First Base (1B) Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2017

I know I’m getting a late start here, and you might have already drafted, but this list is not for you. This list is for people who are in leagues that aren’t awful. I’ll be trying to drop these lists position-by-position every couple of days for the next two weeks, which should give you time to read my rankings and subsequently ignore them by March 28th. Note: These rankings are using FantasyPros combined position eligibility, so that’s why Kris Bryant, Buster Posey, and Jonathan Lucroy make an appearance, even though they’re not eligible for 1B on ESPN.  Without further ado, here’s the list. I even followed up with commentary for the picks I thought needed it. You’re welcome.

 

  1. Paul Goldschmidt, Ari 1B
  2. Kris Bryant, ChC 3B, OF, 1B
  3. Anthony Rizzo, ChC 1B
  4. Miguel Cabrera, Det 1B
  5. Joey Votto, Cin 1B
  6. Edwin Encarnacion, Cle 1B, DH
  7. Jose Abreu, CWS 1B
  8. Daniel Murphy, Wsh 2B, 1B
  9. Jonathan Lucroy, Tex C, 1B
  10. Freddie Freeman, Atl 1B
  11. Buster Posey, SF C, 1B
  12. Wil Myers, SD 1B
  13. Matt Carpenter, StL 2B, 1B, 3B
  14. Hanley Ramirez, Bos 1B
  15. Chris Davis, Bal 1B
  16. Eric Hosmer, KC 1B
  17. Carlos Santana, Cle 1B, DH
  18. Brandon Belt, SF 1B
  19. Albert Pujols, LAA 1B, DH
  20. Brad Miller, TB SS, 1B
  21. Travis Shaw, Mil 1B, 3B
  22. Justin Bour, Mia 1B
  23. Greg Bird, NYY 1B
  24. Josh Bell, Pit 1B
  25. Dan Vogelbach, Sea 1B

 

  • Honestly, I won’t argue with you if you wanted to say that Rizzo and Goldschmidt should be flipped. Rizzo is the new Miguel Cabrera, as far as consistency is concerned (he obviously has not put up a Miggy-in-his-prime season, yet, but you get what I mean). He plays in a better lineup, with more protection behind him and better hitters in front of him, but Goldy is just so damn good. I’m betting on Goldschmidt having a slightly better season, aided by steals and a better OBP.
  • I was tempted to go with Joey Votto at #3, but I couldn’t put Miggy any lower. I know what Miggy is, you know what Miggy is, so we don’t need to talk about him. Votto, on the other hand, could be one of two players. Do you believe he’s closer to his putrid 1st half numbers from a season go, or are you betting on his second half? As a betting man (and someone who has watched baseball for more than one year), I’d say Votto is as good as ever. Count me as a believer in a huge season from him.
  • I’m a little higher on Jose Abreu than quite a few experts out there, but I like him for the same reason I like Votto. I tend to buy in on big second halves *if* the hitter makes a noticeable adjustment in his game. Abreu did, and I’m predicting a return to form in a big way. I drop him 2 to 3 spots if Frazier is traded, however.
  • Daniel Murphy and Freddie Freeman…these are the two players in the top 10 who I’m least confident about. I don’t really have an actual, in-depth reason to not love Freddie Freeman, but I just don’t. He strikes out a lot, I don’t think he’s a .300 hitter, and I just don’t like him, okay? Daniel Murphy could certainly be legit, but we’ve almost certainly already seen his best season. What’s more likely? A guy who’s on the wrong side of 30 who only has one postseason+one regular season worth of good stats, or there was some magic in his bat that was boosted by a BABIP that was above his career average? There’s a decent chance he regresses to somewhere in between who he was last season, and who he has been the rest of his career.
  • I’m higher on Carpenter than FantasyPros Consensus. I think I’m right. I think they’re wrong. He’s a bit of an injury risk, but so is everyone who plays a professional sport, so whatever. He’s got great positional flexibility, and I this his bat is legit.
  • Hanley, Davis, Hosmer, and Santana. You’d be fine if you waited on a 1B until the later rounds to draft one of these guys. They all have question marks, but they’ve all good pretty solid floors. Hate strikeouts? Don’t draft Davis. Hate super boring players? Don’t draft Hosmer. Santana gets a boost because of Encarnacion, by the way. There’s some upside there.
  • I want to talk about Brandon Belt for one sentence. Brandon Belt is one of the 3 potential breakout players on this list, and I think he could finish in the top 10.
  • Pujols, Gonzalez, Miller, and Napoli. We’ll call this tier “Fine, but I’m not going to draft them.” Look, they’re fine. They’re not that good, but they’re also not that bad. Miller is boosted by SS eligibility, but shortstop is pretty deep itself. There is a 0% chance I will own any of these players on my fantasy teams this season because I won’t be taking them where their ADP (Average Draft Position) has them going.
  • The final 5: Shaw, Bour, Bell, Bird, and Vogelbach. This is honestly my favorite tier, and you’ll see me grab one of these players towards the end of almost every draft. Shaw is my absolutely favorite of the bunch. He’s my 2nd breakout pick. The dude has huge breakout potential because he’s absolutely built for Miller Park. I could see Shaw finishing in the top 10. He could also finish well below where I ranked him. That’s the nature of this tier of players. Bour just needs a full season’s worth of at-bats. He’s my third breakout pick, so the Marlins better let the man play. Josh Bell has some contact issues for sure, but he has a strong minor league pedigree, and he showed well at the Major League level last year. Technically still a rookie, I have Bell going toe-to-toe with Dansby Swanson for the Rookie of the Year. Greg Bird wasn’t on this list a week ago. Things changed, and now I believe. He’s going to be the best Bird since Tweety.
  • Finally. My man. Dan Vogelbach. He gets his own bullet. This 400-pound penguin in baseball pajamas can do one thing, and one thing only: hit. He has hit at every level. He makes good contact and has decent bat speed to go with excellent control of the plate. He is my super deep sleeper, and something tells me he’ll have a pretty strong showing if he doesn’t hurt himself waddling around first or sliding into the ocean.
  • Just missed: These players didn’t make the cut because I didn’t like them. In no particular order: Adrian Gonzalez, Joe Mauer, Tommy Joseph, CJ Cron, Chris Carter, Lucas Duda, Steve Pearce. They all suck, okay? But if I have to draft one, it’d be Mauer. He’s Joe Mauer. He’s fine. He’s going so late (or never) in drafts, that I actually find myself taking him sometimes. I think he’s undervalued on a Twins team that should feature an improved lineup, and I actually swapped him out for Bird at the last second before posting this.

How’d I do? Got beef with some of my choices? Tell me how stupid I am in the comments or @KoryRoundsThird on Twitter. As always, please subscribe to the Rounding Third podcast on iTunes.