2015 Fantasy BaseballFantasy Baseball

2015 Fantasy Baseball: It’s Never Too Early — First Basemen

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Source: Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images North America

As we saw with the catchers, there are a few guys that rise and fall when we compare early rankings and the first few expert drafts. It may seem like insanity to begin looking at baseball at January, but most of the major moves have already been made and teams are primarily looking to tinker more than anything at this point. In other words, while there will be some changes before you draft, there shouldn’t be too many major ones.

First base is obviously a deeper position on draft day and that also depends on your league rules. We are using ESPN rules for now, so players need a certain number of games to qualify at the position. That means that guys like Victor Martinez and Billy Butler qualify where guys like David Ortiz and Chris Carter do not. Before setting your board make sure you know who qualifies for what position.

ESPN(p)

ESPN(o)

Expert(p)

Expert(o)

Diff(p)

Diff(o)

Paul Goldschmidt

1

5

2

5

-1

0

Edwin Encarnacion

2

7

4

13

-2

-6

Miguel Cabrera

3

9

1

2

+2

+7

Jose Abreu

4

11

3

8

+1

+3

Freddie Freeman

5

15

7

24

-2

-9

Anthony Rizzo

6

17

6

20

0

-3

Victor Martinez

7

23

11

52

-4

-29

Albert Pujols

8

52

8

26

0

+26

Prince Fielder

9

63

5

14

+4

+49

Adrian Gonzalez

10

65

9

42

+1

+17

Chris Davis

11

70

10

46

+1

+24

Carlos Santana

12

85

13

69

-1

+16

Joe Mauer

13

92

21

210

-8

-118

Joey Votto

14

101

12

62

+2

+39

Matt Adams

15

118

16

136

-1

-18

Lucas Duda

16

137

15

132

+1

+5

Eric Hosmer

17

148

14

118

+3

+30

Adam Laroche

18

158

17

159

+1

-1

Justin Morneau

19

159

18

163

+1

-4

Brandon Moss

20

176

19

176

+1

0

Mike Napoli

21

195

-2

-70

Jonathan Singleton

22

203

-1

-62

Brandon Belt

23

211

20

205

+3

+6

Billy Butler

24

219

22

263

+2

-44

Kendrys Morales

25

232

0

-33

Mark Teixeira

26

243

0

-22

Biggest Risers

Prince Fielder— Texas Rangers

Position Rise: +4

Overall Rise: +49

If we take the three seasons before 2014, Fielder averaged 31 home runs and 111 RBIs a season. As they say, all it takes is one and I suppose one expert expects him to approach these numbers again. Anything is possible, but I wouldn’t put a bunch of money on this happening. I’d chalk this up to a case where someone was reaching (or gambling) a bit and move on.

Joey Votto— Cincinnati Reds

Position Rise: +2

Overall Rise: +39

I’m a little more bullish on Votto, but that depends on the rules of your league. He plays up big time in six category leagues. He was beat up a season ago, but led the league in walks every season between 2011 and 2013. So, he will hit for average and big time OBP. The problem is that the big time power and RBI numbers likely won’t follow.

Eric Hosmer— Kansas City Royals

Position Rise: +3

Overall Rise: +30

Do we believe the two or three weeks last October where he became an offensive force or the previous four seasons where he looked like a third tier offensive first baseman? Funny me, but I go with the much larger sample size. Many a fantasy player has been fooled by great October performance and it appears that at least one of our experts has as well.

Biggest Sliders

Joe Mauer— Minnesota Twins

Position Slide: -8

Overall Slide: -118

Sliding is a lot easier to see than rising. All it takes is one player to pick a guy before he is supposed to, but when all twelve guys drop you then we should stand up and take notice. 2009 was a magical season for Mauer, but if you take it away you see that he has never hit more than 13 home runs in a season. He’s a career .319 hitter, but at first base there are plenty of guys that can hit around .300 and do much more than Mauer does.

Mike Napoli— Boston Red Sox

Position Slide: -2

Overall Slide: -70

Officially, Napoli is a -2 in the position slide because he could have possibly been the 23rd first baseman on the board. However, it is much more likely that he would have been lower than that if given the opportunity. So, what makes him waiver wire fodder? His numbers haven’t increased from the days when he was a regular catcher, but he is now competing with other first basemen. In particular, he has not played in 140 games in either of his two seasons as a first baseman. If he could reach that mark or even 150 games then he could be a lower round selection.

Jonathan Singleton— Houston Astros

Position Slide: -1

Overall Slide: -62

Again, the position slide is made on the presumption that he would be the 23rd first baseman taken in the expert draft. Doubters are free to doubt, but he signed a five year deal before he even played a big league game, so he will get every opportunity to play. Secondly, his .238 BABIP indicates room for natural growth even if he doesn’t improve himself. Still, a 62 point improvement in BABIP (to .300) would bump him up to only .230. I’d expect a .250ish average this season with maybe 20 or so home runs. That’s easily waiver wire territory.

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3 Comments

  1. JJ
    January 5, 2015 at 10:55 am — Reply

    Where would Buster Posey be on the list as a 1B

  2. January 5, 2015 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    ESPN has him rated as the eighth best first basemen on their board.

  3. Mark Johnsin
    January 6, 2015 at 9:15 am — Reply

    I’m a big fan of your site but I’m also a fan of MrFantasyFreak.com ‘s info. Maybe you guys could get together and work on stuff seems like a good idea anyways but IDK how this stuff really works

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