Where did Brandon Belt rank among MLB first basemen in 2019?
Longtime San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt finally stayed healthy for an entire season in 2019, but his numbers were down across the board. Where did he rank among baseball’s top first basemen?
Since the 2011 season, Brandon Belt has been a staple at first base for the San Francisco Giants.
The 31-year-old has had some trouble staying healthy in recent years, topping 120 games played just twice during the five-year span from 2014 to 2018. However, when he was on the field, he as generally an above-average offensive performer, posting a 113 OPS+ during that span.
This season he stayed healthy enough to play a career-high 156 games, but his production bottomed out with a career-low 98 OPS+.
While he was still the primary first baseman, the Giants also used Pablo Sandoval (23 games), Tyler Austin (12 games), Austin Slater (8 games), Aramis Garcia (5 games), Buster Posey (4 games), Chris Shaw (4 games) and Stephen Vogt (1 game) at the position over the course of the year.
All told, San Francisco Giants first basemen finished the season with a .228/.326/.397 line and a .722 OPS that ranked 25th in the majors.
While that one all-encompassing offensive statistic tells us that the Giants were one of the worst-performing teams at the position performers at the position, what we set out to answer was where Belt ranked individually.
For the sake of this exercise, we limited the field of players under consideration to guys who spent at least 51 percent of their time at the first base position and also tallied at least 150 plate appearances.
That narrowed the field to just 47 players and ahead is a rundown of where Brandon Belt ranked among that group in a number of statistical categories.