With award season concluded and the Hot Stove beginning to heat up as the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings draw closer, ESPN’s Buster Olney is in the process of releasing his top 10 players by position group.
Kershaw was followed by Chicago Cubs ace and 2015 National League Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta, then free agent Zack Greinke.
Wade Davis of the Kansas City Royals was rated the best reliever, with Cincinnati Reds closer Aroldis Chapman second overall.
Now, Olney ranked the best first baseman, in which he has Adrian Gonzalez at No. 8:
8. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
Some evaluators trailing the Dodgers’ matchup against the Mets in the National League Division Series thought that Gonzalez’s age started to show against New York’s collection of hard throwers, because there were moments in which he was overpowered. Of course, it should be noted that the Mets overpowered the Cubs’ young hitters as well, and Gonzalez batted .316 in the series — in other words, he did what he usually does. Gonzalez hit .275 for the Dodgers in 2015, with an .830 OPS that was slightly higher than in 2014, and he is now about 200 hits away from the 2,000-hit benchmark, and needs 10 more homers to get to 300.
In 2015 the 33-year-old had his third straight strong season with the team, and was named an NL All-Star for the first time since being traded to the Dodgers.
Gonzalez played in 156 games, batting .275/.350/.480 with 28 home runs, 90 RBIs, a .354 wOBA and 129 wRC+. He led the Dodgers in home runs, RBIs, batting average, on-base percentage and total hits (157).
Gonzalez was also a stalwart with the glove as his .996 fielding percentage ranked second among NL first baseman.
Although Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt won it, Gonzalez was once again a finalist for a Gold Glove Award. Olney ranked Goldschmidt the top first baseman in baseball.