Last week, I posted my early top 10 rankings at the first base position. I ended up listing two names at the ten spot because I really liked both players, but was unsure of which way I wanted to go. I did, however, mention that my gut was leaning toward ranking Eric Hosmer over Freddie Freeman and after looking at the numbers, I’m convinced that my gut feeling was right.
Hosmer and Freeman were both born in 1989, only about one month apart. Both have been beyond impressive as 22-year-old rookies and there numbers, with only a few games remaining, are incredibly similar.
Note: Stats as of Friday night. Freeman hit his 21st homer today.
The one noticeable difference between the two? Games and plate appearances. Not that the margin is huge, but Hosmer has played in 29 fewer games with 71 fewer plate appearances.
While I’m concerned about Hosmer’s high ground ball rate in terms of his power upside, his line-drive approach should lead to consistently high AVGs. As he finds his comfort zone at the big league level, Hosmer should learn to drive balls in the air more often. As it is, Hosmer has displayed a terrific ability to hit for power to all fields. Freeman is also more of a line-drive hitter, but as I pointed out in this article, he had been improving his power numbers as the season moved on. The power he has displayed to center field is quite impressive and shows that he has some real natural power and doesn’t need to pull the ball to hit it out of the yard.
Clearly, he future for both of these young first basemen is bright, but I’m going with Hosmer for 2012 by a hair.