New York Yankees: Top 10 First Basemen in Franchise History
Yankees all-time first baseman: 10. Nick Etten (1943-1946) (11.2 WAR)
To kickoff this list, we have 1943 World Series champion and 1945 All-Star Nick Etten. Although his career with the Yankees is the shortest on this list, Etten provided the team with a formidable bat in the mid-1940s.
After being traded by the Phillies to the Yankees ahead of the 1943 season, Etten made a big impact right away, leading the team in RBI with 107 and finishing seventh in MVP voting en route to a World Series championship.
The following season, Etten led the league in HR with 22 and BB with 97. Then, in 1945, he led the league in RBI with 111. In four seasons with the Yankees, Etten had 358 RBI and a .370 OBP.
On the downside, Etten struggled mightily in his lone World Series, going 2-for-19 with two RBI.
Yankees all-time first baseman: 9. Jason Giambi (2002-2008) (22.0 WAR)
Placing Jason Giambi on this list was a hard decision. Knowing that he took steroids as a member of the Yankees made it tempting to omit him from the list entirely. However, taking steroids doesn’t give you the skill to be a good hitter either, which made me decide to ultimately place Giambi on this list, taking his production as well as his steroid use into account.
With three All-Star selections and a Silver Slugger award, Giambi proved to be a productive member of the post late 90s era. After coming over from Oakland prior to the 2002 season, he hit .314 with 41 HR and 122 RBI in his first season in pinstripes. He followed up with another 41 HR and 107 RBI as well as a league-leading 129 BB.
In his seven years with the Yankees, Giambi totaled 209 HR, 604 RBI, and an impressive .404 OBP. However, due to several injuries, he was only able to play in 897 games out of a possible 1,134.
In the postseason, Giambi hit .279 with 6 HR and 13 RBI in 32 games. He most notably hit three HR against the Red Sox in the 2003 ALCS.