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Giants: Was Brandon Belt a top 10 first baseman during the 2010s?

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 12: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants watches the ball after hitting a double in the bottom of the eighteenth inning against the Colorado Rockies to the at Oracle Park on April 12, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - APRIL 12: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants watches the ball after hitting a double in the bottom of the eighteenth inning against the Colorado Rockies to the at Oracle Park on April 12, 2019 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)
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San Francisco Giants
MIAMI, FLORIDA – MAY 30: Brandon Belt #9 of the San Francisco Giants singles in the eighth inning against the Miami Marlins at Marlins Park on May 30, 2019 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Without further ado, here’s my take on the best first basemen of the 2010s.

Note: In order to be eligible for inclusion, a player needed to appear in at least 500 games during the decade, which notably excluded Cody Bellinger (450 games) and Matt Olson (359 games).

1. Miguel Cabrera
2. Joey Votto
3. Paul Goldschmidt
4. Freddie Freeman
5. Anthony Rizzo
6. Adrian Gonzalez
7. Carlos Santana
8. Joe Mauer
9. Jose Abreu
10. Eric Hosmer
11. Albert Pujols
12. Brandon Belt
13. Chris Davis
14. Mark Teixeira
15. Prince Fielder
16. Mike Napoli
17. Justin Morneau
18. Mitch Moreland
19. Justin Smoak
20. James Loney

There’s a fairly clear top five at the first base position for the past decade, with Votto (52.1), Cabrera (43.5), Goldschmidt (43.1), Freeman (37.4) and Rizzo (32.7) checking in as the WAR leaders and pacing the position in most counting stats.

The next tier would seem to be Santana (30.5), Mauer (27.7), Gonzalez (27.0) and Abreu (21.2), as they were steady performers throughout the decade, despite Mauer and Gonzalez calling it quits after the 2018 season, and Abreu not debuting until 2014.

The next tier is where Belt comes into the equation, alongside Pujols, Hosmer and Davis. Each of those players put together an up-and-down decade, ranking among the top players at the position at various points, but never consistently.

All told, Belt finished the decade with a .261/.354/.448 line and a 120 OPS+ that included 129 home runs and 23.2 WAR. That leaves him just short of a spot inside the top 10 at the position for the decade.

Next. Was Buster Posey the best catcher of the 2010s?

Stay tuned as we break down where each San Francisco Giants staple during the decade ranked among his positional peers. Up next, Brandon Crawford and the shortstops.

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