2011 1B Overall: .270/.309/.448, 28 HR
On the surface, the production from the position looked alright - relatively good power, a decent batting average - but not enough to make up for the poor OBP. The numbers were aided by some of the part-timers having pretty good splits.
Starter: Adam Lind
2011 line: 125 G, .251/.295/.439, 26 HRSimilar situation to Hill, his power should be in the same area in 2011, but he'll rebound about 40 points in BA and OBP.
The power was alright, but Lind's batting average and OBP remained down.
Through the end of June, the Adam Lind that won the 2009 Silver Slugger looked to have returned - he was sitting at .312/.361/.569, with 16 HR in just 57 games. From July on, however, his bat disappeared - he hit .203/.243/.338 from that point on. During the latter part of the season, he just didn't look like a big-league hitter; he was chasing bad pitches, making weak contact if he mad contact at all.
One positive about his year is that he seemed comfortable defensively at first - that was one of the questions heading into the year, and he answered it well. The other, as to whether he'd rebound... not so well.
2011 line: 134 G, .272/.334/.453, 17 HR
Encarnacion's numbers are split between 1B, 3B, and DH. Overall, he had a reasonably solid offensive year by his standards.
EE was the anti-Lind - he started slowly but found his groove as the season went on. He was hitting .240/.270/.395 at the low point of his season on July 6, then hit .302/.388/.508 the rest of the way.
Defensively, Encarnacion tends to be erratic.
2011 line: 70 G, .243/.305/.360, 6 HR
Rivera wasn't anything special overall, but did fill in well at 1B in limited AB (.325/.348/.530 in 83 AB) filling in while Lind was injured.
Cooper spent most of the year at AAA, where he hit .364/.439/.535, winning the PCL batting crown. He didn't do much in limited MLB time (only 71 AB) though, and is not generally considered a great fielder.
Lind will need to become more consistent if he wants to keep his playing time. Right now, he's still probably the front runner going into 2012, but don't be surprised if he needs to compete for his job going forward. Encarnacion has a team option, and will likely be returning and getting some playing time at 1B too. There's also been rumours that the Jays may look at pursuing one of the big-name 1B or trying to trade for Votto. Unlikely, perhaps, but this is an area where the Jays could gain ground on the competition if they want to spend.
In the system, David Cooper's mastered AAA and could challenge for time at 1B or DH next year. He's a polished hitter for his age, showing great contact and plate discipline in AAA this year, with lots of doubles. Contrasting 2011 to his previous years, there looks to be a significant change in approach - his HR fell in favor of doubles, but he drastically reduced his K leading to a massive jump in batting average and overall performance. He's likely not a prototypical power-hitting firstbaseman, but more of a contact hitter with gap power, perhaps in the mold of Sean Casey.
Less polished a hitter is Mike McDade, who held his own at AA this year. He's a big guy with power potential and apparently a solid fielder, but has yet to display the kind of premium bat a 1B prospect needs to become noticed.
Beyond that, there's enough OF talent in the system that the next 1B could be someone like Thames or Loewen, who I'll cover under the OF sections.
Lind starts the season at 1B:
Projection: 450 AB, .265/.320/.450, 20 HR.
Cooper will get quite a bit of playing time too:
Projection: 300 AB, .280/.345/.420, 5 HR.
Edwin Encarnacion will likely be back for 2012 too:
Projection: 400 AB, .270/.340/500, 15 HR
Each of these players is likely to see time both at 1B and at DH. If the Jays end up bringing in a major free agent, I suspect they'll try to trade either Lind or Cooper.