by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor):
While there were ample disappointments in 2014, first base remains the deepest position for fantasy owners. Just looking at the names who fell short, at least for now, from our Top 15 rankings tells us. Let’s take a look at how our initial rankings look, but keep in mind that there are likely going to be significant changes as the offseason progresses:
1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
2. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
3. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
4. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
5. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
6. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
7.Victor Martinez – Free Agent
8. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
9. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
10. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
11. Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
12. Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
13. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
14. Todd Frazier – Cincinnati Reds
15. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Can Joey Votto and/or Prince Fielder rebound off injury plagued seasons? The idea of those two, who have been perennial Top 5 options, being borderline Top 10 choices may be the most telling thing for the position. We’ll take a closer look at their outlook in the coming weeks, but despite this initial ranking I’d actually rather take the gamble on Fielder over Votto.
- We all know that Victor Martinez posted an amazing 2014 campaign but can he replicate it? Where he signs as a free agent may ultimately determine that likelihood (though chances are there’s at least a small regression).
- Chris Davis was a bitter disappointment in 2014 (.196, 26 HR), but a lot of his problems were luck based. He didn’t get homer happy with his approach, yet struggled to a .242 BABIP despite a 24.6% line drive rate. With health not being a concern (though there was the late season suspension), I’d rather take the gamble on him as opposed to some of the injury risks (notably Fielder, who could be a similar player). That’ll be an interesting comparison at some point later in the offseason.
- There was a time when Todd Frazier was viewed as nothing more than a role player with little upside. Then 2014 came and he produced 29 HR and 20 SB, changing all outlooks or him. There are some small reasons to be concerned, and chances of him replicating that success is unlikely, but he’s going to be a viable option in all formats.
- Does Albert Pujols have anything left in the tank? It’s something we are going to be addressing, but the one thing that’s obvious is that he’s not the same player that he once was.
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