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Iconic first basemen are an endangered species

Posted On: Jun 22, 2021   |   Posted By: TheScore

Iconic first basemen are an endangered species

For so long, first base was where teams parked their top sluggers. Historically, it's been the best hitting position on the field, often with a dedicated player to fill the corner spot. But as the careers of some likely Hall of Fame players near an end, and as the nature of the position and the game both change, is the prototypical, iconic slugging first baseman an endangered species? Thus far this season, first base production is nearly at an all-time low. Through Sunday, MLB first basemen had combined for a weighted runs created plus mark of 99. If that holds, it will be their worst collective performance since 1948 and the third-worst of all time. The metric is useful for this sort of evaluation because it adjusts for ballpark factors and run-scoring environments, allowing one to compare the relative strength of a position from year to year and era to era. A wRC+ mark of 100 represents a league-average offensive performance. Since 2018, the position has endured one of the softer periods in its...

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