The NL Central is a hot bed of talented first basemen. Where do the Cincinnati Reds rank among the other first basemen in the division?
Entering the 2019 season, the National League Central Division was loaded with talent at the first base position. The St. Louis Cardinals had added Paul Goldschmidt, the Cincinnati Reds had former MVP Joey Votto, the Chicago Cubs boasted three-time Gold Glove Award winner Anthony Rizzo and the Pittsburgh Pirates were home to the up-and-coming Josh Bell.
Heading into the 2020 season, most of the names are still the same, but the perception of where each player ranks in terms of their value may be a bit different. Votto put up another sub-par season for the Cincinnati Reds, Goldschmidt didn’t live up to expectations in the Gateway City and Bell brought power to the Buccos lineup on a nightly basis.
The Milwaukee Brewers lost faith in Jesus Aguilar. After an All-Star season in 2018, Aguilar fell way short of expectations and was eventually let go by the Crew, only to be picked up by the Tampa Bay Rays. Aguilar signed with the Miami Marlins this offseason and Milwaukee now has Justin Smoak as the team’s starting first baseman.
So, who’s the best first baseman in the National League Central? There’s likely to be varying opinions, especially depending on which fanbase you find yourself in. However, let’s try to take an unbiased look at all five starting first basemen in the division and see if we can get an accurate ranking. This is the first in a series of positional rankings of Reds players against division opponents.