Continuing our series of position by position comparison we move on to First base.
The Yankees Newly acquired Mark Teixeria is a 28 year old switch hitter who has 2 gold gloves and 2 silver slugger awards to his credit. His lifetime batting average is .290 and has averaged 36 HR and 121 RBI'S over the past 5 seasons. His age + Fielding ability + Offensive ability give him a grade of A+
The Red Sox field Kevin Youkilis who is a 29 year old right handed batter who hits for power. His career average is .289 and is good for around 20HR and 90 RBI he won a gold glove in 2007 and the Hank Aaron award in 2008. If nothing else he is the biggest bargain in town being his 2008 salary was only $3 million .At 220 lbs he doesn’t run particularly well but shows great patience at the plate and plays with more passion than any other first baseman that comes to mind. Kevin also broke the record previously held by Steve Garvey for consecutive errorless games by a first baseman at 194, running the new record all the way up to 238. The Red Sox get an A
Carlos Pena of the Rays is still a fairly unproven talent he’s the oldest of the group at 30 but has proven that when he gets to play a full season he can produce. In 2007 he hit .282 with 46 HR and 121 RBI's. He was still productive in 2008 as far as his slugging, hitting 31 HR and another 102 RBI's but his batting average dropped to more representative numbers of his career hitting at only .247. Prior to the last two seasons with the Rays you have to go back to 2004 with the Tigers when he hit 27 HR with 82 RBI to show a full season of play. Not to say these are bad numbers he certainly has power, however it seems that he strikes out allot and is prone to long slumps. The fact that he made $6million and Youkilis made $3million last year boggles my mind. Pena does bat left handed which is a plus. But do to the lack of consistency over the years and his average fielding + career .190 batting average against lefties, The Rays get a B-
In closing first base is not an issue for any of these teams right now Tex and Youk are both beasts in the field and at the plate. The only thing that makes Mark an A+ and Kevin an A is that Mark is a switch hitter, not as much of a hot head and has more power. Even though I am fan of the Evil Empire I certainly respect what a Talent Kevin Youkilis is. Lets hope that the Red Sox start paying him his worth.
Next up Second Base. Be sure to come back its going to be a good one.