Fantasy 40/40: 2010 Fantasy Baseball Final Rankings: Top 40 First Basemen (1B)
The first base position in 2010 claimed nine of the TOP 100 overall fantasy players at season’s end (ten players if you include Jose Bautista and his four games at first). At a position where depth and options seemed plentiful before the season began, first base became a bit of a let down. Big boys – like Fielder, Pena, Youkilis and Morneau to name a few – had down years for one reason or another.
On the other hand, there seemed to be a lot of depth – at the middle to lower tier options. Huff, Konerko, Scott, Wigginton, Sanchez and Davis are a couple names that could have been found in bargain bins or on clearance racks either at draft time or during some point on the waiver wire.
Note: The players listed qualified at 1B before the season (20 games played last year) or played at least 10 games at 1B this season. Meaning, you’ll see guys like Prado, Napoli and Morse, but not Ibanez, Posada or Ethier.
The number in the parentheses is their pre-season, Fantasy 40/40, first base rankings.
TOP 40 FIRST BASEMEN
- Albert Pujols STL (1) – .311-42-118-115-14 in 587 AB. He was the unanimous selection for number one overall before the season. He finished fifth. Next year? He’s still number one. And his consistency is why. In the 2000-2010 decade, over the last ten seasons, this is an average Prince Albert year: .331-40-123-118-7 while having an OBP of .426 and SLG of .625 – an OPS of 1.051. Average year. Over 10 years. Snap.
- Joey Votto CIN (7) – .324-37-113-106-16 in 547 AB. The Canadian slugger had himself a MVP caliber season while helping his Reds earn a NL Central title. I’ve had a fantasy crush on him for a while – I told you to take him back in March – I did. He’s just getting going and should continue to improve as he enters his prime years. And in that ballpark? Come on.
- Miguel Cabrera DET (3) – .329-38-126-111-3 in 548 AB. This kid is big, strong and can rake. Playing in a pitcher’s park, Cabrera put on a clinic swinging the sticks, as he led MLB in RBI and also threw his name into the MVP hat. He hit at least 34 HR for the fourth consecutive season and 100 RBI for the seventh consecutive season. He’s a stud and should be a TOP 10 pick in 2011 – could make a case for a TOP 5.
- Paul Konerko CHW (24) – .312-30-101-89-0 in 548 AB. The thirty-four year old first baseman had a renaissance year by slaying 39 homers this season – wait – you guessed it: a contract year. He’s chasing a big pay check and will most likely get it. Maybe not from the White Sox, but I could see him coming home to Arizona and filling in for the Dbacks.
- Adrian Gonzalez SD (6) – .298-31-101-87-0 in 591 AB. The hefty lefty has been the center of trade rumors since puberty, but manages to compete, produce and put up numbers. He was one game shy from taking the Friars to the playoffs, but expect him to be dealt before the deadline next season. Stay classy, San Diego.
- Aubrey Huff SF (35) – .290-26-86-100-7 in 569 AB. In the pre-season, I piled him the “has been” pile with the likes of Atkins and Delgado. My bagel. Huff might have been the best off-season signing, GM Brian Sabean finding him on the clearance rack just before the Opening Day. He put up great numbers for the World Series Champions and their is mutual interest in bringing him back this winter.
- Nick Swisher NYY (26) – .288-29-89-91-1 in 566 AB. Swisher Sweets, once again, proved fantasy doubters wrong as he put up some solid numbers while offering multi-position eligibility. He was a TOP 100 overall player in 2010 and looks to remain so in 2011 – he has a solid lineup and a nice park to hit in – Swish will command a mid-round pick in 2011.
- Ryan Howard PHI (5) -.276-31-108-87-1 in 566 AB. Maybe someone should layoff the Subway and head back to the meat rack. A down year for the Philly clean-up hitter, Howard had nice numbers, but nothing like what he or we expected. Kind of unfair really. Of course, this means people will let him slide a bit come next Spring.
- Martin Prado ATL (28) – .307-15-66-100-5 in 599 AB. I don’t know what to say about this guy. Does it all. Can hit anywhere in the lineup and played hard for manager Bobby Cox. I’ve had him in a keeper league and he’s been my ultimate glue guy.
- Billy Butler KC (18) – .318-15-78-77-0 in 595 AB. A from ‘09, Butler still had a decent season even though in Kansas City. His HR and RBI were both down, but his BB% went up and his K% went down – both positive trends.
- Mark Teixiera NYY (4) – .256-33-108-113-0 in 601 AB. .256?! What is that? Big Tex started slowly in his April funk like usual, but his average never came out. Still had 33 HR and eclipsed the 100 mark in RBI and RUNS. He will still be one of the first players taken off the board in 2011.
- Adam Dunn WAS (15) – .260-38-103-85-0 in 558 AB. I’ve owned Dunn each of the last four years and he’s given me about 39 HR and 100 RBI. His BA hasn’t been a killer like expected, but has sat around .255-.260. He’s looking for a new home this winter and will be trying to hit at least 38 HR for the eighth-consecutive season.
- Victor Martinez BOS (10) – .302-20-79-64-0 in 493 AB. Another free agent, VMART is attempting to cash in – not many left-handed options out there this off-season. He’ll probably end up somewhere in the AL so he can keep the DH spot on his résumé.
- Kevin Youkilis BOS (11) – .307-19-62-77-4 in 362 AB. Didn’t get a full season’s worth of ABs, but still managed to finish in the TOP 25 among first basemen. He’s a solid hitter and might move over to the other side of the diamond depending on who Boston brings in this hot stove season.
- Prince Fielder MIL (2) – .261-32-83-94-1 in 578 AB. Only 83 RBI and 32 jacks – didn’t quite live up to his first round status. Trade rumors and contract talk will fill his remaining time with the Brewers and Prince might be moving to a new palace sometime next season. He’s still a elite first base option and will be a top player taken in 2011.
- Luke Scott BAL (NR) – .284-27-72-70-2 in 447 AB. A late edition to many fantasy rosters, Scott quietly had a nice season in Baltimore, hitting 27 HR, driving in 72 and scoring 70 runs. He’ll be a cheap buy in 2011.
- Michael Cuddyer MIN (19) – .271-14-81-93-7 in 609 AB. Once again, Cuddyer saw a ton of playing time due to injuries and satisfied many owners. Unfortunately, he didn’t satisfy all owners. He dropped from 32 HR to 14 and had a decrease in RBI and R in 21 more ABs.
- Gaby Sanchez FLA (NR) – .273-19-85-72-5 in 572 AB. The Florida freshman won the job out of Spring Training and never looked back. He played solid ball all season and had a nice rookie campaign. With lineup protection, Sanchez did enough to keep his job in 2011 and is a viable mixed league option in 2011.
- Adam LaRoche ARI (23) – .261-25-100-75-0 in 560 AB. A notorious second half player, LaRoche had a big season in the desert, driving in 100 RBI and knocking 25. He’s a free agent and should find a starting gig somewhere.
- Justin Morneau MIN (12) – .345-18-56-53-0 in 296 AB. Played half a season due to a concussion. His draft ranking in 2011 might be affected, but he might be a steal in a lot of drafts.
- Buster Posey SF (NR) – .305-18-67-58-0 in 406 AB. My fourth favorite Buster (Rhymes, Olney, Bluth), Posey introduced himself to the world by posting legit numbers in his rookie season and by helping the Giants win a World Series. He’s probably going to be a TOP 3 catcher taken in drafts next year - also qualifies at 1B like VMART – expect a good year, but growing pains as well that go along with catching a full, major league season.
- Ben Zobrist TB (NR) – .238-10-75-77-24 in 541 AB. Spent the majority of his time at second and right field, but also filled in at first. He couldn’t quite possibly have matched his season from a year ago and saw a dip in power – going from 27 to 10. I questioned his production before the year and stayed away in all drafts – hope you all did as well.
- James Loney LAD (20a) – .267-10-88-67-10 in 588 AB. If he could only develop some power. Loney once again had double-digit HR, but that was it. He looks like he’ll never approach 20-25 HR, but he did drive in 88 RBI and swiped 10 bags. I like him more in NL formats, but can still provide value in deeper mixed leagues.
- Ike Davis NYM (NR) – .264-19-71-73-3 in 523 AB. The Mets called up Davis shortly after the season started and he responded by having a quality season, both offensively and with the glove. This former Sun Devil should mature as a hitter and improve on his 2010 numbers.
- Derrek Lee ATL (16) – .260-19-80-80-1 in 547 AB. He called Wrigley home for many years and moved on to Atlanta for the stretch run. He’s aging a bit and his numbers are in decline. He just had surgery to fix his wrist – might have been the source of his troubles. He’ll be looking for a new team and will be taken in the bargain rounds of mixed leagues.
- Daric Barton OAK (NR) – .273-10-57-79-7 in 556 AB. He’s got a great glove at first base. Unfortunately, there isn’t a defensive category in fantasy leagues. Not much power production for a corner infielder, he was more of a AL option this year.
- Garrett Jones PIT (20) – .247-21-86-64-7 in 592 AB. A loud introduction in ‘09, Jones matched his HR total of 21. He only slugged .414 and the league caught up to him. Not sure what his future holds, check back for his status in March, but he seems like he’s peaked.
- Mike Napoli LAA (NR) – .238-26-68-60-4 in 453 AB. Another catcher making a cameo on this list, Napoli saw some time in the field because of an unfortunate walk-off homerun accident. He was a great source of power behind the plate and probably was a late pick in your draft – the addition of 1B to his eligibility only helps his status.
- Mark Reynolds ARI (9) – .198-32-85-79-7 in 499 AB. Interstate territory. The Sheriff should have arrested himself, batting .198, to go along with his 211 punchouts. 211! In leagues that penalize strikeouts, he must have been a disaster to start. Power is legit; so is the hole(s) in his swing. He has to change his approach, right?
- Pablo Sandoval SF (8) – .268-13-63-61-3 in 563 AB. Hungry fella? The Vladimir Guerrero/Chunk love child saw a huge decrease in production and the gain in weight might have been one of the reasons. Not sure how he bounces back, might be somewhere between his ‘09 and his ‘10 stats.
- Ty Wigginton BAL (39) – .248-22-76-63-0 in 581 AB. Wiggy got a little p.t. for the Orioles – playing first, second and third. He hit the 20 HR mark for the fourth time in five years and is a nice addition to any fantasy squad because of his versatility.
- Lyle Overbay TOR (29) – .243-20-67-75-1 in 534 AB. North of the border, you never hear about this guy. More of an AL only player, Overbay is nothing sexy, but served useful at times this season.
- Mike Morse WAS (NR) – .290-15-41-36-0 in 266 AB. Mike Morse? Yes, Mike Morse. I don’t know how many of you have heard of him, but he finally got some ABs and did some work. Hit a HR every 17.3 AB and should get a shot at a starting spot in 2011. He’s 28 already so don’t hold your breath, but NL leagues keep your eyes open during Spring Training.
- Russell Branyan SEA (37) – .237-25-57-47-1 in 376 AB. Seems like he only plays for the Indians or the Mariners. And even with youngin’ Justin Smoak, Branyan still found his way into the lineup and hit 25 longballs. He was more of a bench player for fantasy owners in 2010 and will probably fill the same role in ‘11
- Adam Lind TOR (NR) – .237-23-72-57-0 in 569 AB. After his breakout ‘09, there were high expectations for the young outfielder. Yeah, about that. Lind saw a regression in all five categories and an increase in strikeouts. He might snap out of it in 2011, he might fall deeper into his funk.
- Juan Rivera LAA (NR) – .252-15-52-53-2 in 416 AB. Nothing crazy here folks. Just an AL guy and he only saw time at first because Morales was out with injury and because Mike Scioscia thinks Mike Napoli is the devil.
- Melvin Mora COL (NR) – .284-7-45-39-2 in 316 AB. Played all over the diamond for manager Jim Tracy and had a decent season – for a 49 year-old utility player with 300 ABs.
- Carlos Pena TOR (17) – .196-28-84-64-5 in 484 AB. What happened, Carlos? Spending too much time with Mark Reynolds, that’s what. A buck ninety-six. He’s still going to sign a fat contract this off-season and looks to bounce back to the .240 range in 2011. And closer to 40 jacks.
- Lance Berkman NYY (14) – .248-14-58-48-3 in 404 AB. The Big Puma played more like a Small Pussycat with his performance this season. He was banged up, he’s getting old and will have to find a new home as well. Don’t know how much he’s got left – could be a bargain bin guy come draft day and surprise a bunch of people in 2011.
- Troy Glaus ATL (NR) – .240-16-71-52-0 in 412 AB. Glaus should have changed his name to Glass years ago. He actually managed 412 ABs and had an okay/crappy season before losing his spot to D Lee. He was a stopgap for the Braves as youngster Freddie Freeman will get an opportunity to win the spot in Spring Training come March.