Fantasy Baseball

2018 Fantasy Baseball: Total Points Rankings– First Base M-Z

Total points is taking over the fantasy baseball community and for those of us seamheads, it is isn’t a moment too soon. When you add points for all positive events and deduct for negative events you encompass more of the player and you cease to be a slave to single categories. Daily fantasy players love it and more season long leagues are beginning to use it as well. Occasionally, you get some wildly different results and we will chronicle those here. We are chronicling the top 30 first basemen and ranking them in total points and on a per game basis. We are also showing each of the last five seasons individually because the aggregate doesn’t always tell the full story. We are using our own formula we are chronicling below. Please feel free to adjust as your individual needs dictate.

TB + Runs + RBI + Stolen Bases + HBP + Walks – Strikeouts – GIDP – CS = Total Points

Joe Mauer—Minnesota Twins 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 141 329 2.33
2016 134 287 2.14
2015 158 295 1.87
2014 120 240 2.00
2013 113 285 2.52
AVG 133 287 18 2.16 21

Contract Status: Signed Through 2018

DRS: +7

It might seem a little much to include defensive runs saved (DRS) for first basemen, but it occasionally gives us a clue as to why some players play and others don’t. Mauer is mediocre offensively these days, but his glove will keep him on the field at least one more season. He is at the accumulation phase of his long and storied career. Next year will be his fifteenth in the majors and given his past success at catcher he is likely a Hall of Famer. That means nothing for 2018 though.

Jose Martinez—St. Louis Cardinals

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 106 201 1.90
AVG 106 201 29 1.90 28

Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration 

DRS: -7

The fielding numbers are a bit deceiving as the Cardinals tried Martinez in both corner outfield slots as well. Eventually he settled in at first and took off both offensively and defensively. For him that meant average performance, but average is nothing to sneeze at. You can wait on Martinez and take him late to fill out your bench. In some leagues he will have outfield eligibility and that could come in handy on a fantasy bench.

Victor Martinez—Detroit Tigers

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 107 194 1.81
2016 154 359 2.33
2015 120 232 1.93
2014 151 523 3.46
2013 159 381 2.40
AVG 138 338 12 2.45 13

Contract Status: Signed Through 2018 

DRS: 0

Martinez is a dying breed. We show you the individual season numbers because you can become convinced he would be a nice utility hitter late in the draft without realizing most of that average is buttressed by a very strong 2014 campaign. To put it in perspective, that would have gotten him in MVP consideration this season had he done it. He isn’t that player anymore. He might be worth a flier on your bench just in case he has one good season left in him.

Kendrys Morales—Toronto Blue Jays

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 150 294 1.96
2016 154 334 2.17
2015 158 402 2.54
2014 98 144 1.47
2013 156 333 2.13
AVG 143 301 16 2.10 25

Contract Status: Signed Through 2019 

DRS: +1

The fielding numbers came in only 103 defensive innings last season, so let’s hold off on the ticker tape parade. Like Martinez, Morales is a dying breed. Most teams want their DH to be able to play in the field reasonably. The position has become an extra slot where you can rotate guys in and out for rest. Simply put, Morales simply doesn’t walk enough to be valuable in this format, but he is a reasonable option in five category leagues.

Logan Morrison— Free Agent

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 149 351 2.36
2016 107 186 1.74
2015 146 243 1.66
2014 99 182 1.84
2013 85 152 1.79
AVG 117 223 25 1.91 27

Contract Status: Free Agent 

DRS: +1

The dilemma in real baseball is the same as fantasy. How much stock do you put in recent performance? We have seen players do this all the time. Everyone has that career season. Unfortunately, in the midst of the career it is impossible to tell whether it is a career year or whether the player discovered something and brought their game to the next level. Even if it is the next level, that TP/G mark would make him the 16th ranked first baseman. So, we aren’t exactly dealing with a stud here.

Wil Myers—San Diego Padres

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 155 331 2.01
2016 157 391 2.49
2015 60 139 2.32
2014 87 115 1.32
2013 88 199 2.26
AVG 109 231 23 2.12 24

Contract Status: Signed Through 2022 

DRS: +1

In Economics there is the concept of opportunity costs. The general idea is that once you spend your money on one thing you can’t spend it on something else. Myers signed an 80 million dollar contract prior to the 2017 season that will run through 2022. That comes out a little more than 13 million annually. For a mid-market team that is a pretty hefty investment. Does Myers’ performance in the last two seasons warrant that? That’s a huge question. His power and speed is tantalizing for you in standard five category leagues, but here you have the same dilemma. Does he do enough for you to warrant the investment of a pick or auction amount?

Matt Olson—Oakland Athletics

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 59 162 2.75
AVG 59 162 30 2.75 7

Contract Status: Pre-Arbitration 

DRS: +4

At some point the Athletics are going to build something. It hasn’t happened yet. They traded away Ryon Healy to make room for Olson and if his late season production can hold they could have a very dangerous lineup. We’ve heard that before. The story of the rookie that explodes and then implodes the next season is a common one. However, the hopes of A’s fans rest with him and the other young pups.

Albert Pujols—Los Angeles Angels

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 149 306 2.05
2016 152 417 2.74
2015 157 440 2.80
2014 159 447 2.81
2013 99 256 2.59
AVG 143 373 10 2.61 10

Contract Status: Signed Through 2021 

DRS: -1

Pujols will surpass 2000 RBI next season should he remain healthy. That is a remarkable number and Pujols could be at the center of a current debate in the sabermetrical community. He drives in 100 runs every year even though he is not a good player overall. Are those RBI a product of luck, or can a player actually be better in the clutch than he is in regular situations? We can’t ignore it either way, but it looks like Father Time might have finally caught up with him. He is still valuable in standard leagues because of those RBI, but here his lack of patience has caught up to him.

Hanley Ramirez—Boston Red Sox

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 133 257 1.93
2016 147 405 2.76
2015 105 229 2.18
2014 128 313 2.45
2013 86 294 3.42
AVG 120 300 17 2.50 12

Contract Status: Signed Through 2018

DRS: -1

Anyone remember when Ramirez was a shortstop? That seems like a lifetime ago. He has a vesting option for 2019 and you’d have to believe the Red Sox will do anything to make sure that doesn’t vest. He has shown he really can’t be trusted with a glove in his hand. He’s been tried at short, third, left field, and first base and none of them have stuck. He doesn’t produce enough to be a full-time DH, so ignore the aggregate numbers on this guy.

Anthony Rizzo—Chicago Cubs 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 157 508 3.24
2016 155 494 3.19
2015 160 500 3.13
2014 140 408 2.91
2013 160 349 2.18
AVG 154 452 3 2.94 4

Contract Status: Signed through 2019 

DRS: +9

Rizzo has two team options that can take him through 2021. Couple him with Kris Bryant and that alone will keep the Cubs competitive into the next decade. Add in the likes of Willson Contreras, Javier Baez, and maybe Ian Happ and they look loaded for bear. Of course, that kind of fire power only helps Rizzo in a format like this. He should be the third or fourth first baseman off the board in every draft.

Carlos Santana— Free Agent

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 154 422 2.74
2016 158 453 2.87
2015 154 341 2.21
2014 152 366 2.41
2013 154 377 2.45
AVG 154 392 7 2.55 11

Contract Status: Free Agent

DRS: +10 

Most fans think of Santana as a DH, but he actually was ten runs better than average over 1200+ innings at first base. He declined the Indians qualifying offer and it will be interesting to see if the new QO rules will be a barrier to movement like the last one was. He is right on the edge of being an all-star level performer. Total points encompasses everything he does well, so it is far kinder to him that traditional five category formats. His ranking will ultimately depend on where he lands.

Justin Smoak—Toronto Blue Jays

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 158 400 2.53
2016 126 108 0.86
2015 132 177 1.34
2014 80 93 1.16
2013 131 226 1.73
AVG 125 201 29 1.61 30

Contract Status: Signed Through 2018 

DRS: +1

The Blue Jays have a team option on Smoak for 2019 at six million dollars. It looks like a relative bargain right now. Smoak probably wouldn’t fetch much in free agency right now because he would be in the same situation as Logan Morrison. Teams want to know if he will repeat this performance. Most fantasy fans will likely be in wait and see mode as well. He is better than the ranking, but the question is by how much.

Eric Thames—Milwaukee Brewers

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 138 304 2.20
AVG 138 304 15 2.20 19

Contract Status: Signed Through 2019

DRS: -9

Thames split time between first base and left field. He got off to a really fast start and then teams found the hole in his swing. There is a ton of swing and miss in his game, but he will also draw walks. So, you take the good with the bad when you have Thames. The Brewers got him at a relative bargain and he becomes arbitration eligible following the end of his deal. If you get him at a similar value point you will be happy.

Joey Votto—Cincinnati Reds 

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 162 576 3.56
2016 158 488 3.09
2015 158 480 3.04
2014 62 141 2.27
2013 162 448 2.77
AVG 140 427 4 3.05 3

Contract Status: Signed through 2023

DRS: +11

Total points is certainly not as in depth as win shares or WAR, but I feel fairly confident in saying the BBWAA got it wrong when they tabbed Giancarlo Stanton over Votto. Heck, first base may not be as difficult or important as right field, but Votto played a better first base than Stanton played in right. Simply put, Votto is just an on base machine. He is one of the rare guys to hit over .300 and walk more than 100 times. The combination is deadly. Take away 2014 and he would be the best first basemen on the board.

Ryan Zimmerman—Washington Nationals

G TP Rank TP/G Rank
2017 144 404 2.81
2016 115 185 1.61
2015 95 220 2.32
2014 61 139 2.28
2013 147 346 2.35
AVG 112 259 20 2.31 16

Contract Status: Signed Through 2019

DRS: -8

If the National League adopted the designated hitter, Zimmerman would be first in line. He has played in 140 games or more in just half of his seasons and he doesn’t make anyone forget about Keith Hernandez with the glove. Remove 2016 and he has been remarkably consistent on a per game basis. So, he is a nice option in daily fantasy leagues. In full season leagues you just can’t count on him to be healthy.

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