MLB Network names Bell one of baseball’s best first basemen


To continue reading, log into your account:

[theme-my-login show_title=0]

MLB Network continued their annual "Top 10 right now" series Saturday, and Pirates slugger Josh Bell was ranked 9th among first basemen for the 2020 season.

It is the first time Bell made MLB Network's top 10. They determine the rankings on an internal projection system they call the “Shredder.”

Bell slashed .277/.367/.569 with 37 home runs and 116 RBI in his breakout 2019 campaign. His 143 OPS+ ranked second among first basemen with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title, trailing Pete Alonso (148).

Said analyst Carlos Pena: “Josh Bell was one of those question marks for me. This guy is a physical specimen, love his swing, love his athletic ability, but he hasn’t really panned out the way I thought he would and then all of a sudden, he comes out and goes boom, hits 37 home runs. Really impresses and takes on the Major Leagues by storm, has a breakout year.

"I think he’s here to stay, I think this is the real Josh Bell, this is what we’ve been waiting for."

The full segment can be found here.

MLB Network also released their top 10 right fielders. The Pirates did not have a representative, and Mookie Betts was ranked first.

Last week, MLB Network named Bryan Reynolds and Starling Marte two of the best players in left and center field, respectively. They will be releasing two lists every Saturday for the next three weeks.

To continue reading, log into your account: