Here it is, the top 10 1B list going into 2019! Tell me what you guys think in the comments, and also tell me how often you want me to post these.
: Brandon Belt, Giants
Through May, Belt was on absolute fire, having a .995 OPS in March and April, and then a .921 OPS in May. However, in the last 4 months of the year, he battled multiple injuries, and his production fell off, as he posted a .682 OPS in June, .648 in July, .487 in August, and .347 In September. Belt missed time in each month, playing no more than 18 games in any of the 4 months, and these injuries basically removed his power, as he only hit 3 HR’s in those months. Belt was on pace to have a career year, as his highest OPS in a year previously was .868 in 2016, when he was an all star. Belt is very injury prone, as he has failed to play 150 games in 5 out of the last 7 years, and if he was able to stay healthy, he may have been well on his way to a career year in 2018. However, after reading this explanation so far, you may be asking yourself “why would he put Belt at 10 after this injury riddled, down year?” Well the answer to that is his defense. Belt is one of, if not the best defensive first basemen in baseball. Not only do his stats back this up (13 DRS, 6 UZR, .902 RZR), but the eye test does as well. Just watching Giants games, Belt makes every single pick at first. Whenever Brandon Crawford throws a rocket to Belt, it doesn’t matter where it goes, Belt scoops it every time. In those stats mentioned above, with players that played at least 850 innings in 2018, Belt ranks 2nd in DRS, 3rd in UZR, 2nd in UZR/150 games, and 1st in RZR. In the end, top notch defense, and a fully healthy season where he stays consistent will for sure keep him on the list next offseason.
2019 projection: .271/.373/.486, .859 OPS, 23 HR’s, 87 RBI’s, 17 DRS, 8.3 UZR.