2013 Rankings: Top 15 First Basemen

First base has always been the deepest position in fantasy baseball, and that hasn’t changed for 2013.  It’s impossible to cram all of the viable options into just 15 spots, so keep that in mind as you look at this list.  Just because someone isn’t listed doesn’t mean they hold no value, it just goes to show the depth the position has to offer.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the Top 15 first baseman for 2013:

  1. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  2. Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
  3. Prince Fielder – Detroit Tigers
  4. Billy Butler – Kansas City Royals
  5. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
  6. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
  7. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
  8. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
  9. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
  10. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
  11. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
  12. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
  13. Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals
  14. Joe Mauer – Minnesota Twins
  15. Ike Davis – New York Mets

Thoughts:

  • While Buster Posey, Carlos Santana & Joe Mauer are all included here (and do have 1B eligibility), they are all obviously significantly more valuable as catchers.  I wouldn’t even consider using them at first base (the next three on the list, who would complete the Top 15 without them, are Corey Hart, Eric Hosmer & Paul Konerko).
  • Billy Butler has shown the potential to be one of the top offensive forces in the league for a few years.  Finally, in 2012, he realized that potential by hitting .313 (the third time in four seasons he has been above .300) with 29 HR and 107 RBI.  If the power is for real (and an improvement in his 28.8% flyball rate back to his career mark of 33.4% would help), there’s no reason to think he can’t sustain it.  The one knock may be his runs scored, but if the pieces around him improve (i.e. Hosmer and Mike Moustakas) as they should, that should fix itself.  To view our 2013 projection for Butler, click here.
  • Along with Butler, there is a new class of 1B that is quickly taking over baseball.  Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo & Freddie Freeman all have the potential to emerge as Top 5 options as soon as 2013.
  • Is there something to Adrian Gonzalez’ lack of power in 2012 and him having played in Fenway Park?  Considering he hit 92 doubles between ’11 & ’12, there very well could be.  It’s something to watch, but there is no reason to avoid him heading into 2013.
  • Speaking of veterans to avoid, that leads us to Mark Teixeira…  While you shouldn’t avoid him, it’s clear that his stock has taken a significant hit in recent years as he has become more of a liability in the average department.  If you miss out on the upper-echelon he is still worth grabbing, just make sure you don’t overpay to get him based on his name.  There are ample options you should be able to get at a much lower cost.
  • Why is Ike Davis included in this list and Eric Hosmer isn’t?  Davis’ significant advantage in the power department gave him an edge, but read our full review by clicking here.

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Make sure to check out our extremely early 2013 rankings (all of which will be updated in the next few weeks):

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12 comments

  1. foolintherain says:

    Curious as to your thoughts on Adam LaRoche, and what kind of option you think he could be.

  2. KB says:

    Glad to see Votto #1. I own him in a long-term keeper and have been bummed to see him fall to #3 in most rankings.

    • Marky Mark says:

      I’ve got Votto and Butler locking down 1B and Util in my H2H keeper league. Hoping for 1300 PA’s combined, and if I get that, everything else should take care of itself.

  3. Jeff says:

    Why so low on E5…below Freeman? Just dont see it.

    • jmax says:

      Agreed. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t hit 30 bombs. With the 3 guys infront of him 100 RBI’s should be attainable. We’ve also been given a large sample size as to what he’s capable of. I think on the low end you’ll see him as the 10th best

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    foolintherain – I have LaRoche just outside the Top 20, which isn’t necessarily awful considering the 1B depth this season. I do think the power comes down slightly, but .270/25-29/85-95 should be realistic expectations for him this season. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    Jeff- I do think Encarnacion is going to hit over 30 HR, my concern is with his average though. He doesn’t hit the ball with consistent authority (has been 17.6% or lower in four of the past five seasons) and is a fly ball machine (49.5% in ’12), which isn’t conducive to big BABIPs. Even with 30+ HR, if he’s going to hit under .270 (which is very real), he is going to take a step down to some other options who can hit for 25+ HR with averages close to .300.

  5. carlito says:

    u dont think hosmer rebounds huh? i still think he has higher upside then freeman and rizzo.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I am actually a full believer in Hosmer rebounding and being signficantly better in ’13. The problem is, I am not sure he can hit for enough power, given his 29.7% groundball rate over the past two seasons. If he is only going to hit around 20 HR, even with the 10+ SB, he needs to hit for a .300+ average to be a viable fantasy 1B.

      Freeman/Rizzo both offer the average and potential to hit over 30 HR, giving them the edge.

  6. Bbboston says:

    What’s your thoughts on morales?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I like him as an option if you missed out on the top guys. He should produce a decent average (.280ish) and mid 20s power, but it’s not likely going to be much more than that.

      Given the depth at 1B, he’s more of a Top 25 option.

  7. carlito says:

    I actually just traded dunn/bauer for freeman. I have bundy in my minors and am not even sure bauer makes rotation.

    he also swapped 2nd round picks with me. i had last pick and he had 3rd

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I do like Bauer, but with some of the veteran additions it is looking more likely he opens the year in the minors. Regardless, Freeman is a great get.

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