First Base – This used to be a no-brainer position, but as Albert Pujols’ age rises, his production has dropped off. So much so that the Angels brought in left-handed first baseman Justin Bour to platoon with Albert and also Shohei Ohtani at DH. Pujols has had a decent year hitting .247 with 19 homers and 76 RBIs. His strikeouts are way down at 56 and he has an OBP of ,306. Bour on the other has struggled mightily hitting ,just .183 with eight homers and 26 RBIs. Not quite what the doctor ordered.
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Bour struggled so much that the Angels brought up prospect Matt Thaiss from Triple-A to replace Bour on the roster. Thaiss has performed well at times, but is a little inconsistent at times and he has also struggled defensively at third base. Bour is still under club control and can be brought back next season if the Angels want to, or they can decline to offer him a contract and Bour would then be a free agent. This is the route you may see the Angels go.
Overall Albert Pujols is still the incumbent at first base, but he may see more time at DH with Shohei Ohtani going back to pitching and his time at designated will be cut.
Position Grade – C+.