Padres Editorial: NL West 2015-Ranking the First Basemen

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Mandatory Credit: Stan Liu-USA TODAY Sports

San Diego Padres: Yonder Alonso

We’ll start this comparison with the Padres’ own Yonder Alonso. Unfortunately, the reason we’re starting with Alonso is that this is a countdown, and Alonso is the worst first baseman in the NL West. First base is one of the weaker spots on the 2015 Padres. That’s not to say that Alonso is one of the worst players on the Padres. It’s just that first base is primarily an offensive position. And last year, Alonso’s offense was, well, offensive.

He put up a triple-slash line of .240/.285/.397. That .285 on-base percentage was fifth worst among major league first basemen with at least 275 plate appearances. We’re aware of the fact that Alonso is not a power hitter, his career high in home runs being nine. So the Padres count on him making solid contact, driving the ball, and being productive with men on base. Otherwise, what is his value to the team on offense?

With runners in scoring position in 2014, Alonso slashed considerably worse: .203/.254/.271.

Now, to be fair, Alonso wasn’t healthy last year. Or the year before. But that just makes him a below-average hitter who can’t stay on the field.

The Padres backup at first base? Tommy Medica. Medica’s numbers are remarkably similar to Alonso’s last year, with each getting around 250 ABs, driving in 27 runs, and getting on base at a .285/.286 clip. Medica has more power than Alonso, but is such a streaky hitter at this point that keeping him in the lineup when he is cold is simply too painful to watch.

Unless the Padres decide to move Wil Myers to first base, the Padres are the weakest team in the NL West at this position. And even if they do, they still might not crack the top three.