First base is stacked. How does one even go about trying to decide between Pujols, Votto and Miguel Cabrera? All three could conceivably go 1-2-3 in the 2011 draft. A lot can change on this list depending on offseason moves and there is plenty of room to debate the pecking order in the middle.
1. Albert Pujols – Even with some bad slumps this season, Pujols continues to be the games most consistent hitter.
2 (1b). Miguel Cabrera – The lack of offense around him has hurt his second half numbers, but he’s still hitting .325 and approaching his second 35-plus home run season.
3 (1c). Joey Votto – Just a monster at the plate this season, Votto even added 15 stolen bases. I’m not so sure we can pencil in the steals for 2011, but .300/35/100 seems like a lock.
4. Mark Teixeira – Slow start and very low BABIP have hampered his AVG, but power numbers and run production right where they should be. Look for the AVG to bounce back next season.
5. Prince Fielder – The big veggie will be playing for a big contract in 2012. Hit 30-plus bombs in a down year.
6. Ryan Howard – Despite about 100 at-bats less than last year due to an ankle injury (a of 9/21/10), Howard still hit 30 home runs and drove in over 100 runs. He has shown some slight signs of regression, but there is no overlooking his consistent power production.
7. Justin Morneau – Having a stellar season until he was knocked out with a concussion. This ranking is reflective on the unknown status of his injury. Some players have come back fine and some have struggled. We’ll wait and see what happens the rest of this season and into the offseason before moving him up the rankings.
8. Adrian Gonzalez – The Padres tried to add some lineup protection, but to no avail. Regardless, A-Gonz continues to hit for power in a pitchers park with very little lineup protection. He’s a solid bet going into 2011.
9. Kevin Youkilis – Youk was on his way to another consistent season when a thumb injury shut him down. He’s at an age where he isn’t likely to get much better, but few have been as consistent over the last few years.
10. Paul Konerko – Playing for a contract this offseason, Konerko was able to stay healthy and productive all season long. He’s getting up there in age and a regression is likely. Where he lands this offseason could have a big impact on his ranking come February.