Where does Pedro Alvarez rank in the division’s first basemen?

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Sep 28, 2014; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Chicago Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo (44) hits a 2-run homer in the first inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

1) Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs

It’s been a long time since the Cubs had a slugger as potent as Anthony Rizzo manning first base.

And the wait has been worth it. Just one season after being benched against left-handers because of his immense struggles, Rizzo actually hit southpaws better in 2014 – while earning his first All-Star selection alongside teammate Starlin Castro.

Rizzo, still just 25, missed some time with injury last year, coming up with 140 games for the lowly Cubs. However, he set a career-high in home runs (32) and narrowly missed tying his career-high in runs batted in, ending the year with 78.

Surrounded by a much improved cast, Rizzo has a legitimate shot at a 35-100 campaign; this would only further separate him from the rest of the pack in the division moving forward.