2021 MLB Rankings: 30 days of MLB rankings! In this series, we will be ranking every projected starting player for the 2021 season at each in position, each in three parts. On day four of this series, we’ll look at the first baseman ranked from 30-21.
Check out the previous rankings from this series:
2021 MLB Rankings: 30-26
30. Josh Naylor, Cleveland Indians 2020: NR
2020: 40 games, .247/.291/.330 splits, .621 OPS, 1 Home Run, 6 RBIs
Josh Naylor spent the first season and a half of his career in San Diego before getting traded to Cleveland last season. He doesn’t provide a ton of upside, but with Carlos Santana signing with Kansas City, Naylor is expected to be the Indians’ opening day first baseman.
29. Ronald Guzman, Texas Rangers 2020: 27
2020: 26 games, .244/.314/.436 splits, .750 OPS, 4 Home Runs, 9 RBIs
While he might split time with Nate Lowe, Ronald Guzman is tentatively the everyday first baseman for Texas in 2021. Guzman showed off his power in 2018 but has yet to do much at the plate since that year. Defensively, he was around league-average in 2020.
28. Josh Fuentes, Colorado Rockies 2020: NR
2020: 30 games, .306/.320/.439 splits, .759 OPS, 2 Home Runs, 17 RBIs
Josh Fuentes could fly up the rankings for next year, but with only 54 career games under his belt, it’s tough to rank him much higher. In 30 games last season, Fuentes displayed what he could do at the plate as he hit over .300. However, he needs to draw more walks and limit strikeouts this season.
27. Renato Nunez, Detroit Tigers 2020: (11, DH)
2020: 52 games, .256/.324/.492 splits, .816 OPS, 12 Home Runs, 31 RBIs
Renato Nunez has a lot of power, and after a solid year as Baltimore’s DH, he signed with the Tigers. However, he is ranked so low because of his defense, where he’s a liability anywhere on the field. With Miguel Cabrera occupying Detroit’s DH spot, the Tigers are expected to plug Nunez into the first base spot in 2021.
26. Ji-Man Choi, Tampa Bay Rays 2020: 21
2020: 42 games, .230/.331/.410 splits, .741 OPS, 3 Home Runs, 16 RBIs
After having the best year of his career in 2019, Ji-Man Choi underwhelmed at the plate in 2020. His power numbers went down while his strikeouts rates increased, leading to his possessing an OPS of .741, right around league-average. Defensively, he’s right around league-average, having posted an Rdrs of 1 in his career.
2021 MLB Rankings: 25-21
25. Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers 2020: (6, 2B)
2020: 59 games, .212/.297/.410 splits, .707 OPS, 13 Home Runs, 32 RBIs
Keston Hiura is arguably the MLB player whose value is hurt the most by the NL’s not having a DH in 2021. He has a ton of potential at the plate but is a defensive liability across the diamond. After Milwaukee signed Kolten Wong, Hiura will move over to first base for his age 24 season.
24. Evan White, Seattle Mariners 2020: 26
2020: 54 games, .176/.252/.346 splits, .599 OPS, 8 Home Runs, 26 RBIs
As a rookie, Evan White showed a lot of potential. At the plate, his approach was to swing for the fences, which resulted in his striking out a whopping 84 times in 182 at-bats. However, defensively he’s nasty. Only committing one error the entire season, White earned the AL Gold Glove award in his first season in 2020.
23. Rowdy Tellez, Toronto Blue Jays 2020: NR
2020: 35 games, .283/.346/.540 splits, .886 OPS, 8 Home Runs, 23 RBIs
It’s unclear, between Rowdy Tellez and Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who will play first base and who will be the designated hitter. For the sake of this article, let’s put Tellez first. Tellez provides a ton of pop at the plate and could hit 30+ home runs this season in a full year. Defensively, he’s a liability, which is why he is only ranked 23rd.
22. Ryan Mountcastle, Baltimore Orioles 2020: NR
2020: 35 games, .333/.386/.492 splits, .878 OPS, 5 Home Runs, 23 RBIs
As a rookie, Ryan Mountcastle showed a ton of potential as the Orioles finally found a replacement for Chris Davis. While Mountcastle didn’t show off a lot of power, he does a great job getting on base, resulting in his .878 OPS. Defensively, he’s still a work in progress, but that should improve as he ages.
21. Colin Moran, Pittsburgh Pirates 2020: (27-3B)
2020: 52 games, .247/.325/.472 splits, .797 OPS, 10 Home Runs, 23 RBIs
Playing third base for Pittsburgh in 2020, Colin Moran was one of the Pirates’ lone bright spots as he showed some potential at the plate. With Josh Bell now in Washington, Moran will slide over to first base for the 2021 campaign. It will be interesting to see how he plays at the new position next season.
Come back tomorrow for the second part of my 2021 MLB rankings at first base.
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