2020 Rankings: Updated Top 15 First Basemen: Intriguing Buying Options, Freeman Moves Back Up & More

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With the 2020 season seemingly set to get underway we need to revisit our rankings, as things have dramatically changed since March.  The addition of the DH in the National League, players opting out and others getting diagnosed with COVID-19 (and the unknown about their status) are just some of the obstacles fantasy owners are facing.  Let’s take a look at how things currently look, but keep in mind that things can change quickly:

  1. Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
  2. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  3. Pete Alonso – New York Mets
  4. Matt Olson – Oakland A’s
  5. Josh Bell – Pittsburgh Pirates
  6. Max Muncy – Los Angeles Dodgers
  7. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  8. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
  9. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
  10. Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
  11. Edwin Encarnacion – Chicago White Sox
  12. Daniel Murphy – Colorado Rockies
  13. D.J. LeMahieu – New York Yankees
  14. Danny Santana – Texas Rangers
  15. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians

Notes:

  • Obviously the big news is that Freddie Freeman has joined the Braves after being cleared of COVID-19 and hasn’t been ruled out for Opening Day.  Even if he’s not ready, it appears that he’ll only miss a handful of games.  Given that news he has to rebound in his ranking and reclaim his spot as the second best first baseman in the game.
  • The Yankees’ D.J. LeMahieu is in a similar spot to Freeman, having rejoined the Yankees after clearing COVID-19 protocols.  Whether or not he’s able to get ready for Opening Day remains unclear, but he won’t miss much time and therefore gets a small boost in the rankings (he moved up from #15 in our original run for the 60-game campaign).
  • While Max Muncy’s status for Opening Day was slightly in question after a bruised finger kept him out, that no longer appears to be a concern.  Don’t alter your opinion of him.
  • As we noted previously, the addition of the DH should help Daniel Murphy to stay in the lineup for the bulk of the season.  While he struggled in his first year in Colorado (.279 with 13 HR), he should see an improvement in his power while continuing to take advantage of the vast expanses of Coors Field (he hit .317 at home in ’19).
  • Clearly we believe in Josh Bell, despite his struggles in the second half of ’19 (.233 with 10 HR).  Considering that during those struggles he was plagued by a .241 BABIP (his 38.4% Hard% was down from the first half, but still supported a better mark, and he also used the entire field) and still showed a strong approach (10.5% SwStr%, 28.9% O-Swing%), there shouldn’t be much concern.  He may not be as good as his first half numbers, but he’s significantly better than the second.

Sources – Fangraphs, MLB.com

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

PositionLast Updated
Catchers07/06/20
First Basemen07/20/20
Second Basemen07/07/20
Third Basemen07/08/20
Shortstops07/10/20
Outfielders07/13/20
Starting Pitchers07/14/20
Relief Pitchers07/12/20

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