2016 Rankings (OBP Edition): Top 15 First Basemen

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

It’s no secret that the value of Joey Votto rises when you switch from AVG to OBP. That’s what happens when you post a 20.6% walk rate in ’15 (17.3% or better in each of the past four seasons). Who else sees their value rise, though? Who loses value thanks to the change? Let’s take a look:

1) Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
2) Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
3) Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
4) Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays
5) Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
6) Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
7) Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
8) Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
9) Eric Hosmer – Kansas City Royals
10) Prince Fielder – Texas Rangers
11) Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians
12) Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants
13) Byung-ho Park – Minnesota Twins
14) Lucas Duda – New York Mets
15) Adrian Gonzalez – Los Angeles Dodgers

Thoughts:

  • Jose Abreu saw his walk rate fall last season (from 8.2% to 5.8%), and while the split does indicate a little more upside (halves of 4.4% and 7.4%), it’s still not enough to keep him towards the top of the rankings. That’s because the walk rates of both Anthony Rizzo (11.0% or better for three straight seasons) and Edwin Encarnacion (11.4% or better for four straight seasons) remove any advantage Abreu had given his average. With similar HR/RBI/R projections, in OBP formats both leap frog him.
  • We all know that Carlos Santana, despite always viewed as a high upside average hitter, hasn’t delivered. He’s a career .245 hitter, but owns a career .365 OBP thanks to a 15.7% walk rate (never below 14.5%). That certainly helps boost him up the rankings, thanks to consistent 20+ HR power, making him a low-end starting option.
  • Is Lucas Duda the biggest 1B sleeper? For an in-depth look at his upside click here, but things look even better in OBP formats. He’s posted four straight seasons with walk rates of at least 11.1% (11.9% in ’15) and also brings the potential to hit 30+ HR.
  • If you are looking for a pure OBP option target Joe Mauer, though his lack of power keeps him far removed from these rankings.
  • Adrian Gonzalez is a “safe” option, but he also has posted single-digit walk rates for four straight seasons (helping lead to OBP of .350 or worse each year). With players like Duda and Byung-ho Park bringing more power potential, with similar OBP upside, they are simply better picks in this type of format.

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Redraft Rankings
Dynasty Rankings
OBP Rankings
CatchersCatchersCatchers
First BasemenFirst BasemenFirst Basemen
Second BasemenSecond BasemenSecond Basemen
ShortstopsShortstopsShortstops
Third BasemenThird BasemenThird Basemen
Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40Outfielders: 1-20 | 21-40
Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40Starting Pitchers: 1-20 | 21-40
Relief PitchersRelief Pitchers

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