At the end of yesterday’s column for the Tampa Bay Times, Mark Topkin suggests Logan Forsythe is likely to play some first base for the Rays at least during the spring next year. It’s a byproduct of the team designating Sean Rodriguez for assignment last week.
Forsythe, who turns 28 in January, spent most of his time on the field at second base but also played some third base, some shortstop, and even spent some time in left field. Adding first base to his list of skills will only add to his versatility and help the Rays’ roster flexibility.
Forsythe batted .223/.287/.329 with six home runs and 26 RBI in 336 plate appearances during the 2014 season. James Loney is currently the Rays’ everyday first baseman.
Rookie first baseman Pete Alonso has launched what appears to be the beginning of an auspicious career, made all the more notable by the 50 home runs he’s produced for the Mets so far this season. The All-Star slugger pushed his home run streak to four straight games on Friday, collecting no. 50 on an eighth-inning fastball from the Reds’ Sal Romano.
It’s just the latest of a long line of accomplishments for the 24-year-old infielder. Entering Friday’s series opener against Cincinnati, the first-time All-Star carried a .266/.366/.590 batting line with a league-leading 49 homers, 113 RBI, a .956 OPS and 4.9 fWAR through 648 plate appearances. Among those who are still rounding out their rookie seasons in 2019, he ranks first in home runs and fWAR by a long shot: the White Sox’ Eloy Jiménez is second in home runs with 28 dingers, while the Astros’ Yordan Álvarez plays second fiddle in fWAR with 3.7 Wins Above Replacement.
Even more remarkable: Alonso is the second rookie in MLB history to deliver at least 50 home runs in a single season. The first? Aaron Judge, who clubbed a jaw-dropping 52 homers for the Yankees in 2017.