you are correct in that Alvarez will eventually be at 1B for the Pirates. And, he should be there. Unfortunately that leaves a giant hole at 3B. Josh Harrison and Chase d’Arnaud aren’t long-term solutions there, either.

  7. b7p19 - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:09 PM

    Only 725 OPS for Alonso? Do you really expect him to be that bad? I mean, that’s not good for a middle infielder.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:36 PM

      Petco just kills left-handed power. I’d have put him at 780 or so in a neutral park.

      • paperlions - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:03 PM

        While true, that just reflects the inadequacy of using non-park adjusted metrics to determine who is “best”.

  8. paperlions - Jan 24, 2012 at 8:40 PM

    I would be shocked if Davis winds up being anything like the 2nd best 1B in the NL….offensively or overall.

  9. schlom - Jan 24, 2012 at 9:05 PM

    864 projected OPS for Davis? That seems pretty high.

  10. pbannard - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:07 PM

    Of course, if you decided to make a list in 5 years of most burdensome contracts, chances are you’ll see many of those AL first basemen towards the top. The AL may have cornered the 1B market, but they are paying a dangerous amount of money to do so.

    • Ari Collins - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:15 PM

      Agreed. The Gonzalez extension looks like an amazing bargain in retrospect.

    • professor59 - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:41 PM

      Hell – Detroit is corninering the 1B/DH market all on its own!

      • professor59 - Jan 25, 2012 at 4:43 PM

        Hey – nice typing, Prof. I assume you meant “cornering”.

  11. nategearhart - Jan 24, 2012 at 10:19 PM

    A downside to no DH that I hadn’t considered: the AL is more attractive to first-basemen because they can shift to DH at the end of their contracts if they need to. Now NL fans not only have to watch pitchers who can’t hit, they have to watch first basemen who can’t hit, either.

  12. drewsylvania - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM

    Ike had microfracture surgery. Will he even be ready to start the season?

    • cmutimmah - Jan 25, 2012 at 8:59 AM

      Who voted down a serious question? If you’re a Met fan and not asking that question, then you are probably a woman.

    • Alban - Jan 25, 2012 at 2:28 PM

      Ike Davis actually avoided getting microfracture surgery. He’s been rehabbing it and been doing baseball activities since Thanksgiving. All reports show that he’s on track for his off season regiment and will be ready for opening day.

  13. salvomania - Jan 25, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Why no love for Lance Berkman, he of the .959 OPS in 2011?

    Sure he’s “old,” but 35 isn’t necessarily over the hill, and he’s put up an OPS under .896 ONCE in his 12 full seasons—and that was during a season when he was recovering from a knee injury.

    By my calculations, the NL could have 5 of the 10 top-hitting first basemen, with Votto, Berkman, Davis, Michael Morse, and Ryan Howard.

    Say what you will about Howard, but he should be ready by May and in 2011 he had a better OPS+ than Teixera, who’s seen his OPS get progressively lower in each of his three seasons as a Yankee…and he still has 5 years left on his contract.

    • foreverchipper10 - Jan 25, 2012 at 5:21 PM

      Morse will not be playing first which in my opinion is a mistake.

      • natstowngreg - Jan 25, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        Morse will play 1B if LaRoche gets hurt again. Also, he might be the 1B in 2013, after LaRoche’s contract expires. Agreed that he’s better off at 1B.

  14. sasquash20 - Jan 25, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    Ike Davis had a solid year for a young prospect in 2010. He was off to a very good start last season before the injury. He was on pace to hit around 300, hit 3o plus homers, and have over 100 rbi. I hate to say this as a Phillies fan, but I think I.Davis (if healthy) will be a stud for Mets. I also think the Mets have better young talent then most people realize. God I hate saying that.

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