Major League Baseball is loaded with star power heading into the 2023 season. A handful of its biggest stars come from the first base position.
St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt earned National League MVP honors after a dominant 2022. Freddie Freeman finished fourth in NL MVP voting after his debut season with the Los Angeles Dodgers and won the award with the Atlanta Braves in 2020. Toronto Blue Jays slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was the American League MVP runner-up in 2021 and is considered by many to be one of the "faces of baseball."
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The Boston Red Sox don't currently have a star playing first base, but they'll hope to see that change sometime in the near future. Rookie Triston Casas is set to take over as the full-time first basemen after spending the last few years as either the organization's No. 1 or No. 2 ranked prospect. He has all of the tools to one day become one of MLB's premier first basemen.
For now, here's a look at the top 10 first basemen in the league ahead of the 2023 campaign.
10. Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks
2022 stats: .242/.327/.477, 36 HR, 94 RBI
Walker did it all for the D'Backs in 2022. The 36 homers jump off the page, but the 31-year-old also made his presence felt with his defense. He led all first basemen in defensive runs saved (29) and outs above average (33) to earn his first Gold Glove award. Another season with that kind of production both at the plate and with the glove will go a long way toward solidifying Walker's status as one of the best first basemen in the game.
9. Ty France, Seattle Mariners
2022 stats: .274/.338/.436, 20 HR, 83 RBI
France remains one of the most underrated players in baseball despite starring for Seattle over the last two-and-a-half years. The 28-year-old made his first All-Star team last season and played a crucial role in the Mariners clinching their first postseason berth since 2001. Since being traded by the San Diego Padres in 2020, France has hit .284 with 40 homers and a .795 OPS in 315 games.
8. Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies
2022 stats: .246/.332/.462, 30 HR, 79 RBI
You know what to expect from Hoskins at this point. The Phillies veteran won't win any batting titles, but he's a pretty safe bet for 30+ homers and an OPS above .800. His 2023 season will be an important one as he's set to become a free agent next winter.
7. Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers
2022 stats: .302/.358/.492, 27 HR, 76 RBI
Lowe officially put himself on the map with a tremendous 2022 season that ended with him earning his first Silver Slugger award. The 27-year-old set career bests in every single offensive category, adding another dimension to the Rangers' lineup behind stars Corey Seager and Marcus Semien. He'll look to prove in 2023 that wasn't an anomaly.
6. Jose Abreu, Houston Astros
2022 stats: .304/.378/.446, 15 HR, 75 RBI
Age might be catching up to Abreu, but the 36-year-old can still flat-out hit. While his power dipped significantly in 2022, Abreu still found a way to hit .304 with 40 doubles and a .824 OPS. He's a huge addition to the Astros lineup after spending the first nine years of his illustrious career with the Chicago White Sox.
5. Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves
2022 stats: .240/.325/.477, 34 HR, 103 RBI
The pressure was on Olson to replace Freddie Freeman and while he didn't put up Freeman numbers, he did not disappoint. The former Oakland A's first baseman played in all 162 games and produced a .802 OPS. Atlanta undoubtedly will want more out of him in 2023, and there's no reason to believe he won't deliver.
4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
2022 stats: .274/.339/.480, 32 HR, 97 RBI
Guerrero set sky-high expectations with his MVP-caliber campaign in 2021. The 23-year-old slugger finished second in voting behind two-way star Shohei Ohtani. He failed to duplicate that success in 2022 as he took a step back in just about every offensive statistic. If he regains anything close to 2021 form, he'll find himself back at the top of this list come this time next year.
3. Pete Alonso, New York Mets
2022 stats: .271/.352/.518, 40 HR, 131 RBI
Alonso is one of the scariest hitters in the entire sport. The 28-year-old set the rookie home run record with 53 in 2019. He hit 16 homers during the abbreviated 2020 season (57 games), 37 in 2021, and 40 in 2022. His 131 RBI last season led the entire league. An MVP season is on the table if his bat-to-ball skills continue to improve.
2. Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers
2022 stats: .325/.407/.511, 21 HR, 100 RBI
Freeman didn't miss a beat in his debut season with L.A. The former Braves star led all first basemen in batting average and on-base percentage, and he was tied for first in fWAR (7.1). Expect yet another elite season from the six-time All-Star in 2023.
1. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
2022 stats: .317/.404/.578, 35 HR, 115 RBI
Goldschmidt earns the top spot on the list after a monster 2022 campaign. The 35-year-old finally won his first MVP award after finishing as the runner-up twice and third place once during his time with the Diamondbacks. He'll look to add another MVP-caliber season to his Hall-of-Fame résumé and lead the Cardinals to another NL Central title.