Cubs News: Ranking the NL Central’s First Basemen

5 of 7

Oct 14, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; St. Louis Cardinals first baseman

Matt Adams

(32) stretches for the ball to get San Francisco Giants right fielder

Hunter Pence

(8) out during the ninth inning in game three of the 2014 NLCS playoff baseball game at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Adams – St. Louis Cardinals

After a breakout 2014, Adams continued to show he could handle the everyday duties at first base for the Cardinals. In 142 games, he nearly mirrored his prior seasons slash line in 32 more games. He hit .288/.321/.457, while lowering his strikeout percentage similar, but taking fewer walks.

The Cardinals expected to see a jump in power from Adams in an everyday role, but he actually fell of by two (17 in ’13 to 15 in ’14), but did a solid job at beating the shift. He’s spent an immense amount of time in the cages this off-season working on his patience, and if that improves he could be poised for a breakout campaign.

Should Adams struggle, as he has hit lefties at only .197 clip in his career – he could find himself in a platoon situation with Mark Reynolds. He’s proven to be a solid first half player, as he hit .329 before the break last year, and almost 80 points better in his career before the All-Star break.

So if Adams does struggle, we may not know until after July.

2015 Steamer Projections – .268/.312/.455, 19 HR, 67 RBIs, 1.5 WAR

Next: Hmm, who could No. 1 be?