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We’ve already went over the top 20 catchers for 2008; soon we’ll go over the top 20 2nd basemen for 2008, but right now we’re going over the top 20 1st basemen for 2008. It’s a look back, ya’ll! Don’t worry, soon we’ll look forward, but how you know where you at, if you don’t know where you been? Understand where I’m coming from? B-Real! Looking at the top 20 1st basemen is a lot more exciting than looking at the top 20 catchers for 2008. Because these 1st basemen can actually make a difference? Um, yeah. Dur. As previously noted on this blog, Hardball Times has already looked at our preseason top twenty 1st basemen — that I did on JANUARY 10TH, btw. (Sorry, for the caps, but it’s pretty impressive how right on I am considering when I did the predictions.) Well, now it’s our turn to hold up a reflective surface to our own list. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2008 and how they compared to where we originally ranked them:

1. Albert Pujols – Going into 2008, Pujols had some question marks due to a lackluster (by his standards) 2007 and a balky elbow. Pujols took a high-grade tear and put up high-grade numbers. Ruth’s Chris USDA Prime, and ya know that! Preseason Rank #1, Preseason Predictions:  110/40/115/.330/2, Final Numbers:  100/37/116/.350/7

2. Lance Berkman – The real difference between the preseason expectations and the actual numbers are the steals, but I’m going to paraphrase something Rudy says, “If speed is not a player’s game, you can’t count on any steals.” Which means you count on steals from Willy Taveras, you do not count on steals from Lance Berkman. Anything you get is a plus. Preseason Rank #7, Preseason Predictions:  110/30/115/.290/5, Final Numbers:  114/29/106/.312/18

3. Mark Teixeira – I thought he’d put up almost exactly the numbers he did put up. Yet, I ranked him at #5 and he came in at #3. What does that tell you? 1st basemen numbers were down? Excellent, Daniel-san. Now catch me something bigger than a fly and put some Catsup on it. Preseason Rank #5, Preseason Predictions:  110/35/120/.305, Final Numbers: 102/33/121/.308/2

4. Aubrey Huff – There’s always a few guys that maintain their hot starts that I will never trust — Cliff Lee, Xavier Nady and Aubrey Huff, to name a few. You can own them; just don’t trust them. To paraphrase what I said earlier in the year, Aubrey Huff reminds me of Mike Lowell. Will he get 15 home runs or will he hit 30? Will he hit .250 or .300? Huff’s an enigma wrapped in a girl’s name. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers:  96/32/108/.304/4

5. Kevin Youkilis – I was so close in my preseason predictions (I switched Youuuuuuk’s Runs and RBIs because he switched from the top of the lineup to the sixth spot. If people think that’s cheating, here’s something for you), but Youuuuuuuuk jumping from 14th to 5th shows how truly Jason Kendall-weak the first basemen were this year. (This was the point of that Hardball Times article.) I haven’t gone over my research yet for 2009 conclusively, but I do believe 1st base will be a bit deeper next year. This will be something to watch. If your leaguemates overestimate the depth of the 1st basemen position, you could be sitting pretty if you reach for one early. We’ll go over this more during the winter. Preseason Rank #14, Preseason Predictions:  90/21/115/.290/3, Final Numbers:  91/29/115/.312/3

6. Miguel Cabrera – Looks like it was Cabrera that missed Olivo’s hugs more than the other way around. But, in the end, Miguel Cabrera gave about what he always gives minus some runs and average. He’ll probably be in my top ten for 2009. God, I can’t wait for the 2009 season. Is that weird? (Note: Cabrera gained 1st base eligibility during the season so he was only ranked for third basemen. The top twenty third basemen for 2008 will be here next week.) Preseason Predictions:  110/35/125/.315/4, Final Numbers:  84/37/127/.292/1

7. Ryan Howard – Frankly, I want Howard a lot higher than he’s ranked here. His major negative is his average, but you can outweigh that with some high average middle infielders and get exactly what you need from Howard, which is– a recipe for a deep-fried Twinkie? No. Power. Recognize! Preseason Rank #3, Preseason Predictions:  100/50/140/.275, Final Numbers:  105/48/146/.251

8. Justin Morneau – Flyball rate stayed, well, down and the power never really came around this season. His “known” makes him seem more valuable than his actual production at this point. Seems like he’s destined to fall somewhere between five and ten in 1st basemen rankings. Preseason Rank #8, Preseason Predictions:  90/35/110/.275, Final Numbers:  97/23/129/.300

9. Adrian Gonzalez – He’ll prolly be ranked about here for the next five years. Unless he gets traded to Coors. Holy heffin’ hey! Imagine A-Gonz in Coors? Hey, Holliday, don’t worry about that slacker Atkins. I’m here to hit 45 home runs. You’re welcome. Oh, and I’m a chubby chaser. Preseason Rank #9, Preseason Predictions:  90/33/105/.280, Final Numbers:  103/36/119/.279

10. Carlos Delgado – From radio, to the video, to Arsenio… Tell me!  Yo, what’s the best case scenario for Delgado? This yeario, Fife. Preseason Rank #17, Preseason Predictions:  70/28/95/.260, Final Numbers:  96/38/115/.271/1

11. Prince Fielder – You can’t eat salad on a stick! Man up. Preseason Rank #2, Preseason Predictions:  115/50/125/.285, Final Numbers:  86/34/102/.276/3

12. Jorge Cantu – In one of the best threads over in the Razzball forums, I named Cantu as one of my Fantasy MVPs. Poppycock, you say. Okay, but what the eff is poppycock and why are you saying it? When Hafner went down with I-ain’t-got-no-roids-itis and I wanted to commit Pronkicide, I grabbed Delgado or Cantu in just about all of my leagues. Mostly Cantu because he was more available. Anyway, he saved quite a few teams for me. I heart Cantu. Get over it. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  92/29/95/.277/6

13. Derrek Lee – His power really evaporated. There were doubles at the end of ’07 that seemed to be forecasting a power comeback in ’08, but it just never happened. Also, I find it fascinating that his runs are so down from my predictions considering the Cubs success this year. Since this is probably only fascinating to me, I’ll move on. Preseason Rank #6, Preseason Predictions:  110/30/115/.290/5, Final Numbers:  93/20/90/.291/8

14. Joey Votto – I steamed up my colored contacts talking about Votto a few times this year — keep Votto? Fo shotto. (Note: I didn’t rank most rookies in the preseason top 20s, but I did make some preseason predictions for rookies.)  Preseason Unranked, Preseason Predictions:  .285/20/75, Final Numbers:  69/24/84/.297/7

15. Jose Lopez – He was unranked, but on April 4th, I told you to pick up Lopez, when I said, “If you have an erection for longer than four hours after you pick up Lopez, you should go see a doctor. But he’s hitting number two on the Mariners. So, well, there’s that. Honestly, he’s young and he’s started off hot.” And that’s me quoting me! I’ll have to look at his numbers closer going forward, but I might like him next year (for 2nd base, obviously). Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 80/17/89/.297/6

16. Conor Jackson – At 26, his power took a step backwards? Who are you — Felipe Lopez? The only adverb I can think of for Conor Jackson is yawstipatingly. I prefer all of the guys ranked below him on this list, except for Loney. Why, Grey? Why so down? Well, random italicized voice, Conor Jackson is only ranked this high because he gave you 10 steals. That’s no reason to have a 1st baseman. You could’ve had an off-waivers Juan Pierre for one good week and got half of that. Unranked in Preseason, Final Numbers:  87/12/75/.300/10

17. Garrett Atkins – Watch your toes, everyone. Atkins is taking a step backwards. Home runs have gone from 29 to 25 to 21. In 2009, hello 17 home runs. (Note: Atkins gained 1st base eligibility during the season so he was only ranked for 3rd basemen. In fairness, if I had ranked him, I would’ve placed him higher than 17th.) Preseason Predictions:  85/34/115/.300, Final Numbers:  86/21/99/.286/1

18. Adam Dunn – I’m a huge fan of Dunn. Ain’t that apropos? His average took a hit, but his BABIP shows he was pretty unlucky this year. When a guy aims for .250 gets unlucky, it becomes a sub-.240 average. Zoinks! (Note: Dunn gained 1st base eligibility during the season so he was only ranked for outfielders. In fairness, if I had ranked him, I would’ve placed him higher than 18th.) Preseason Predictions:  100/45/110/.265/7, Final Numbers:  79/40/100/.236/2

19. James Loney – His preseason predictions and his final numbers speak a ton about the problems 1st basemen had this year. See I pegged him for 19th overall amongst 1st basemen and he came in at 19th, you would think his final numbers would be close to his preseason predictions, but his numbers were awful. We get it! 1st basemen numbers were down. School’s out, Alice Cooper. Preseason Rank #19, Preseason Predictions:  95/22/85/.315, Final Numbers:  66/13/90/.289/7

20. Carlos Pena – My instincts back in January were to lower him even further than the 11th place perch where I ranked him. As Malcolm Gladwell would say, “Blink, sucka!” Preseason Rank #11, Preseason Predictions:  85/22/80/.260, Final Numbers:  76/31/102/.247/1

From Around The Web

  1. Steve says:
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    Tuna loin: $9NZ
    Potato: $0.50NZ
    Bag of salad: $2.99NZ
    Bottle of wine: $10NZ (on sale!)
    New Razzball post to read while cooking dinner: Priceless. In any currency.

  2. BSA says:
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    Man, my post-All Star trade of Morneau for Fielder hurt a bit as Morneau picked up while Fielder stayed at the clubhouse buffet.

  3. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: You realize you could’ve had 6 potatoes for one bagged salad.

    @BSA: Aw, it’s not that bad, man. Just a bit in average and RBIs, but Fielder gave you more HRs.

    BTW, it’s World Vegetarian Day. I got an email alert from Prince.

  4. Freak says:
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    Screw Adrian Gonzalez.

  5. Camas says:
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    i would put texteira at number one

  6. Shogun says:
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    I didn’t see the Clay Davis Verizon commercial. I wonder if he went to Sprint and shook them down for a few large before he did the Verizon shoot. In any case, I hope they filmed an unrated version of the commercial for youtube where Clay can do his thing.

  7. Shogun says:
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    @Grey: Ha! I love it. My friend who wrote “rape baby” and other obscene musings refuses to watch The Wire because he “doesn’t like police shows.” That video could tip him over to watch it.

  8. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Shogun: Tipping ain’t just a city in China.

  9. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Ha! The salad had gone off too.

  10. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Gone off? Is that Kiwi for a sale?

    @royce!: Ha, well played.

  11. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Nah. Gone bad. Opened up the bag and it was all wet and limp and didn’t smell so good.

  12. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Oh, you couldn’t trade that for two good potatoes.

  13. Freak says:
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    Chris Davis is 21, right?

  14. Freak says:
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    I meant in your rankings.

  15. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Freak: No, he didn’t get called up until late June so his overall numbers don’t stack up. From July 1st until September, would I prefer Davis over Loney, Atkins or some of those other schmohawks? Yeah, definitely.

  16. Steve says:
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    @Grey: Plenty of potatoes in the cupboard, so no problem there. Had to do some fast improvisation though when everything was ready and I went to make the salad and it was like a bag of lawn clippings.

  17. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Doug Ault: Member how people would quote great literary works? That’s you, but with Youtube. You’re incredible the way you can pull these out.

  18. Doug Ault says:
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    @Grey:Ah shucks,well,after those kind words I’ll root for a Chicago subway series;-)

  19. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Orval Overall sounds like a name out of a Coen Bros movie.

  20. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Sounds like the name of my first born!

    Seriously, though, I think I just had an acid flashback staring into Dennis Eckersley’s tie.

  21. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: His tie actually looks my old sofa.

  22. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Too bad he’s not sitting on your old sofa. That would be super trippy! You could see through his chest!

    Plus, he’s got the sketchball uncle look down good. When we hang out he sneaks me sips off his high life. The beer tastes so good I can overlook the mustache hairs on the can.

    Sheeeeeeeeeeeit. I just creeped myself out.

  23. royce! says:
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    Holy Shizz! Tony Gwynn AND Ron Darling are broadcasting the Dodgers/Cubs game. This is going to be amazing. Not as amazing as it would have been with just Scully, but close.

  24. Steve says:
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    Grrr. No baseball playoffs on ESPN here. Just the WNBA playoffs. Whoop-de-f******-do.

  25. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Tony Gwynn sounds like he just sucked three balloons of helium.

    @Steve: What? You were already eliminated from your WNBA fantasy league?

  26. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Wow, that’s unfortunate. No wonder the U.S. has a poor reputation abroad.

    Maybe we can get Obama and McCain to address this in the next debate. Or you could send a strongly worded letter to Helen Clark. (Thank you, wikipedia!)

  27. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Perhaps that explains his burgeoning girth. It’s not fat, just helium. I guess they’d have to have a team of balloon wranglers, then. Or a brigade.

  28. Steve says:
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    @royce!: I’m assuming it has something to do with rights. We normally get the World Series, but are the playoffs broadcast on another network?

    As far as writing to Helen Clark goes, if I’m sending a strongly-worded letter to her, I’ve got a lot more things to include than just the lack of baseball on New Zealand television.

  29. royce! says:
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    @Steve: Yeah, the Division Series are on TBS here. I think it moves to Fox for the Championship Series and World Series, so you might be able to catch those.

  30. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: Yeah, he’s totally turning into Kirby Puckett.

    BTW, 1st day of the playoffs, already sick of Frank TV commercials.

  31. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Totally agree. I thought nothing could be worse than those Dane Cook playoff commercials. Boy was I wrong.

    Frank should do an impersonation of Chris Farley.

  32. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: As long as stops the Madden and W. impersonation. Speaking of which, have you seen the trailer for W.? Looks awesome.

    Loney? Zoinks!

  33. Steve says:
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    Assuming they hold the lead, who closes for the Dodgers? Hard to trust either Broxton or Saito…

  34. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @Steve: Think the Dodgers go to Broxton.

  35. royce! says:
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    @Grey: The impersonation I was imagining would put a stop to all of his impersonations.

    W. does look good. But I’ll watch anything with Elizabeth Banks, even if she’s playing a woman in her fifties.

    @Steve: Gotta be Broxton. I don’t think Saito has earned it back yet.

  36. royce! says:
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    What is it with all these Frank TV commercials? Doesn’t TBS have any other shows? Does Frank have pics of Ted Turner being tied up by a dominatrix dressed in nazi regalia or something? Blackmail is the only explanation.

  37. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: And half his jokes are about how omnipresent he is, so he knew he was going to be annoying the crap out of people. So they sat down and said, “Frank, we’re thinking about advertising you to the point where people want to blow their brains out, do you have material for that?” “I can figure something out.”

    EDIT: Typo. Dur.

  38. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Terrorists must be behind this. Frank’s commercials are like the video in The Ring, or the exact opposite of the video in Infinite Jest.

    I was totally wrong about Broxton (unless he’s going to pitch 2 innings). Guess that’s why I didn’t win my league.

  39. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: @Steve: Torre actually announced before the game that Saito would close. I must’ve missed it.

  40. royce! says:
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    @Grey: Pretty daring on his Torre’s part. Although it doesn’t look like a closer will be necessary tonight.

    If Torre brings in Saito, I’m gonna be at home yelling, “Big money! Big Money! No Kazaamies!”

  41. royce! says:
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    EDIT: That first sentence makes more sense without the “his.”

  42. royce! says:
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    Whew… Maddux.

  43. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: “If Torre brings in Saito, I’m gonna be at home yelling, “Big money! Big Money! No Kazaamies!”” — Ha! That’s great!

    Tonight looked like the Dempster that I thought would be there all summer.

  44. Steve says:
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    @Grey: He picked a pretty crappy time to start regressing to his mean.

  45. Shogun says:
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    @royce!: You’re a funny mf. That bit about your uncle creeped me out. And I don’t even know him!

  46. cubbies299 says:
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    Also. Am I the only one that finds it disturbing that Viagra has chosen the MLB playoffs as the perfect target audience with to launch a massive new ad campaign? I feel the need go to rub one out for all those that watch our nation’s pastime

  47. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @cubbies299: Maybe the men wouldn’t be impotent if their fantasy wasn’t baseball.

    Speaking of Viagra — Vlad’s got one good leg and he’s not wearing shoes on it. What? What did I say?

  48. royce! says:
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    @Shogun: I think I might have gotten carried away trying to write something about creepy uncles… But thanks for the kudos!

    Re: the viagra ads- I find it funny that the two side effects they warn you most of are a four hour erection and loss of vision… I think they know their market pretty well- middle aged men who want to fuck like teenagers but don’t want to have to look at their wives! Boom tish!

    So I guess this is where my brain goes when I’m not worrying about Prince’s slump or what 2 starter to pick up. Yeesh.

  49. Grey

    Grey says:
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    @royce!: That sounds like you listening in on the marketing team for Viagra.

    ****TAKE FOLLOWUPS TO THE NEWEST POST AKA THE TOP 2ND BASEMEN POST

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