Fantasy Baseball Rankings: 1st Basemen

Continuing my series of fantasy baseball rankings with the 1st basemen:

1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis – He transcends the game and now has a firm grip on the #1 overall spot. Imagine if he hadn’t lost 19 games on his 2006 campaign.

2. Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs – There is no reason to think that Lee won’t return to his 05 dominance as he is back to 100% health after an early season wrist injury sapped most of his 06 season. The double-digit steals are an added bonus to the immense power and high AVG. Wrist injury scare and low 06 output makes Lee a bargain

3. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies – Burst onto the scene with an incredible season that saw him lead the majors with 58 HR. For those that like to see late success hoping to be carried into the following season, Howard posted his best single-month OPS at 1.324 in September with nine HR and 20 RBI while drawing five more walks than strikeouts.

4. Mark Teixeira, Texas Rangers – After posting three straight power games from 03-05, Big Tex’s stock reached its apex, but he was uable to fully deliver with just nine HR before the break. His 2nd half resurgence back-to-back nine HR months in August and September. When a down year still nets .282-33-110, you know you’re dealing with someone special. Look for a full-season return to excellence from Teixeira in 07.

5. Lance Berkman, Houston Astros – Berkman was hot on the heels of Pujols and Howard for first base supremacy in 06 with career highs in HR (45) and RBI (136). Carlos Lee joins the mix in Houston to offer some help meaning more of the same for Berkman in 07. He is among the best in OBP as well, posting a .428 in the past three seasons. At times underrated, Berkman is easily one of the best available hitters in the game.

6. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins – So what does an MVP season earn you? How about the 6th rank amongst your peers? Morneau started off painfully slow, but kicked it into 5th gear over the summer propelling him to the top honors in the American League. His lack of precedent combined with his modest HR output (by comparison) slot him here.

7. Jason Giambi, New York Yankees – Showed that his 05 comeback was legit, but that the AVG is in fact gone for good. He is as good anyone in OBP leagues, but the liability in AVG makes his power costly. A full season should net 45-120 in that lineup.

8. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox – Having strung together three straight excellent seasons, Konerko has become a bankable commodity in the fantasy world. He also holds a three-year uptrend in AVG topping out at .313 last year.

9. Carlos Delgado, New York Mets – Though 34, Delgado remains a fruitful power source as part of perhaps baseball’s best lineup. Peripherals point to an AVG rebound in 07, while 30+ HR remain a lock.

10. Richie Sexson, Seattle Mariners – If you don’t know what to expect out of Sexson by now, you simply haven’t been paying attention. His big power/low average combination is a fantasy guarantee at this stage, but his upside of 40+ HR makes him a nice consolation prize if you wait out the first basemen run in your league.

11. Nick Swisher, Oakland A’s – Cooled considerably in 2nd half of 06, but still delivered 35 HR. Low AVG a staple in his first two seasons, but OBP remains a strong suit as he continues to develop. Still plenty of room for growth with Swisher, plus he chips in the added OF eligibility.

12. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers – Fantastic rookie year building hopes of an even greater sophomore campaign in 07. Struggles against lefties kept the average down, but middling AVG offset by chip-in offering of seven SB.

13. Nomar Garciaparra, Los Angeles Dodgers – He remains a massive gamble until he can establish any credibility in the health department. His skill set is still intact as evidenced by a remarkable first half, but nagging injuries crushed the AVG in the second half. Missing 40 games limited what could have been an excellent overall season. Buy insurance.

14. Adam LaRoche, Pittsburgh Pirates – His reward for a breakout season? Being shipped to Pittsburgh in the offseason! Nevertheless, he should continue to build on an impressive 06 campaign with Jason Bay & Co. in the Steel City.

15. Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies – Oh how the mighty have fallen. Four straight seasons of decreasing power make Helton little more than an impressive AVG/OBP. Even the RBI totals are lackluster.

16. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres – Excellent 2nd half triggered his coming out party in 06, but all signs point to continued growth with another .300 AVG in the cards as well. Not your typical power source, but still very adequate especially considering the home park.

17. Nick Johnson, Washington Nationals – His skills were finally the story of his season as opposed to the ever-present health problems. A three-year increase in games played is promising, but now the lack of any help whatsoever put Johnson’s draft stock in jeopardy. His upside could deliver a 30 HR season, but it might include only 80 RBI on that team.

18. Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays – Three-year uptrend in HR and a career-high 92 RBI for the first year American Leaguer. Benefited greatly from his home park hitting 77% of his 22 home runs there. Like Gonzalez, not a prototypical 1B by any stretch, but gets the job done in a pinch.

19. Mike Jacobs, Florida Marlins – Though obliterated by lefties to the tune of .182, Jacobs delivered exactly where 1B are supposed to, power. His 20 HR puts him near the top of his tier of 1B you don’t mind owning provided you three excellent OF or a ridiculously strong 2B-SS-3B combo.

20. Conor Jackson, Arizona Diamondbacks – Though more of an investment, Jackson still offers a friendly AVG with some power capability for right now as well. A .300 AVG-25 HR seems likely in 08 and/or 09, but it isn’t out of the realm of possibilities for 07.

21. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox – The Greek God of OBP lived up to his name, but that was about it in 07. It’s not that he put together a bad season, but rather just not one you could confidently place at 1B day in and day out.

22. Ryan Shealy, Kansas City Royals – Plenty of power combined with plenty of playing time marks a power sleeper here. Huge strikeout numbers (50 in 193 AB) and abysmal ballclub temper expectations.

23. Ryan Garko, Cleveland Indians – Labeled a sleeper so many times already this spring that there is no way that he will actually remain one come draft day, but he possesses a promising skillset as evidenced by his 06 cup of coffee.

24. Shea Hillenbrand, Los Angeles Angels – Followed blazing hot 1st half with an equally ice cold 2nd half that included a trade out of Toronto. He joins his fifth team in 07 as a surefire .285-20-80 with 3B eligibility mixed in for good measure. You can do worse than Hillenbrand.

25. Rich Aurilia, San Francisco Giants – Is in the throes of a three-year power uptrend despite being 35 years old. Slated to start the season as 1B in SF, where all the magic began back in 1999. True value lies in 3B and SS eligibility.

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8 Responses to “Fantasy Baseball Rankings: 1st Basemen”

  1. As a far-away (Netherlands) Minnesota Twins fan, I am always looking for new sites with Twins news.
    I hope that Morneau and Mauer stays healthy all season.

  2. Merci pour cette article, un info utile merci ,

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