Arizona Diamondbacks first baseman Christian Walker ranked ninth on MLB Now’s Top 10 First Basemen Right Now last night. The two-time Gold Glove Award winner, who makes his debut on the ranking, finished one spot ahead of Triston Casas of the Boston Red Sox and one spot behind free agent Brandon Belt. Earlier this week, teammates Corbin Carroll and Ketel Marte ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, on MLB Now’s Top 10 Right Fielders Right Now and Top 10 Second Basemen Right Now. Additionally, Zac Gallen ranked third and Gabriel Moreno ranked 10th on Top 10 Starting Pitchers Right Now and Top 10 Catchers Right Now last week.
On last night’s countdown, MLB Network analyst Sean Casey said on Walker, “This guy only continues to get better. You look at his year this year, I thought he was a real complete hitter, he was a tough out up there, good at-bats top to bottom, drives the ball in the gaps. …What I think separates Christian Walker, and you’ve got to give him credit, this guy is by far the best defensive first baseman out there. He saves runs, he saves games out there for the Diamondbacks.”
The complete ranking for MLB Now’s top-10 first basemen is listed below:
- Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
- Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves
- Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
- Yandy Diaz, Tampa Bay Rays
- Pete Alonso, New York Mets
- Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Toronto Blue Jays
- Brandon Belt, Free Agent
- Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks
- Triston Casas, Boston Red Sox
Hosted by MLB Network’s Brian Kenny, the 14th season of each Top 10 Right Now ranking considers player performance over the last three seasons, offensive and defensive metrics, both advanced Statcast data and traditional numbers, and expert analysis by the MLB Network research team. The series also features analysis from MLB Network on-air personalities and roundtable discussions with former SABR President Vince Gennaro, MLB.com writer and editor Sarah Langs, and MLB.com analyst Mike Petriello.
While I get it's a combination of the past three years, it doesn't make much sense to me to have Goldschmidt ranked ahead of Walker. Christian was far superior this year (3.8 to 1.3 bWAR) and though Paul was MVP in 2022, the gap between them there was a lot smaller than you might think (5.1 to 5.7). Given their respective ages (32 vs. 36), I would definitely be willing to bet that Walker will out-produce Goldschmidt again in 2024. And it's not just me who thinks so. Here's Sarah Langs's Top 10 list, which has Walker at #3, and Goldschmidt down in the seventh spot.
Walker's ranking is...
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