Gleeman: Gone missing: American League slugging first basemen

From SABR member Aaron Gleeman at Baseball Prospectus on July 11, 2018:

Don’t worry, this is not another article about All-Star “snubs.” I reached my personal lifetime quota for that a long time ago. However, in looking over this year’s All-Star rosters, the talent gap at first base between the two leagues stood out to me, so I decided to dig a little deeper.

Freddie Freeman, a three-time All-Star who’s been one of the best hitters in baseball for the past decade or so, was voted the National League’s starting first baseman. His backups are the same duo as the NL’s backups last season: Joey Votto, a six-time All-Star and former MVP, and Paul Goldschmidt, a six-time All-Star and two-time MVP runner-up. Three established stars having very good seasons, and three obviously worthy All-Stars.

There are also three first basemen among the NL’s five “final vote” candidates: Jesus Aguilar, who leads the league in homers, slugging percentage, and OPS; Max Muncy, who would be leading the league in slugging percentage and OPS if he had about 25 more plate appearances; and Brandon Belt, a former All-Star and consistently very good first baseman having a career-year at age 30.

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Originally published: July 12, 2018. Last Updated: July 12, 2018.