In a down year for first basemen in the American League East, where does Baltimore Orioles slumping slugger Chris Davis rank among the group?
Our MLB playoffs review of the Baltimore Orioles and the entire AL East by position now moves to first base, where several journeyman players had career years.
The preseason rankings had the Tampa Bays Rays finish at the bottom of the AL East, wondering if Logan Morrison could finally live up to the hype?
I then had Smoak and the Toronto Blue Jays fourth, saying that the Jays were waiting for Smoak to break out. Mission accomplished.
Greg Bird and the New York Yankees were third, with the Boston Red Sox second and the Baltimore Orioles and Chris Davis first.
That’s not pretty. So, let’s not lament any further on this, but get to why these rankings were so bad.
5. New York Yankees
The Yankees had 11 players play at first base, which included pitcher Bryan Mitchell in an extra-inning affair against the Orioles. Nine players started a game against first. That’s a ton.
The good news is that my prediction pieced named five players, and all five started at least four games at the position for the Yankees.
The other news is the position was a black hole. Chris Carter played the position to start until his release on July 10.
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Carter hit .201/.284/.370 with eight home runs, five doubles, 26 runs batted in and 20 runs in 208 plate appearances. All those numbers were below Carter’s already unimpressive career numbers of .217/.312/.456. Add in some subpar defense, and Carter didn’t even make it past the All-Star Break.
Yankees first baseman Bird wasn’t much better during the regular season. He hit .190/.288/.422 with nine home runs, seven doubles, 28 runs batted in and 20 runs, along with a -0.3 defensive WAR.
However, since the postseason has started, Bird is hitting much better with three home runs, six runs batted in and five runs scored, and a batting average up over .260.
Headley, the Yankees’ primary third baseman, started some games at the position once Todd Frazier was acquired. Cooper, a rookie, played many games between July and August and did a pretty good job, hitting .326/.333/.488. Cooper showed little power, but did do an excellent job at the plate, and maybe one to watch moving forward.
Bird is under team control for several more years, and the Yankees will hope a full offseason and spring training will help him to have a productive season near what they expect from him.