How to Collect: 2024 MLB Best First Basemen

The Top 20 First Basemen

Date: Mar 22, 2024
Topics: 2024 MLB, Baseball, Bryce Harper, Dodgers, First Basemen, Freddie Freeman, How To Collect, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Olsen, MLB
Length: 2230 Words
Reading Time: ~12 Minutes

As the 2024 MLB season begins, the spotlight shines on first basemen as the chase to win the next World Series begins. As we gear up for Opening Day and beyond, join us in exploring the Topps guide to the 20 best MLB first basemen of 2024.

Top 20 First Basemen of the 2024 Season

Freddie Freeman | Bryce Harper | Matt Olson | Pete Alonso | Vladimir Guerrero Jr. | Yandy Diaz | Paul Goldschmidt | Christian Walker | Triston Casas | Cody Bellinger| Josh Naylor | Spencer Torkelson | Nathaniel Lowe | Rhys Hoskins | Anthony Rizzo | Spencer Steer | Jose Abreu | Andrew Vaughn | Josh Bell | Vinnie Pasquantino

1. Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers

Widely regarded as one of the top hitters and smartest baserunners of his time, Freddie Freeman’s consistency and resilience consistently elevate him to the pinnacle of first basemen in the MLB. At the age of 34, Freeman’s mastery of the game only seems to deepen with time. In 2023, he further solidified his status with an exceptional .331 batting average, accompanied by an impressive 211 hits, including 59 doubles and 29 homers. With 102 RBIs, 131 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases to boot, Freeman’s performance was nothing short of spectacular, reaffirming his dominance on the diamond. As a seven-time All-Star, MVP winner, and undoubtedly a future Hall of Famer, Freeman’s legacy in the sport is firmly secured.

2. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies

In 2023, Bryce Harper showcased his versatility by appearing in 126 games, with 36 of those at first base. Now, in 2024, Harper has solidified his role as the Phillies’ everyday first baseman. Despite missing some games due to injury last season, the seven-time All-Star managed to belt 21 homers and drive in 72 RBIs, playing a pivotal role in the Phillies’ journey to the postseason. Having previously earned Silver Slugger Awards as an outfielder and designated hitter, Harper now has the opportunity to add another accolade to his collection as a first baseman. If he succeeds, he’ll join the esteemed company of future Hall of Famers Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera as one of the only players in MLB history to win the award at three different positions.

3. Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves

In 2023, Olson continued to assert himself as one of the MLB’s brightest stars, leading the league with 54 home runs and 139 RBIs while earning an All-Star nod and a fourth-place finish in the MVP voting. His 54 dingers surpassed the Braves’ single-season franchise record for homers, previously held by Andruw Jones in 2005. Renowned for his exceptional two-way play and durability, Olson is a two-time Gold Glove winner, two-time All-Star, and the only active player to appear in all 162 games in four different seasons. As a cornerstone of the Braves lineup, Olson’s remarkable consistency and accomplishments at the plate and in the field solidify his status as one of baseball’s premier talents.

4. Pete Alonso, New York Mets

Professional Baseball Crusher Pete Alonso has been a force to reckon with in the majors, leading with an impressive 192 home runs over the past five seasons. His dominance began with a bang in 2019 when he smacked a rookie record 53 home runs, securing NL Rookie of the Year honors. Last season, Alonso posted a formidable 122 OPS+ alongside 46 homers and 118 RBIs, further solidifying his status as one of the league’s premier power hitters. With three All-Star appearances under his belt, Alonso’s prowess at the plate is undeniable. At just 24 years old, he is the youngest player on this list thus far. The future is mighty bright for this talented slugger.

5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays

In 2023, Guerrero Jr., the MLB The Show 24 cover man, continued proving he’s one of the game’s brightest young stars by launching 26 homers and driving in 94 RBIs. At 25, he already flaunts three All-Star appearances, a Home Run Derby title, and a second-place MVP finish. Guerrero’s consistency shines as he’s played at least 155 games in each of the last three seasons, anchoring the Blue Jays’ lineup. With his powerful bat and potential for greatness, Guerrero remains a force. As he enters the prime of his career, the baseball world eagerly anticipates what more he can achieve.

6. Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays

In 2023, Díaz solidified his position as one of the American League’s standout first basemen, clinching the batting title with an impressive .330/.410/.522 slash line while setting career highs in hits (173), doubles (35), RBI (78), total bases (274), and WAR (5.2). Recognized for his exceptional performance, Díaz earned a starting spot in the All-Star Game, his first career All-Star nod, and secured a sixth-place finish in AL MVP voting. Additionally, 2023 marked his third consecutive season playing at least 130 games, highlighting his durability and consistency on the field. Bolstered by his remarkable ability to drive in runs and make clutch plays, Díaz’s potential for greatness is undeniable as he enters his sixth season with the Rays.

7. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

After capturing the 2022 NL MVP honors, Goldschmidt’s performance in 2023, while not matching his MVP caliber, still showcased his offensive prowess with a .268/.363/.447 slash line, 31 doubles, 25 home runs, and 80 RBIs, resulting in a 120 OPS+ and a 3.4-WAR season. Despite being in his age-36 season in 2024, Goldschmidt remains a formidable presence at the plate, armed with a powerful bat, patience, and a keen base-running IQ. While his numbers dipped from his MVP season, his 2023 batted ball data suggests an improvement, notably boasting a personal-best 50.8% hard-hit rate. With seven All-Star appearances, four Gold Gloves, and over 300 career homers, Goldschmidt’s track record speaks volumes about his impact and consistency in the league.

8. Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks

In the 2023 season, the 32-year-old Walker continued to shine, delivering an impressive performance with a 123 OPS+ alongside notable offensive stats: 33 home runs and 103 RBIs. Adding to his achievements, he clinched his second consecutive NL Gold Glove, showcasing his exceptional defensive prowess. Over the past two seasons, Walker’s defensive excellence is underscored by impressive metrics: 26 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and 26 Outs Above Average (OAA), placing him among the defensive elite among first basemen. The Diamondbacks’ infielder continues to get better with time and was one of the key reasons for Arizona’s run to the World Series a year ago.

9. Tristan Casas, Boston Red Sox

Casas, a first-round pick by the Red Sox in 2018, emerged as a rookie sensation last year, anchoring first base for the team. In his debut season, Casas played 132 games and made an undeniable impact, finishing third in the AL Rookie of the Year race. With 24 homers and 65 RBIs, he showcased his power at the plate, while his impressive 1.034 OPS after the All-Star break ranked among the league’s best. As a homegrown talent, the 24-year-old is poised to become a cornerstone in the star-studded Red Sox infield, providing a potent offensive presence and solidifying his role as a key contributor for seasons to come.

10. Cody Bellinger, Chicago Cubs

After six seasons and two All-Star appearances with the Dodgers, Bellinger joined the Cubs in 2023 and made an immediate impact. Surpassing milestones he hadn’t reached since 2019, the first baseman showcased his abilities at the plate with over 20 home runs and an impressive 90 RBIs. This stellar performance, combined with a batting average exceeding .300 for the second time in his career, rewarded Chicago’s brass for the acquisition. As anticipation builds for his sophomore campaign in 2024, Bellinger’s presence promises to bring renewed vigor to the Cubs’ lineup.

11. Josh Naylor, Cleveland Guardians

The 12th pick in the 2015 draft, Naylor broke out in 2022 when he became Cleveland’s full-time first baseman and exploded, topping 20 homers and 70 RBIs for the first time in his young career. The 26-year-old stud took his game to greater heights the following year as his bat blazed with a scorching .308/.354/.489 line, and he boasted a 133 OPS+ to go along with 31 doubles, 17 homers, and 97 RBIs, all while showcasing his speed with 10 stolen bases. He also excelled defensively, notching an impressive 5 OAA, tying for second among AL first basemen. His stellar play cemented him as a staple in the Guardian’s lineup. The sky is the limit for this first baseman.

12. Spencer Torkelson, Detroit Tigers

The No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 draft after his impressive collegiate career at Arizona State, Torkelson swiftly climbed to the Big Leagues, securing a spot on the Opening Day roster in 2022. Despite initial challenges, Torkelson’s determination never faltered, and in 2023, the first baseman began validating his status as a top pick. With a remarkable display of power, he blasted a team-best 31 homers to go along with 95 runs batted in and took home Tiger of the Year honors. As Torkelson continues his journey, the spotlight remains on him to fulfill the lofty expectations of being the top dog.

13. Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers

Lowe’s journey began when he was drafted in the 13th round by the Rays in 2016, and since then, he’s made his mark on Major League Baseball. In 2023, Lowe was pivotal in securing a World Series title with the Rangers, contributing 17 homers and 81 RBIs to the championship-winning campaign. Over the past three seasons, he’s been a consistent force at the plate, boasting a .276 batting average, .359 on-base percentage, and .441 slugging percentage while averaging 30 doubles, 21 home runs, and 78 RBIs per season. His stellar offensive and defensive performance earned him Silver Slugger honors in 2022 and a Gold Glove in 2023. With a promising future ahead, Lowe continues to build on his impressive MLB career.

14. Rhys Hoskins, Milwaukee Brewers

Hoskins commenced his Big League career with 19 home runs in 50 games as a rookie in 2017. He’s since continued to showcase his power, totaling four campaigns with at least 25 homers. A key member of the Phillies team that reached the World Series in 2022, Hoskins posted a 123 OPS+ with 30 home runs and 79 RBIs in 156 games that season. However, the 30-year-old faced a setback in 2023 when a torn ACL during spring training sidelined him for the entire season. As he joins the Brewers in 2024, he aims to make a significant impact and help boost the team’s performance.

15. Anthony Rizzo, New York Yankees

A three-time All-Star, Rizzo spent the first ten seasons of his illustrious career with the Cubs before joining the Yankees in 2021. As he enters his fourth year with the Yankees, Rizzo looks to regain form from previous seasons. In 2022, the first baseman showcased his prowess by posting a stellar 130 OPS+ and matching his career-high with 32 home runs, solidifying his role as a vital player in the Yankees’ lineup. However, an injury impacted his 2023 campaign, as he appeared in just 99 games. With a cleaner bill of health, Rizzo should play a big part in the Yanks resurgence.

16. Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds

Steer, a third-round draft pick in 2019, was acquired by the Reds via trade in 2022. As a rookie in 2023, he had a solid season, playing 156 games, hitting 23 homers, and stealing 15 bases with a .271 batting average and a .820 OPS while also driving in 86 RBIs for an upstart Cincy ballclub that made a postseason push. Batting in the middle of an exciting lineup with huge potential, he’s expected to maintain his level of performance. He led the Reds in most major statistical categories while displaying versatility across different positions on the field.

17. Jose Abreu, Houston Astros

Abreu’s nine-year tenure with the White Sox was marked by exceptional performance, including 243 home runs, 863 RBIs, and a 31.8 WAR. Recognized as the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year and the 2020 AL MVP, he established himself as a cornerstone of the team’s offense. Last offseason, the Astros signed Abreu to a three-year deal to strengthen their first base position. Abreu’s regular season with the Astros saw him hit 18 homers and 90 RBIs, contributing to the team’s journey to the ALCS. His impressive postseason performance further solidified his impact, suggesting more left in the tank. With three-time All-Star status and a proven track record, Astros fans eagerly anticipate Abreu’s continued impact in the lineup.

18. Andrew Vaughn, Chicago White Sox

Vaughn emerged as a highly touted prospect for the 2019 Major League Baseball (MLB) draft, ultimately being selected by the White Sox as the third overall pick. It’s worth noting that Vaughn wasn’t alone in his draft success, as six other Cal teammates joined him in the draft. After two seasons as an outfielder, Vaughn returned to his natural position at first base last year. In 2023, he showcased his talents with a 101 OPS+, tallying 30 doubles, 21 home runs, and 80 RBIs over 152 games. More production should be on the way from the young budding star.

19. Josh Bell, Miami Marlins

The Guardians made headlines last offseason by signing Josh Bell, adding his exceptional power to their lineup. However, before his first season with the team could fully unfold, he was traded to the Marlins midseason. Joining Miami in its playoff push, Bell showcased his offensive prowess, posting a 119 OPS+ with 11 home runs and 26 RBIs in just 53 games. Throughout his career, Bell has consistently demonstrated his ability to hit for power, tallying at least 20 homers in four seasons.

20. Vinnie Pasquantino, Kansas City Royals

Selected by Kansas City in the 11th round of the 2019 draft, Pasquantino made his debut in 2022. However, his sophomore season was cut short after just 61 games due to a torn labrum in his right shoulder. Despite the setback, Pasquantino has shown promise, boasting a .272 batting average, .355 on-base percentage, and .444 slugging percentage for a 122 OPS+ over the past two years. He has demonstrated significant potential with 27 doubles, 19 home runs, 52 RBIs, and 1.5 WAR in 133 games and 558 plate appearances. Pasquantino also represented the Italian team in the 2023 World Baseball Classic. As he prepares for the 2024 season, the 26-year-old remains a player to watch.

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