Ranking the 5 AL West first basemen entering the 2023 season
2) Jose Abreu - Houston Astros
The Astros lost Justin Verlander but didn't get too much worse because they added Jose Abreu on a three-year deal. Abreu replaces Yuli Gurriel as the Astros first baseman in 2023. Gurriel is coming off of an abysmal season, and Abreu is a former MVP.
His power is down as he hit just 15 home runs this past season but he slashed .304/.378/.446 with a 133 OPS+. Abreu hit 30+ home runs in his previous two full seasons before the 2022 campaign and he hit 19 in just 60 games in the shortened 2020 season.
Playing in as good of a hitters park like Minute Maid should help Abreu get his power numbers back up. It's frightening to see what their lineup will look like with this guy hitting sixth instead of Yuli Gurriel.
1) Nathaniel Lowe - Texas Rangers
Nathaniel Lowe might be the most underrated player in baseball. He broke out with a monstrous season for Texas which saw him slash .302/.358/.492 with 27 home runs and 76 RBI. Lowe won the Silver Slugger at first base which is quite an accomplishment.
Lowe tied for 12th among all hitters with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title with a 143 WRC+. He was tied with all-stars Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil at that number. That's how good Lowe was.
An argument could be made that Abreu should be first because of how long he's been good for but Lowe is coming off such a good year I felt like giving him the recognition he deserved. The Angels will