2020 Rankings: Top 15 First Basemen (Where To Rank The 2019 Breakouts, Any Surprises? & More)

0
4186

Spring Training is upon us, and that means it’s time to ramp up our preparation for our 2020 Fantasy Baseball Drafts. Let’s keep our “official” rankings on the site rolling, with even deeper rankings and more in-depth analysis available via our draft guide (click here for information on ordering the guide for just $8.25), with the Top 15 First Basemen. Who are the players worth targeting? Who could surprise? Who is destined to disappoint?

Let’s answer all of these questions and more as we get to the rankings:

RankPlayerTeamQuick Thoughts
1)Cody BellingerLos Angeles DodgersWho is the real Cody Bellinger? Is he closer to the player who hit .336 with 30 HR in the first half or .261 with 17 HR in the second? The truth likely lies in between, though that's still more than enough to be one of the elite (especially with Mookie Betts now hitting ahead of him).
2) Freddie FreemanAtlanta BravesLong one of the elite in the game, Freeman erupted in '19 as he hit .295 with 38 HR, 121 RBI and 113 R. Whether or not he can maintain the power is the question.
3) Peter AlonsoNew York MetsIt was a rookie season for the ages, setting the single season record with 53 HR. He did regress in the second half, though his overall approach was fairly consistent. If he can maintain closer to the 24.5% strikeout rate from the first half, a believable mark, he's a .260 hitter with unlimited power.
4) Matt OlsonOakland AthleticsThere were questions entering the season, with a wrist injury potentially zapping him of his power. Instead he slugged 36 HR over 547 PA and could take another step forward assuming he improves his production against LHP.
5) Josh BellPittsburgh PiratesIt's easy to look at his second half regression and dub him a player to ignore, but he maintained his approach and a .241 BABIP speaks to poor luck more than anything.
6) Paul GoldschmidtSt. Louis CardinalsThe overall results weren't bad, though a big July helped to change the narrative. It easily could've been more of an adjustment to his new team than anything, so don't downgrade him significantly.
7)Max MuncyLos Angeles DodgersThose who believed that 2018 was an aberration were quickly proven wrong and the positional flexibility along with his ability to produce against both RHP and LHP adds to the appeal.
8)Jose AbreuChicago White SoxHe ultimately returns to Chicago where he fits into the middle of an improving lineup. There are questions about his approach (37.3% O-Swing%), though that's inline with what he's done throughout his career so it's not a major red flag.
9)Trey ManciniBaltimore OriolesMancini broke out in '19, hitting .291 with 35 HR, 97 RBI and 106 R, as he started putting fewer balls in the air. There will be questions about his performance against non-fastballs (2 HR) and his approach, but even with a regression there's a lot to like.
10)Anthony RizzoChicago CubsWhile power around the game spiked, Rizzo hit .293 with 27 HR. As a first baseman, a second straight sub-30 HR campaign is concerning. The fact is he may no longer be among the elite.
11)Rhys HoskinsPhiladelphia PhilliesIt was a disappointing season for Hoskins, hitting .226 with 29 HR. The underlying metrics do scream of a low batting average, though better than this (.218 BABIP in the second half). Maybe he's not Top 5 at the position, but he's better than this and could emerge as a strong buy low candidate.
12)Edwin EncarnacionChicago White SoxEncarnacion may no longer produce a solid average, but the power is obvious. Putting that in Chicago, with an improving lineup, should allow him to produce a 35/100 campaign.
13)Yulieski GurrielHouston AstrosNo one has questioned his ability to hit, but the emergence of his power (31 HR) was surprising. There was a split in his production, with his 11.7% HR/FB, which produced 14 HR, could be closer to reality.
14)D.J. LeMahieuNew York YankeesWho would've thought getting out of Coors Field would lead to a spike in production (.327, 26 HR, 102 RBI, 109 R)? Keep in mind that he hit 7 HR on the road and a 26.2% fly ball rate hints towards a regression.
15)Danny SantanaTexas RangersMaybe he's not the .283 hitter he was in '19, though he also produced 28 HR and 21 SB as he took advantage of an opportunity. He needs to improve his approach if there's any reason to believe that he can replicate the success, but if he does there's a lot to like.

Sources – Fangraphs, Brooks Baseball

Make sure to check out all of our 2020 preseason rankings:

PositionLast Updated
Catchers02/10/20
First Basemen02/13/20
Second Basemen02/18/20
Third Basemen02/21/20
Shortstops02/24/20
Outfielders03/06/20
Starting Pitchers03/09/20
Relief Pitchers03/03/20

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here