Thursday, April 4, 2013

First Baseman Fantasy Rundown


TOP 20


1. Prince Fielder
2, Joey Votto
3. Albert Pujols

Prince Fielder is the model of consistency. Fielder is your guy if you want a safe choice with great production. His HR totals from 2006-2012 are as follows; 28, 50, 34, 46, 32, 38, 30. Don't forget that Fielder hasn't ever missed more than 5 games in a season. Feel good if you land him with a first round pick and even better if he falls to the second.
I expect Joey Votto to rebound from a injury riddled, lackluster 2012 season. Draft him expecting a return back to his 2011 form (or better). As a .316 career hitter, you can't help but be excited about having Votto on your team as he has the potential to be the contending for the NL MVP. Look for a floor around 30 HR, 100 R, 110 RBI with 8-10 SB. Land him with the 4th-8th pick in the first round and feel confident in the start to a championship fantasy squad.

4. Adrian Gonzalez
5. Billy Butler
6. Buster Posey

For the second tier, Adrian Gonzalez stands out to me the most. Gonzalez is undervalued this year despite having a very good year in 2012. I can realistically see him contending with Votto for the NL MVP this season. He's surrounded by talent in the Dodgers lineup and has a history of great production. He will have plenty of RBI opportunities in a lineup that includes Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Hanley Ramirez (once he returns from injury). 
Buster Posey is a valuable person to have on your fantasy squad thanks to his dual ability (1B & C). Posey is the undisputed top Catcher in the game in both fantasy and reality. If you land this guy in drafts you can set your lineup and forget it. Roto, points, head-to-head, it doesn't matter because he will deliver. Just check out his NL MVP status from last season for the proof.

7. Paul Goldschmidt
8. Anthony Rizzo
9. Edwin Encarnacion
10. Allen Craig
11. Joe Mauer
12. Freddie Freeman

Anthony Rizzo's production may finally live up to his prospect name tag. In 337 at bats in 2012, Rizzo had 15 HR and 48 RBI. I'm expecting him to finish this season with a .285 average, 25-30 HR and 95 RBI. For Rizzo to make the leap, he will have to improve greatly against lefties, but I'm expecting that to come with added at bats.
I don't buy into Edwin Encarnacion. He's been a slightly above average player throughout his 9 year career, until his sudden explosion last season. His HR rate is clearly unsustainable (42 HR out of his 152 hits). My approach in drafts is to take Encarnacion off my draft board and let someone else worry about him.

13. Carlos Santana
14. Chris Davis
15. Mark Trumbo
16. Mark Teixeira*
17. Ryan Howard
18. Eric Hosmer
19. Paul Konerko
20. David Ortiz

The remaining players (13-20) range from young with upside to experienced but injured. Any one of these players has the potential to put up top 10 stats, but there is just too much risk involved. Just wait on the players in this tier until the mid-to-later rounds and take the player you feel most comfortable with.

*This ranking is based on a May 1st return date

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