by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)
First base is not a position we think about when we think about top prospects, which is why you will only find one “true” prospect in the Top 20. Greg Bird had an opportunity to find a spot at the back of the rankings, but his season ending injury will cost him a year of development and takes him out of the mix. Who should dynasty league owners be targeting? Who loses value based on the dynasty aspect? Let’s take a look at how the rankings currently:
1) Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks (28-years old)
2) Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs (26-years old)
3) Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox (28-years old)
4) Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (32-years old)
5) Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds (32-years old)
6) Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays (33-years old)
7) Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves (26-years old)
8) Eric Hosmer – Kansas City Royals (26-years old)
9) Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles (30-years old)
10) A.J. Reed – Houston Astros (22-years old)
11) Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers (31-years old)
12) Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers (33-years old)
13) Byung-ho Park – Minnesota Twins (29-years old)
14) Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians (29-years old)
15) Brandon Belt – San Francisco Giants (27-years old)
16) Lucas Duda – New York Mets (30-years old)
17) Mark Trumbo – Baltimore Orioles (30-years old)
18) Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels (36-years old)
19) C.J. Cron – Los Angeles Angels (26-years old)
20) Mitch Moreland – Texas Rangers (30-years old)
- It may seem odd to have Miguel Cabrera ranked outside the Top 3, but given his age, injury plagued ’15 (119 games) and recent drop in power (43 total home runs over the past two seasons) there is reason to be at least a little bit skeptical about his long-term outlook. That’s not to say that he isn’t still one of the elite hitters in the game, but we also can’t overlook the potential production that players like Anthony Rizzo and Jose Abreu bring to the table over the next 5+ seasons.
- Long-term there is still a lot to like about Freddie Freeman, despite the lack of support around him helping to suppress his value in ’16. It’s an interesting debate between him and Eric Hosmer, though Freeman’s additional power upside helps to give him in the edge.
- How many more productive seasons do players like Adrian Gonzalez, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols have left? How do we value the short-term value as compared to someone like A.J. Reed, who could be a superstar for the next 10 seasons? It’s an interesting balancing act for dynasty league owners, but given the depth at the position we’d much rather take the long-term gamble and look to plug the hole short-term (i.e. pair Reed with someone like Lucas Duda or Mark Trumbo, whose production could even out produce the veteran options this season).
- There is reason to be optimistic about Brandon Belt, but there also is reason to be concerned after his 2015 season was cut short due to a concussion. If he can fully recover he’s going to be a valuable option, with the potential to be a consistent .280 hitter with developing 20+ HR power.
- Surprised to see Mark Trumbo included on this list? You shouldn’t be, now that he’s in Baltimore (though the biggest issue could be maintaining eligibility at 1B as Chris Davis could see the bulk of the time there). To take a look at our outlook of Trumbo click here.
*** Want a chance to win a Noah Syndergaard autographed baseball, complete with a “Thor” inscription? Find out how by clicking here!! ***
Make sure to check out all of our 2016 rankings: