Top 10 Best First Basemen for the 2024 MLB Season

All-Stars, Silver Sluggers, former MVPs, and home run kings populate Just Baseball's ranking of the top 10 first basemen in baseball.

Freddie Freeman and Matt Olson
ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 26:Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson (28) has a laugh with Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) after Freemans single in the sixth inning of the MLB game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves on June 26, 2022, at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA. (Photo by John Adams/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

One of these men has finished top-ten in MVP voting six years in a row. Another is the reigning home run king who never takes a day off. Then there’s the two-time MVP who switched positions late last season, joining the ranks at first base. And that’s just the top three.

This stacked ranking also includes another former MVP, three more home run kings, a batting champion, and one of the only first basemen you can call a true defensive stud. Top to bottom, I wouldn’t be surprised if any one of these ten players made the All-Star team this summer.

Without further delay, these are the top ten first basemen in baseball, as ranked by the Just Baseball staff and featuring commentary from yours truly. Let’s get to it.

The following rankings were made by our senior staff members at Just Baseball. Jack McMullen, Peter Appel, Aram Leighton, Ryan Finkelstein, Leo Morgenstern and Colby Olson each created their top player lists at each position, and we took the composite average score to set our 2024 rankings.

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Honorable Mentions: Vinnie Pasquantino, Spencer Torkelson

With a healthy 2024 campaign, Vinnie Pasquantino, 26, could find himself in the top ten soon enough. In 2022, he showed that he can really hit (.295/.383/.450, 136 wRC+), and now he just has to prove he can keep it up over a full season. If he can add a bit more power to his profile, the Royals’ first baseman could be a legitimate star.

Spencer Torkelson, 24, hasn’t lived up to his top prospect billing quite yet, but the raw power is certainly there – he hit 31 bombs and 34 doubles in 2023. The Tigers’ first baseman is the second-youngest player on this list and still has plenty of time to develop his skills. This kid went first overall for a reason.

10. Josh Naylor

Age: Turns 27 in June

2023 Stats: 495 PA, .308/.354/.489, 17 HR, 97 RBI, 10 SB, 128 wRC+, 2.5 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 0 DRS, 5 OAA


The 2023 season was a breakout year for Josh Naylor, capped off with a tenth-place MVP vote – an honor even if it came from a biased source: Guardians beat writer Paul Hoynes.

Naylor finished the season with a 128 wRC+, third-highest among primary first basemen in the American League. He also stole ten bases, despite 16th-percentile sprint speed, and put up 5 OAA, tied for second among AL first basemen.

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He’s not quite a star, but the Guardians’ first baseman looks like a really solid contributor. And at 26 years old, he still has time to tap into more of his raw power and take another step forward.

9. Triston Casas

Age: 24

2023 Stats: 502 PA, .263/.367/.490, 24 HR, 65 RBI, 129 wRC+, 1.7 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -4 DRS, -10 OAA


Triston Casas started out slow last year but hit his stride in June, slashing .299/.397/.556 in 85 games from June 1 through the end of the regular season. Only seven players (min. 300 PA) had a higher OPS in that time: Shohei Ohtani, Mookie Betts, Matt Olson, Ronald Acuña Jr, Corey Seager, Marcell Ozuna, and Freddie Freeman. That’s incredible company for the rookie to have found himself in.

The Red Sox’s first baseman combines prodigious power with a good eye at the plate, and despite his limited experience, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s a Silver Slugger finalist at first base this season.

8. Christian Walker

Age: Turns 33 in March

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2023 Stats: 661 PA, .258/.333/.497, 33 HR, 103 RBI, 11 SB, 120 wRC+, 3.8 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 9 DRS, 12 OAA


How often does a first baseman get a genuine boost thanks to his defensive abilities? Christian Walker can’t hit quite as well as the two guys behind him on this list (Naylor and Casas), but the defensive numbers speak for themselves.

With 26 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and 26 Outs Above Average (OAA) over the past two years, Walker has won two Gold Gloves and produced more fWAR than all but four primary first basemen.

What’s more, since the introduction of OAA in 2016, Walker has compiled 44 OAA – no other first baseman comes close. The next best is Anthony Rizzo with 30 OAA in more than twice as many defensive innings.

On top of that, it’s not as if the Diamondbacks’ first baseman is a slouch at the plate. The righty batter has a 122 wRC+ over the past two seasons, with 69 home runs and 197 RBI in 317 games.

7. Paul Goldschmidt

Age: 36

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2023 Stats: 687 PA, .268/.363/.447, 25 HR, 80 RBI, 11 SB, 122 wRC+, 3.7 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 3 DRS, 3 OAA


A year after winning the NL MVP, Paul Goldschmidt has tumbled five spots down this list – and there’s nothing wrong with that. The six names ahead of him are all legitimate stars, while Goldschmidt will be 36 next year. He’s allowed to take a step back as he enters his mid-to-late-thirties.

Armed with a powerful bat, patience at the plate, and a high IQ on the basepaths, the Cardinals’ first baseman remains one of the better offensive players in baseball, especially if he continues to take the field almost every single day. And who knows? Maybe he’s got another superstar-level season in him after all.

6. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

Age: Turns 25 in March

2023 Stats: 682 PA, .264/.345/.444, 26 HR, 94 RBI, 5 SB, 118 wRC+, 1.0 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -6 DRS, -13 OAA


Vladdy could make us live to regret this ranking – in either direction.

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The MLB The Show 24 cover model hasn’t been a top first baseman for two years. His offensive numbers declined significantly after his star-making campaign in 2021 and continued to slip in 2023. At the same time, he isn’t even 25 and already has three All-Star appearances, a home run crown, and a second-place MVP finish on his resume. The Blue Jays’ first baseman has the skills to be one of the best players in baseball.

Besides, Guerrero may have ranked 60th among qualified hitters in wOBA last season, but he ranked in the 94th percentile in xwOBA. Only four hitters finished with a larger difference between those two stats.

5. Yandy Díaz

Age: 32

2023 Stats: 600 PA, .330/.410/.522, 22 HR, 78 RBI, 164 wRC+, 4.7 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 0 DRS, -5 OAA


Yandy Díaz might be one of the more underrated hitters in baseball, perhaps because he isn’t your typical slugging first baseman.

What Díaz lacks in power, he makes up for with excellent plate discipline, elite contact skills, and terrific bat control. He is one of just six qualified hitters with a batting average above .300 over the past two years, and he hits the ball hard enough and with such impressive directional control that his groundball-heavy approach looks genuinely sustainable.

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What’s more, the Rays’ first baseman did add some power to his profile in 2023. No one is calling him a true power threat, but he hit a career-high 22 home runs and 33 doubles last year, bringing his isolated power above league average for the first time since 2019.

Díaz already looks like one of the best first basemen in the American League. If he continues to improve in 2024, he’ll be one of the best offensive players in baseball.

4. Pete Alonso

Age: 29

2023 Stats: 658 PA, .217/.318/.504, 46 HR, 118 RBI, 121 wRC+, 2.8 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 6 DRS, 0 OAA


Pete Alonso wasn’t quite as dangerous as usual in 2023. His plate discipline was lacking, relatively speaking, and his hard-hit rate was a career-low. As a result, his wRC+ fell by 20 points, from top-15 in baseball in 2022 to just outside the top 30.

Still, a down year for Alonso would be a great season for most other hitters. The two-time Home Run Derby champion crushed 46 home runs, drove in 118, and ranked among the top 20 NL hitters in OPS. Moreover, his barrel rate and xwOBA remained elite, providing some reason for optimism that the Mets’ first baseman will bounce back in 2024.

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3. Bryce Harper

Age: 31

2023 Stats: 546 PA, .293/.401/.499, 21 HR, 72 RBI, 11 SB, 142 wRC+, 3.3 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 1 DRS, 0 OAA


Don’t be fooled by Bryce Harper’s “pedestrian” .900 OPS and 142 wRC+ in 2023, the two-time MVP remains a generational talent at the plate.

Somewhat ironically, Harper got off to a slow start last year after making a ridiculously quick return from Tommy John surgery. However, after a poor May and June (by his own high standards), he went on a tear for the rest of the season, posting a .988 OPS and 163 wRC+ over his final 78 games – plus a 1.097 OPS and 186 wRC+ in 55 plate appearances during the playoffs.

Harper has already won a Silver Slugger Award in the outfield and at DH. With a Harper-esque season at first base next year, the Phillies’ de facto captain could join legendary hitters like Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera in the exclusive club of players to win the prize at three different positions.

2. Matt Olson

Age: Turns 30 in March

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2023 Stats: 720 PA, .283/.389/.604, 54 HR, 139 RBI, 1 SB, 160 wRC+, 6.7 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: 8 DRS, -4 OAA


Matt Olson shifted into a new gear in 2023, posting career-best numbers in nearly every offensive category. The 29-year-old led the majors in home runs and RBI while pacing the Senior Circuit in slugging and isolated power.

On top of that, the Braves’ first baseman was one of the only four players to appear in all 162 games and the only one to do so in back-to-back years. Indeed, he is the only active player to have played every single game in four different seasons. In a previous generation, that wouldn’t mean much, but in the modern game, that level of durability is almost unheard of.

Olson was handsomely rewarded for his excellent 2023 campaign, earning an All-Star nod and finishing fourth in MVP voting. He also won the Silver Slugger, becoming the first NL first baseman not named Freeman or Goldschmidt to win the award since 2016.

1. Freddie Freeman

Age: 34

2023 Stats: 730 PA, .331/.410/.567, 29 HR, 102 RBI, 23 SB, 163 wRC+, 7.9 fWAR
2023 Defensive Metrics: -9 DRS, 3 OAA

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Does Freddie Freeman get better with age? The 14-year veteran posted the best fWAR of his career in 2022, his age-32 campaign, and then bested that number in 2023. His 163 wRC+ last season was also his best-ever in a full season (though not quite as high as his ridiculous 186 wRC+ in 2020).

In 2023, the Dodgers’ first baseman also ranked among the top six qualified hitters in batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, wOBA, and xwOBA. Not to mention, he stole 23 bases in 24 chances and played 161 of 162 possible games.

Freeman is one of the greatest all-around hitters of his generation and one of the smartest baserunners, too. Combine that with his durability and you get the best first baseman in baseball for yet another season.