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Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

 

First base is one of the offensive cornerstones of any baseball team. That fact is especially true in fantasy baseball. You must have a solid offensive contributor at this offensive spot. The interesting paradox this season is that first base may include some of the best values. You just have to be sure that before you take too many chances you must mix in enough solid offensive veterans.

 

First Basemen Rankings:

1. Albert Pujols (Cardinals)

2. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers)

3. Ryan Howard (Phillies)

4. Justin Morneau (Twins)

5. Lance Berkman (Astros)

6. Mark Teixeira (Yankees)

7. Adrian Gonzalez (Padres)

8. Prince Fielder (Brewers)

9. Kevin Youklis (Red Sox)

10. Joey Votto (Reds)

11. Derek Lee (Cubs)

12. Garrett Atkins (Rockies)

13. Victor Martinez (Indians)

14. Chris Davis (Rangers)

15. Adam Dunn (Nationals)

16. Carlos Pena (Rays)

17. Carlos Delgado (Mets)

18. James Loney (Dodgers)

19. Aubrey Huff (Orioles)

20. Conor Jackson (Diamondbacks)

21. Jorge Cantu (Marlins)

22. Jason Giambi (A’s)

23. Billy Butler (Royals)

24. Casey Kotchman (Braves)

25 (Tie). Paul Konerko (White Sox) and Adam LaRoche (Pirates)

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The Best:

As much as any position the best are the best. The top eight are among the top offensive producers in the majors. Adrian Gonzalez (Padres) should continue to break out. He may also be playing for a trade and a bigger contract. Gonzalez is one of the best pure hitters in the game. If he can get out of Petco and into a better hitters park he will become even more elite.

 

The Rest:

The bottom end of the first base pool is very solid. If you are looking for a veteran to fill out a corner position, or if you waited due to pick from the depth of the first base class you have a good bit from whom to pick. The three best bets are probably Jason Giambi (A’s), Casey Kotchman (Angels), and Carlos Delgado (Mets). Giambi had a very solid year last year, despite very little credit. He moves to a worse hitter’s park, but should still put up a solid year. Kotchman gets to move to a great hitter’s park in Atlanta. He will be needed to produce, and asked to provide a great deal of the RBI load. Kotchman should be able to begin to live up to the Mark Grace comparisons this season. Delgado had an MVP caliber season in 2008, and he is getting no respect. I would not hesitate to grab him in the middle to late rounds.

 

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Risers:

Joey Votto (Reds), Billy Butler (Royals), James Loney (Dodgers).

Votto is a very solid hitter with quality on-base skills. He is in a great hitter’s park, an emerging lineup, and could have a breakout year. Votto could move into the top 10 at the first base position by the end of 2009.

Butler has been a great hitter at every level. Butler was sent down last season for more seasoning, came back up and produced much better than his first half stint with the big club. Butler reminds me a good bit of a slightly less athletic Kevin Youklis (Red Sox). He should have very solid on-base numbers, along with good RBI totals. Butler probably has more long-term power projection than Youklis. If Butler can make the next step he could become a top tier fantasy hitter.

Loney struggled in almost every category last season. In his second major league season he fell a bit, but still managed to drive in ninety runs. Loney should benefit from a full season with Manny Ramirez in the lineup (assuming Manny actually signs this time). If Loney can bounce back from his poor sophomore campaign there is every chance he can become a top 15 fantasy first baseman.



Fallers:

I would avoid Paul Konerko (White Sox). I just do not know how much he has left in the tank at this point. I also really do not like that White Sox team as a whole for this season.

I am a bit wary of Jorge Cantu. Cantu had a very good season in 2008. Perhaps he has finally harnessed his natural talents, but I fear that he may have been a bit of a one-year-wonder. He is okay to take very late in the draft, but a lot of leagues are taking him far too early.

I have never been an Adam LaRoche fan. LaRoche has struggled at times the last few years. However, his numbers have still been okay. LaRoche is in a contract year, which tends to bode well for a players numbers. I just do not really like LaRoche that much.

 

 

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Other Thoughts:

Chris Davis (Rangers) is a significant young talent. He should put up very good numbers. The only trouble with Davis is that his value may not be the same as some of the other young first basemen like Butler (Royals). Davis is being drafted in the early mid-rounds. That means that his value is pretty much even. So, I left him off the risers list, because he is not being drafted at a point where there is a likelihood he will be able to rise.

 

Kendry Morales (Angels), Daric Barton (A’s), and Chad Tracy (Diamondbacks) are likely to start for their respective teams. All three guys are okay sleeper candidates. It is not a bad idea to monitor them throughout the spring and look for them very late in the draft if they secure starting gigs.

 

By: Brian Chmielewski
ProBaseball-fans.com Staff Writer

 

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