The American League West teams are set up pretty well at 1B for the 2016 season. Here is how I rank the American League West teams for 2016 at 1B:
1. LOS ANGELES ANGELS: 36-year old righty swinging Albert Pujols will likely play more games at 1B than at DH in 2016, as he is better defensively there than 26-year old righty swinging C.J. Cron is. Pujols and Cron will likely be sharing the 1B and DH spots, with both of them starting on most days. Pujols found his power stroke again last year. He played in 157 games for the Angels last year and he was 147 of 602 (.244 avg, .787 OPS) with 85 runs scored, 40 homers, 95 RBIs and 5 stolen bases. Pujols played in 95 games at 1B last year and he had 5 errors, but also saved four runs there! Cron played in 58 games at 1B for the Angels last year and he had 6 errors and -5 runs saved. 24-year old switch-hitting Ji-Man Choi could make his way onto the Angels’ roster in 2016. Choi played in 23 games in Rookie+AAA-ball for the Mariners in which he was 20 for 69 (.290 avg, .793 OPS) with 9 runs scored, 1 homer and 18 RBIs.
2. SEATTLE MARINERS: The Mariners traded for 32-year old lefty swinging Adam Lind over the winter and he will start against all righty pitchers. Lind played in 149 games for the Brewers last year and he was 139 of 502 (.277 avg, .820 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 20 homers and 87 RBIs. Lind had 4 errors and he saved 5 runs last year in 138 games at 1B last year. 26-year old righty swinging Jesus Montero, 33-year old righty swinging Dae-ho Lee and 32-year old righty swinging Gaby Sanchez will compete this spring to see who Lind’s platoon partner will be in 2016. Montero played in 38 games for the Mariners last year and he was 25 of 112 (.223 avg, .661 OPS) with 11 runs scored, 5 homers and 19 RBIs. Montero played in 27 games at 1B last year and he had 1 error and he was -2 runs saved. Lee played in 141 games for Softbank in Japan and he was 144 of 510 (.282 avg, .892 OPS) with 63 runs scored, 31 homers and 98 RBIs. Sanchez played in 66 games for Rakuten in Japan last year and he was 45 of 199 (.226 avg, .720 OPS) with 19 runs scored, 7 homers, 18 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. He last played in the majors in 2014 for the Pirates. Sanchez has played in 700 games in his first seven years in the show and he is 508 of 1,998 (.254 avg, .744 OPS) with 236 runs scored, 61 homers, 266 RBIs and 12 stolen bases.
3. TEXAS RANGERS: The Rangers handed 1B over to 30-year old lefty swinging Mitch Moreland last year and he never looked back. Moreland played in 132 games for the Rangers last year and he was 131 of 471 (.278 avg, .812 OPS) with 51 runs scored, 23 homers, 85 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Moreland played in 120 games at 1B for the Rangers last year and he had 4 errors and 2 runs saved. Moreland is versatile enough to handle either outfield corner spot defensively if the need arises for him to play there.
4. OAKLAND ATHLETICS: The A’s dealt for 28-year old lefty swinging Yonder Alonso and he will be the starter or at the very least, the better part of a platoon set up. Alonso played in 103 games for the Padres last year and he was 100 of 354 (.282 avg, .742 OPS) with 50 runs scored, 5 homers, 31 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Alonso doesn’t hit for a lot of power, but he does hit for a pretty good average. Alonso played in 102 games at 1B for the Padres last year and he had 3 errors and saved 9 runs, as he is pretty slick with the glove. 27-year old righty swinging Mark Canha could have his playing time in 2016 split between 1B and an outfield corner spot. Canha played in 75 games at 1B for the A’s last year and he had 4 errors and was -3 runs saved. 25-year old lefty swinging Max Muncy could also figure in at 1B for the A’s at some point in 2016. Muncy played in 45 games for the A’s last year and he was 21 of 102 (.206 avg, .660 OPS) with 14 runs scored, 3 homers and 9 RBIs. Muncy had 2 errors and 0 runs saved in 23 games at 1B for the A’s last year.
5. HOUSTON ASTROS: As it stands now, first base will be a two man battle in spring training for the Houston Astros. 24-year old lefty swinging Jon Singleton is the favorite to win the job, but 22-year old lefty swinging red hot prospect A.J. Reed won’t just give it to him without a fight. Singleton played in 19 games for the Astros last year and he was 9 for 47 (.191 avg, .625 OPS) with 6 runs scored, 1 homer, 6 RBIs and 1 stolen base. Singleton also played in 102 games in AAA-ball for the Astros last year in which he was 96 of 378 (.254 avg, .865 OPS) with 72 runs scored, 22 homers, 83 RBIs and 2 stolen bases. Singleton played in 14 games at 1B for the Astros last year and he had 1 error and had -1 run saved. Reed played in 135 games in A+AA-ball last year for the Astros and he was 178 of 523 (.340 avg, 1.044 OPS) with 113 runs scored, 34 homers and 127 RBIs. Reed also has a good eye at the plate, as he walked 86 times for the Astros in the minors last year.