MLB Top-10 First Basemen Right Now: Freddie Freeman, Max Muncy Ranked By The Shredder For 2022

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ Max Muncy again was ranked among the top-10 first basemen right now by MLB Network’s The Shredder, checking at No. 4 for the 2022 regular season. The Dodgers now find themselves with the No. 1 player on that list as well, their newest acquisition, Freddie Freeman.

That placed Muncy one spot up from last year’s preseason projection model.

Ahead of Muncy on the 2022 list are Dodgers’ Freeman (No.1), Toronto Blue Jays’ Vladimir Gurrero Jr., and Matt Olson of the Atlanta Braves. Rounding out the top 10 rankings, in order, St. Louis Cardinals’ Paul Goldschmidt (No.5), New York Mets’ Pete Alonso, San Francisco Giants’ Brandon Belt, José Abreu of the Chicago White Sox, Cincinnati Reds’ Joey Votto, and New York Yankees’ Anthony Rizzo.

The Shredder focuses on a three-year sample and uses WAR and wRC+ as notable statistics, with the 2021 season weighted more heavily. It all includes Statcast metrics, but factors in the least amount of defense than any other position The Shredder ranks.

Just like The Shredder, MLB Network analyst Sarah Langs had Muncy at No. 4 on her list. Vince Gennaro slotted Muncy at No. 3, while Mike Petriello ranked the Dodgers’ slugger fifth. Muncy has been ranked in the top-5 by The Shredder in each of the past four seasons.

However, Freeman was the consensus No. 2 pick for the analysts despite The Shredder ranking him first, which his 2021 stats support. Freeman hit .300/.393/.503 with 25 doubles, 31 home runs and 83 RBI in 159 games, and should have an opportunity to improve his numbers going forward in the Dodgers lineup.

In 144 games last year, Muncy batted .249/.368/.527 with career-highs 22 doubles and 36 home runs. Muncy also posted his lowest strikeout rate and best hard hit percentage of his career at 46.3%.

Muncy has hit at least 35 home runs in three of the past four seasons — his only time falling short of that was the shortened 2020 campaign. Among first basemen with at least 400 plate appearances last year he tied for second in defensive runs saved (six), tied for third in xwOBA (.406), tied for fourth in home runs (36), and ranked fourth in wRC+ (140) and WAR (4.9).

For the first half of 2021, Muncy was one of the Dodgers’ best players and that earned him his second All-Star Game selection where he was the starting designated hitter for the National League.

Unfortunately, Muncy sustained a torn ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) in his left elbow on the final day of the regular season and missed the entire playoffs as the Dodgers fell short of defending their World Series title.

Despite not yet being 100% recovered, Muncy is on track to be in the Dodgers lineup come Opening Day and is optimistic he will remain productive.

Freeman on the other hand has enjoyed a relatively clean bill of health, and his advanced metrics are quite remarkable. He grades in the 97th percentile in xwOBA and 87th percentile in xwOBAcon.

The Dodgers now have two of the top five first basemen in baseball, and Muncy and Freeman will both thrive off of each other’s success and incredible patience and zone awareness.

The Shredder 2022 rankings: first basemen

RankThe ShredderMike PetrielloSarah Langs Vince Gennaro
1Freddie Freeman (Dodgers)Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)
2Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (Blue Jays)Freddie Freeman (Dodgers)Freddie Freeman (Dodgers)Freddie Freeman (Dodgers)
3Matt Olson (Braves)Matt Olson (Braves)Matt Olson (Braves)Max Muncy (Dodgers)
4Max Muncy (Dodgers)Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)Max Muncy (Dodgers)Matt Olson (Braves)
5Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)Max Muncy (Dodgers)Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)Paul Goldschmidt (Cardinals)
6Pete Alonso (Mets)Pete Alonso (Mets)Joey Votto (Reds)Brandon Belt (Giants)
7Brandon Belt (Giants)José Abreu (White Sox)Yuli Gurriel (Astros)Pete Alonso (Mets)
8José Abreu (White Sox)Brandon Belt (Giants)José Abreu (White Sox)Joey Votto (Reds)
9Joey Votto (Reds)Joey Votto (Reds)Pete Alonso (Mets)Yuli Gurriel (Astros)
10Anthony Rizzo (Yankees)Yuli Gurriel (Astros)Brandon Belt (Giants)Darin Ruf (Giants)

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