MLB: The game’s most valuable first basemen

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets is safe at first base in the third inning as Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks can't handle a ball thrown for an error at Citi Field on September 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 12: Pete Alonso #20 of the New York Mets is safe at first base in the third inning as Christian Walker #53 of the Arizona Diamondbacks can't handle a ball thrown for an error at Citi Field on September 12, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) /

1. Pete Alonso, New York Mets, $8.692 million value; $555,000 salary

From an MLB front-office standpoint, Pete Alonso’s 2019 was a dream season. Every general manager wants a 50-homer guy who drives in 120, plays every day and gets paid the minimum. Gimme a team of those guys.

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That was what Alonso did for the Mets: he starred, and he did so affordably.

His 50  homers – 53 if you’re counting – fueled a .583 slugging average that was the position’s best. That alone justified nearly a $5 million salary, or about nine times what he was actually paid.

His on base average didn’t rise to a similar level. But at .358, it did rank eighth for the position, equating to nearly $2.5 million.

He did so through 1,328 innings of play, the fifth best total at the position, justifying a further $1.133 million. If all Alonso had done all season was stand at first base, he would have been worth more than twice what the Mets actually paid him.

His 112 assists showed maneuverability. That total ranked fifth at the position, worth a bit less than $100,000.

Next. Dollar values of the top MLB catchers. dark

Put that together in combination and you have a first baseman worth nearly $8.7 million for his on-field play. If Alonso has another season in 2020 like he did in 2019, he may be making $8.9 million far sooner than most players of his experience level.