by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
First base remains one of the deepest positions in all of fantasy sports. While none of the names left out of our top 15 will necessarily blow you away, the omission of players like Mark Trumbo, Lucas Duda and Brandon Belt shows just how many viable options there. Knowing that those players fell short, who made the cut? Were there any surprises? Are there players who are likely being overvalued? Let’s take a look:
1. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
3. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
4. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
5. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
6. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
7. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
8. Eric Hosmer – Kansas City Royals
9. Chris Davis – Free Agent
10. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
11. Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
12. Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers
13. Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels
14. Byung-ho Park – Minnesota Twins
15. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
- Despite a dropoff in his average in the second half (.298 to .255), it’s hard to argue against Anthony Rizzo as one of the elite options in the league at this point. Not only did he prove that his power is for real (31 HR to go along with 38 doubles and 3 triples), he also chipped in 17 SB. With 30/10 a very realistic expectation and a good chance that his overall .278 average is for real with the upside for more (21.8% line drive rate, .289 BABIP), what’s not to like?
- Eric Hosmer is finally showing signs, and the potential is there for him to add more power (271.826 average distance on non-groundballs). If he could ever reduce his groundball rate (52.2% in ’15), the upside is there to hit for a strong average and 25+ HR. Slotting in the middle of the Royals lineup and now 26-years old, this could be the season where he finally lives up to the hype. He’s certainly a player that’s worth buying, assuming the price is right.
- The group of Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez and Albert Pujols all fall into the same tier, as they are productive veterans who are likely on the downside of their career. They each carry their own risk, but they also should be able to produce. While there are “sexier” names, don’t underestimate what they can bring to the table. We certainly aren’t targeting them, but they could provide value on draft day.
- It’s going to be interesting to see what Byung-ho Park can do in his first season in Minnesota. He’s obviously not going to match the 50+ HR campaigns he posted in the KBO and there also is the risk that he strikes out a ton. Still, after Jung-Ho Kang had a successful transition a year ago at least a little bit of the concern is alleviated. A 22-26 HR campaign is a fair expectation, and the potential is there for him to chip in even more power than that.
- Will Chris Davis ultimately return to Baltimore? Time will tell, but his landing spot will obviously impact his spot on these rankings at least a little bit.
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