Arguably the most undervalued position in baseball, the first baseman must always have one steady, swooping, reaching or teaching glove in order to secure that coveted out. But of course we are talking fantasy here, defense doesn’t matter! What matters is points because points propel you to victory. Listed below are my top 10 first basemen for this upcoming season.
10. Miguel Cabrera- Detroit Tigers
2017:.249/.329/.399 16 HR 60 RBIs 50 R
I understand your worry and even your confusion as to why I put Miggy on the list after his previous year which was marred with injury. From two herniated discs, Miggy is coming back from quite a bit as well as the fact that he is going to be 34 entering this season, he’ll be 35 after the first month of the season. So why should you draft Cabrera if you’ve missed out on these first 9? After such a crap year, can he recover? My answer? Absolutley. He got several years on his contract and last year is basically a blister on what has been a stunning career. Trust not only me, but your killer instincts as well and pick up this star.
9. Rhys Hoskins- Philadelphia Phillies
2017: .259/.396/.618 18 HR 48 RBIs 37 R
I know the average is rather scary looking but with most power hitters its what you’re going to get. This man is a massive points producer and he hasn’t missed a beat since coming up. Also hitting in the NL East, where he’s going to play the Braves, Marlins, whoever shows up on the mound for the Mets, Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg (again if he’s healthy). Expect this stud to cream his divison. If you’re not convinced, those stats just below his photo only too him 50 games to compile. Yeah you should pick this guy up and thank me in October when you win your league
8. Eric Hosmer- San Diego Padres
2017: .318/.385/.498 25 HR 94 RBIs 98 R
Hosmer is a mere 28 years old heading into a new team in the San Diego Padres. He probably has new individual goals as well as he moves onto the next stage of his life. Last year, he was 2nd in average and 5th in on base percentage among first basemen. Hosmer will easily surpass his season totals from last year and he could be even higher on the list if not for one thing. With all these positives comes a negative and that is the division he plays in. What scares me personally is that Hosmer is in for a rude awakening. Surely he’ll have to face Kershaw, Greinke, Baumgarner, Wood and Gray just to name a few in his division. Another downfall is that he is on the only team in his division not competing for either a playoff spot or a title. The Padres will be a laughingstock in a division full of up and coming or hyper competitive teams. Hosmer will have an amazing year, but not without some speed bumps.
7. Edwin Encarnacion- Cleveland Indians
2017: .258/.377/.504 38 HR 107 RBIs 96 R
Remember when we all thought it was a big deal when a player got over 100 RBIs? Well with the division he plays in and with having teammates like Francisco Lindor and Michael Brantley usually on base before he hits the plate, Edwing makes it easy. Matter of fact easy doesn’t cut it, I’d rather call it childs play. There’s no reason why he won’t repeat his stat line this season. His only weakness is the strikeout, as he got 133 last year, but his killer stats should make up for it. With Ramirez usually batting behind him there’s a good chance you’ll get a point off Edwin touching home. Those points matter, and picking up Edwin will make a massive difference.
6. Jose Abreu- Chicago White Sox
2017: .304/.354/.552 33 HR 102 RBIs 95 R
Abreu had an incredibly productive 2017 as he was ranked 5th in batting average, 2nd in hits and 6th in slugging percentage among first basemen. These stats alone tell me that Abreu is fairly consistent and he can hit for power. Some games he’ll get 1 point, some games he’ll get 5 or even 8+. Either way expect him to get at least a hit or walk per game. If he doesn’t hit bombs every waking second, you can depend on his consistency. Don’t make the mistake of taking consistency for granted. Pick up Abreu if he’s still on the board.
5. Cody Bellinger- Los Angeles Dodgers
2017: .267/.352/.581 39 HR 97 RBIs 87 R
With the beginning of this top 5, you really can’t go wrong with drafting any of these guys, especially Bellinger, who I like to call the Mohammed Salah of the MLB. For those who don’t watch the Premier League (highly recommend it) Salah is the 5’8 Egyptian speed demon for Liverpool F.C is just tearing the Premier League in half and the English still haven’t figured him out. His ability to utilize his quickness to find space and to pull the ball from his right wing position to cut it inside to his dominant left footis simply unstoppable. A left legged shot from Salah is like a 3 pointer from Stephen Curry, a guaranteed positive result. So why am I comparing Bellinger to Salah? Bellinger is ripping the MLB and I doubt they stop him this year. The sweet spot for Bellinger is down and in. The inside pea at the knee to Bellinger is another word for home run. What is a strikeout pitch for most major leaguers is cake for Cody. Just one glorious uppercut swing can send that ball screaming. As long as the MLB can’t figure him out, expect Bellinger to improve this year.
4. Freddie Freeman- Atlanta Braves
2017: .307/.403/.586 28 HR 71 RBIs 84 R
As you may recall, Freeman suffered a left wrist injury in mid May that ended up bothering him through the rest of the season. The stats accumulated here came only after 117 games played. Now his wrist is 100% and his new ballpark caters to left handed hitting, Freeman’s ceiling has just turned up a notch. He’s also batting in the NL East and is entering the prime of his career. Not much else to explain here, if you see him on the board, you need to get him.
3. Anthony Rizzo- Chicago Cubs
2017: .273/.392/.507 32 HR 109 RBIs 99 R
I’m giving Tony the very slight edge over Freddie Freeman. Even with my Cubs bias I found this race to be incredibly close. Freeman will have the better average but Rizzo will have more runs and RBIs simply because the Cubs are better than the Braves. Lets also not forget the toughest pitcher that’s not a Cub in the NL Central is probably Chase Anderson for the Brewers. Facing the NL Central for half a year will boost anyone’s stats. Rizzo is a possible first round early second round pick. Don’t be surprised to see a career year from him.
2. Joey Votto- Cincinnati Reds
2017: .320/.454/.578 36 HR 100 RBIs 106 R
Alright lets see, there’s perfect vision, like 20/20 vision right? Yeah that’s nothing compared to Joey Votto vision. Another fantastic year and he shows zero signs of slowing down. Another gem that doesn’t need much explanation, if you see him, you gotta pick him up. Probably the definition of consistent I don’t know why you wouldn’t at least think about drafting him.
1. Paul Goldschmidt- Arizona Diamondbacks
2017: .297/.404/.563 36 HR 120 RBIs 117 R
Don’t be surprised when this guy either wins the MVP or comes remotely close to winning it. If that average is over .300 and those numbers either stay the same or get better, I wouldn’t be surprised if he wins NL MVP. One of my favorites to win the award all Paul can do is hit and hit like a machine. If you’re lucky enough to be the first overall pick, it’s either Paul, Trout or Altuve. Can’t go wrong with either or.
Speaking of Altuve, wonder what position he’ll be in while I count down the top 10 2B’s for this upcoming season. Be sure to follow me on Twitter for all the latest blog updates @ufblogg_lijoi