Discussion Question: AL 1B

27 May

Also available at www.SethSpeaks.net

In yesterday’s Live Chat someone asked me to rank my top three AL First Basemen. Initial thought was that it was an easy question. However, the more you think about it, they more difficult the answer to that question is.

Here are some of the top contenders:

  • Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
  • Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
  • Kevin Youklis, Boston Red Sox
  • Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays
  • Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

Those are the top contenders, in my mind, but would any of these be up for consideration in your mind?

  • Aubrey Huff, Baltimore Orioles
  • Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
  • Kendry Morales, LA Angels of Anaheim
  • Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays

How about:

  • Billy Butler or Mike Jacobs, Kansas City Royals
  • Ryan Garko, Cleveland Indians
  • Russell Branyan, Seattle Mariners

So there are several ways for you to look at the questions. Who is the best today? Who would you start a team with? Who will be the best over the next five years? Likely three of these players will make the All-Star game and a couple will be snubbed. Who goes? Is Justin Morneau an obvious choice for any of the answers, or is that a bias of mine as a Twins fan? There are several ways to look at it, so let’s discuss.  

Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


16 Responses to “Discussion Question: AL 1B”

  1. Dome Dog May 27, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    I think I’d go with Morneau, Texiera, & Cabrera (in no particular order). I think both Youk and Pena are just a step below those 3. Cabrera isn’t a two way player, but his offense is SO good that I think it more than makes up for his lack of defense.

  2. Dwade May 27, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    As a Twins fan, there is a bias toward morneau, but as an objective baseball fan there is almost one against him. We all try not to be homers, but sometimes that can blind us to the real prowess of players.

    Morneau is on pace for something like 40/140 and is a decent defender; anyone who wouldn’t put him in the top 3-4 is fooling themselves.

    My list would be some combination of Morneau, Cabrera, and Youkilis

  3. Army of Dad May 27, 2009 at 12:10 pm #

    My top three would be Morneau, Texiera, and Pena-though the third spot could go to Youkilis or Cabrera. To me, the top two are just about 1 and 1a with a fair dropoff for the next group.

  4. TT May 27, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    I think Teixera is slightly ahead of Morneau at this point. They both have seven seasons and Teixera’s numbers are better. He also is a gold glove at first base. Cabrera is on the short list, but my impression is that his glove isn’t as good as the other two.

    I don’t think Youklis even belongs on a list of candidates. He had a great year last year and might have made the top five for the year. But his career numbers and performance are pretty mediocre for a top flight first baseman. If he has several more years like last year that would be different. But that is unlikely at his age.

  5. Seth May 27, 2009 at 1:44 pm #

    TT, that’s the beauty of the question and why I thought it would create a little discussion. Personally, I think Morneau is just as good defensively as Tex, but we see him every day, and I also don’t put a lot of value in the Gold Glove award (since Palmiero beat Mientkiewicz all those years ago). And no, Cabrera is no where close to those two defensively. Youk was great last year and he had no errors the whole year despite playing at 3B sometimes too. Pena is all about the home runs.

  6. Dome Dog May 27, 2009 at 3:37 pm #

    With the career seasons that some of the Twins seem to be having so far this year (I know it’s early, but Mauer, Morneau, Cuddy, Kubel, Span…) will that make the front office any more aggressive in pursuing help to make sure this team wins the division and has a legit shot in the playoffs?

  7. Blake May 27, 2009 at 3:38 pm #


    I’d have to go with Teixiera and Morneau. As of today, I’d have to put Morneau ahead of Teixeira, simply because Morneau got off to the better start.

    I suspect they’ll both be neck and neck the next few years.

    Offensively, I think Justin is ahead of Teixeira. In fact, I think Justin has a very good shot winning a batting, home run and RBI title.

    Whereas Teixeira is probably a little better defensively.

  8. Seth May 27, 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    Blake, interesting comment about Morneau possibly winning a batting, home run and RBI title… Travis from Travis Talks just posted an article asking “Can Justin Morneau win the Triple Crown?” http://travistwinstalk.blogspot.com/2009/05/can-justin-mourneau-win-triple-crown.html

    It’s good, and it’s part of a series of interesting questions he is looking at.

  9. Blake May 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm #


    Interesting article, and nice to know I’m not the only one floating the idea.

    I don’t even want to imagine the price Morneau would command if he did win the triple crown. It would guarantee another MVP award, too.

    Gad, signing Morneau and Mauer could eat up half the Twins payroll….

  10. travistalks May 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm #

    There was an interesting question raised in my comment box about Morneau winning the triple crown so if anyone is interested run over and check it out. travistwinstalk.blogspot.com

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