Fantasy Baseball Rankings: First Base

When I prepare for any fantasy draft, I always rank players into tiers. This way, you will have a better understanding while drafting of when there is a big drop-off in talent. Using this type of drafting strategy should lead to an increase in overall value for your team.

When compiling my rankings, I focused on a couple of major factors. First, I looked at last year’s statistics. That is obviously a great place to start because it is the most recent data to project how a player might perform this year.

Then, I looked into any circumstantial changes a player might have going into this year. For example, was this player traded? Did this trade lead to a new ballpark that may be more/less favorable to hitters/pitchers? Is this player surrounded by new players in the lineup? Is this player going into a contract year? Is this player injury-prone of currently injured? All of these questions can give you a better idea of who might have the biggest jump or drop from last year’s performance.

Next, I look into the player’s history. This is less important in my opinion than the first two steps of analysis because a lot can change in two or three years. What it does help me with is it shows me which players I can feel confident and safe in drafting due to a consistent run of seasons of similar statistics.

Finally, the last factor that I use in my rankings is the team that the player plays for. I mean this in a couple of different ways. I personally believe that first and foremost, fantasy sports is supposed to be enjoyable. So, if you are deciding between a few players who on paper have similar values, go ahead and be a homer and take your favorite team’s player ahead of the others. But more importantly, I look for teams that I believe will still be playing competitive baseball towards the end of the season. I have been burned many times by having my top player get a minor injury come fantasy playoff time, only to be rested for the remainder of the season due to their actual team not having any chance of making the real playoffs. If you are deciding between two players close in every other category, my advice is lean towards the player that you are confident will be in a playoff push towards the end of the year. This will give you the best chance of them playing competitive baseball when it matters most in your fantasy season.

Here are my First Base rankings going into this season:

  1. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
  2. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
  3. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers
  4. Edwin Encarnacion, Indians
  5. Daniel Murphy, Nationals
  6. Joey Votto, Reds
  7. Hanley Ramirez, Red Sox
  8. Jose Abreu, White Sox
  9. Freddie Freeman, Braves
  10. Wil Myers, Padres
  11. Chris Davis, Orioles
  12. Eric Hosmer, Royals
  13. Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
  14. Carlos Santana, Indians
  15. Albert Pujols, Angels
  16. Brandon Belt, Giants
  17. Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers
  18. Kendrys Morales, Blue Jays
  19. Mike Napoli, Rangers
  20. Brad Miller, Rays
  21. Victor Martinez, Tigers
  22. C.J. Cron, Angels
  23. Travis Shaw, Brewers
  24. Tommy Joseph, Phillies
  25. Mitch Moreland, Red Sox
  26. Greg Bird, Yankees
  27. Brandon Moss, Royals
  28. Chris Carter, Yankees
  29. Lucas Duda, Mets
  30. Joe Mauer, Twins

First base has long been an abundant source of successful fantasy performers, and this year should be no different. There is a clear top tier with six players who should be drafted in the first two rounds of drafts. All six of these players will be solid pillars for a fantasy team.

Miguel Cabrera
The seemingly ageless Miguel Cabrera is poised for another monster fantasy year in his 15th MLB season.

After the top tier, there is a group of very solid players deserving of early selections in your draft. Ramirez, Freeman, Abreau, and Myers can all be solid contributors to your team, provided you do not reach for them as if they are elite players. They should be drafted in rounds 4-6 if possible. The next group should be drafted towards the 10th round, depending on the flow of your draft.

After that, there are a lot of players with a lot of talent and potential, but also one or two major flaws or concerns that should have them still available later on in drafts. I would not go reaching for a player such as Pujols or Gonzalez just because of their name and what they have done in their careers.



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