Box-Toppers top first basemen by time frame (after 2017 season)

Here are the top first basemen in Box-Toppers points (BTP) over the past season (2017), the past two seasons (2016-17), the past six seasons (2012-17) and “all-time”—the past 23 seasons (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began). For the most recent seasons, the top five first basemen in each league are shown. For the “all-time” rankings, the top five overall first basemen (including retired players) are shown at left and the top five active first basemen in career Box-Toppers points are shown at right. Some players played more than one position, but even if their primary position was not first base, they are listed here.
 

American League National League
’17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Encarnacion, Edwin 2098 dh 1b cle al 12.1 Rizzo, Anthony 3063 1b chi nl 15.5
2 Healy, Ryon 3685 dh 1b oak al 9.7 Posey, Buster 2745 ca 1b sf nl 9.5
3 Hosmer, Eric 2886 1b kc al 9.5 Bellinger, Cody 3781 1b rf lf lad nl 8.7
4 Alonso, Yonder 2945 1b sea al 8.0 Goldschmidt, Paul 2935 1b ari nl 7.4
5 Mancini, Trey 3766 lf 1b bal al 7.2 Zimmerman, Ryan 2180 1b dc nl 7.2
American League National League
’16‑17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Encarnacion Edwin 2098 dh 1b cle al 20.1 Rizzo, Anthony 3063 1b chi nl 18.5
2 Hosmer, Eric 2886 1b kc al 18.0 Votto, Joey 2366 1b cin nl 14.5
3 Cabrera, Miguel 1776 1b det al 14.0 Myers, Wil 3228 1b sd nl 13.2
4 Healy, Ryon 3685 dh 1b oak al 12.7 Posey, Buster 2745 ca 1b sf nl 13.0
5 Davis, Chris 2478 1b bal al 11.0 Goldschmidt, Paul 2935 1b ari nl 11.9
American League National League
’12‑17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Cabrera, Miguel 1776 1b det al 59.8 Goldschmidt, Paul 2935 1b ari nl 43.3
2 Encarnacion, Edwin 2098 dh 1b cle al 55.2 Rizzo, Anthony 3063 1b chi nl 42.5
3 Davis, Chris 2478 1b bal al 52.9 Posey, Buster 2745 ca 1b sf nl 38.0
4 Hosmer, Eric 2886 1b kc al 38.0 Freeman, Freddie 2887 1b atl nl 36.2
5 Holliday, Matt 1836 dh 1b lf nyy al 36.2 Carpenter, Matt 2987 3b 1b 2b stl nl 29.5
All players (including retired) All active players
’95‑17 Player Pos Team BTP Player Pos Team BTP
1 Cabrera, Miguel 1776 1b det al 146.9 Cabrera, Miguel 1776 1b det al 146.9
2 thome, jim 1b dh Retired 146.7 Holliday, Matt 1836 dh 1b lf nyy al 100.8
3 giambi, jason 1b Retired 133.4 Howard, Ryan 2040 1b col nl 98.7
4 Delgado, Carlos 1b Retired 117.7 Encarnacion, Edwin 2098 dh 1b cle al 79.2
5 Helton, Todd 1060 1b Retired 116.4 Mauer, Joe 1869 1b min al 77.1
What are those numbers after players' names?
Active players are shown on the team with whom they finished the 2017 season.

Miguel Cabrera rises to lead first basemen in career Box-Toppers points (since 1995), passing Jim Thome

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Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers has the most Box-Toppers points of any first basemen since tracking began in 1995, passing previous leader Jim Thome.

Cabrera has 146.9 career Box-Toppers points and in 2017 passed former player and newly elected Hall of Famer Thome, who has 146.7 points. However, since Thome’s career pre-dates the advent of Box-Toppers points (he began playing in 1991), he would likely have more career points. Rough projections put his actual career total at 154.

Cabrera jumps to the top of the list of first basemen at the end of 2017, even though he only earned 2.0 Box-Toppers points in 2017, a career low. 

Last year, Cabrera ranked third on the “all-time” list of first basemen, behind Thome and Albert Pujols of the Angels. But because Pujols overwhelmingly played designated hitter in 2017 (and earned all his Box-Toppers Player of the Game honors while at DH), he was reclassified as solely DH, whereas in 2016, he was classified as both DH and first basemen.

Pujols has 187.8 career Box-Toppers points, ranked sixth among all players since 1995, while Cabrera’s 146.9 points ranks 26th among all players since 1995. Pujols has spent the majority of his career playing first base (especially since he spent the first 11 years of his career with the Cardinals in the National League). When a player retires, Box-Toppers classifies them by the position they played the majority of their career. For Pujols, that will most likely be first base. And when that happens, Pujols, who leads all batters in Box-Toppers points since 1995, will likely retake the lead from Cabrera in “all-time” career Box-Toppers points among first basemen.

But for now, Cabrera leads all first basemen in points since 1995 and also leads all active players in career points.

The chart above shows the top five first basemen over several time frames. For the past season (2017), past two seasons (2016-17) and past six seasons (2012-17) the top five first basemen in each league are shown. The top five overall first basemen since 1995 (including those who have retired) are shown at the bottom left in the chart. The top five active first basemen in career Box-Toppers points are shown at the bottom right.

While Cabrera did not fare well this past season, he still leads all American League first basemen over the past six seasons, with 59.8 Box-Toppers points from 2012-2017. He ranks third among AL first basemen over the previous two seasons, with 14.0 points in 2016 and 2017 (Cabrera led AL first basemen in points in 2016 with 12.0).

Anthony Rizzo of the Cubs led all batters, all first basemen and all NL first basemen in Box-Toppers points in 2017 with 15.5. Rizzo also ranks first among NL first basemen over the previous two seasons with 18.5 over 2016 and 2017 (he earned only 3.0 points in 2016). Rizzo ranks second among NL first basemen over the past six seasons with 42.5 points from 2012-2017.

Edwin Encarnacion of the Indians led all AL batters and all AL first basemen in Box-Toppers points in 2017 with 12.1. While Encarnacion was primarily a designated hitter in 2017, he also played first base and so is classified at both positions. He earned Player of the Game honors nine times in 2017, six times as a DH and three times at first base. 

Encarnacion also leads AL first basemen over the previous two seasons with 20.1 points in 2016 and 2017. He ranks second among AL first basemen over the past six seasons with 55.2 points from 2012-2017. And Encarnacion ranks fourth among all active first basemen in career points with 79.2.

Paul Goldschmidt of the Diamondbacks leads NL first basemen over the past six seasons with 43.3 Box-Toppers points from 2012-2017. Goldschmidt ranked fourth among NL first basemen in 2017 with 7.4. And he ranks fifth among NL first basemen in Box-Toppers points over the past six seasons with 11.9 from 2012-2017.

Of the first basemen on Box-Toppers “all-time” top five in career points, four of them are retired, including Thome, Jason Giambi (133.4 points), Carlos Delgado (117.7) and Todd Helton (116.4).

Of the five who lead active first basemen in career Box-Toppers points, four of them earned Box-Toppers points during the season. Ryan Howard was signed by the Braves and the Rockies in 2017 but did not appear in a Major League game and so earned no Box-Toppers points. Howard, 38, has not announced his retirement and recently has said he plans to continue playing. He ranks third among active first basemen in career Box-Toppers points with 98.7. 

About Box-Toppers—Box-Toppers tracks who most helps their team win the most games. Using standard box score statistics, Box-Toppers uses a simple formula to determine a Player of the Game for each Major League Baseball game played. That player is the person who contributed most to his team’s win. In regular season games, players earn 1.0 Box-Toppers point for being named Player of the Game and can earn bonus points for being Player of the Day or top player or batter in their league for the day.

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Related Box-Toppers High by Position posts showing Box-Toppers points leaders by position over several time frames—past season (2017), past two seasons (2016-17), past six seasons (2012-17) and “all-time” (since 1995, when Box-Toppers tracking began):

  • First base: Miguel Cabrera leads all-time (career Box-Toppers points since 1995). He also leads all active first basemen in career points and leads all first basemen over the past six seasons. Anthony Rizzo leads past season.
  • Second base: Jeff Kent leads all-time. Scooter Gennett leads past season.
  • Shortstop: Miguel Tejada leads all-time over Derek Jeter. Elvis Andrus leads past season (and also past two seasons).
  • Third base: Alex Rodriguez leads all-time. Jose Ramirez leads past season.
  • Catcher: Mike Piazza leads all-time. Buster Posey leads past season (and also past two and past six seasons).
  • Outfield: Manny Ramirez leads all-time. Giancarlo Stanton leads past season (and also past two seasons).
  • Designated hitter: Albert Pujols leads all-time (and also leads active DHs in career points). Edwin Encarnacion leads past season (and also past two seasons and past six seasons).
  • Pitcher: Randy Johnson leads all-time. Clayton Kershaw leads active pitchers in career points (and also leads over past six seasons). Chris Sale leads past season. Max Scherzer leads past two seasons.
  • Closing pitcher: Trevor Hoffman leads all-time over all-time saves leader Mariano Rivera. Craig Kimbrel leads active closers in career points (and also leads over past two seasons and past six seasons). Edwin Diaz leads over past six seasons.
  • Overall: Johnson leads all players in Box-Toppers points since 1995. Kershaw leads active players in career points and also leads all players over the past six seasons. Chris Sale led players in 2017. Max Scherzer leads players over the past two seasons.