2014 Rest of Season Rankings: Top 20 First Basemen

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

With the All-Star game closing in, now is the perfect time to start looking at our updated Rest of Season rankings. Who’s worth buying? Who isn’t? Let’s take a look (the number in parenthesis was the players preseason ranking):

1) Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (NR)
2) Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks (1)
3) Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves (4)
4) Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox (15)
5) Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs (9)
6) Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays (3)
7) Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles (2)
8) Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels (10)
9) Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers (7)
10) Brandon Moss – Oakland A’s (27)
11) Victor Martinez – Detroit Tigers (NR)
12) Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants (8)
13) Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds (5)
14) Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians (12)
15) Mark Teixeiera – New York Yankees (18)
16) Justin Morneau – Colorado Rockies (21)
17) Adam LaRoche – Washington Nationals (23)
18) Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants (14)
19) Michael Morse – San Francisco Giants (NR)
20) Eric Hosmer – Kansas City Royals (11)

Thoughts:

  • Edwin Encarnacion has hit the DL with a strained oblique and is going to miss a few weeks.  That’s going to limit his potential value, though it obviously doesn’t eliminate it.
  • We all know what Jose Abreu has done thus far, but does anyone believe that he can maintain a 34.2% HR/FB?  He’s destined to regress, at least a little bit, and already is striking out a decent amount.  Obviously he’s going to remain one of the best options in the league, but he’s likely going to fall a little bit leading to keeping him outside the Top 3.
  • Speaking of regressions, Victor Martinez with an 18.1% HR/FB?  Even during his best seasons he never approached that type of mark, so while he’s going to continue to hit for a strong average there’s a very good reason to think that the power is going to slow down.
  • Obviously Votto has been a significant disappointment thus far and is now headed back to the DL for a strained oblique.  Given the injury, as well as the continued increased walk rate (which seems like a good thing, but he’s taken it to a whole new level) and drop in power, there are ample reasons to be concerned for the remainder of 2014.  In fact, even if healthy, there’s a good chance he’s viewed as someone who is not a Top 5 option from this point forward.
  • Mark Texeira has hit the ball hard (23.7% line drive rate) and has a solid strikeout rate (18.9%), yet he’s still hitting just .243.  The problem has been a terrible BABIP, at .246, a number that seems appeared destined to improve going forward (especially with a fly ball rate, at 37.6%, which is back in check).  While he’s not the player that he once was, he has a good chance to be a viable option moving forward.  We’ll take a closer look at him shortly.

Source – Fangraphs

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9 comments

  1. Bryan says:

    The Cubs clearinghouse approach to the season has to have an effect on a young player (Rizzo) use to winning, driven by winning and probably somewhat motivated by winning. With that said, he could be elite on a good, contending team. To say #5 on the Cubs is saying a lot about his potential.

    • Marky Mark says:

      When exactly was Rizzo used to winning? Every major league team he’s been on has had a sub-500 record….even his last two years in AAA he was on a sub-500 team. He’s not remotely used to winning.

  2. Mike says:

    I was surprised you omitted Matt Adams…is there an underlying number/issue that should be a cause for concern with him? I have him and LaRoche and thought Adams would perform better in the second half.

    Thanks for the updated rankings…they are very helpful.

    • Nick says:

      I was wondering the same. He’s been great since coming off the DL.

    • BB says:

      Also wondering this. I know that 1B is deep but I was a bit surprised he’s behind Morse and Hosmer and Teixeira. Maybe it is the fact that he has like single-digit walks in several hundred plate appearances?!?! I have been hopeful that he is just one of those outliers who can sustain a .300+ average with power despite never taking a walk, but I can def see the other side of that argument…

  3. daTruth says:

    Where’s Matt Adams? You can’t really think he’s less than top 20, do you?

  4. Rotoprofessor says:

    Re: Matt Adams. He was right there and, on second thought, maybe he should’ve been included at the bottom of this list. Part of it is due to an inflated BABIP (.377), which will regress. However, if he does improve his power he should help to offset that.

    As I said, he’s right there with those other guys and when we update these rankings he likely will jump into it.

  5. CJ says:

    I already clinched playoff berth and am leader in points, so things were looking great. Until Goldschmidt went down of course. I quickly picked up Allen Craig but Belt is available as well. Thoughts on either guy?

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      With Belt healthy again, I’d lean with him. Craig has upside, but it’s been such a lost season it’s tough to trust him.

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