Extremely Early 2017 Rankings: Top 10 First Basemen

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Obviously there are a lot of things that are going to change between today and when we complete our fantasy drafts, whether it’s free agent signings, trades or just a reevaluation of a player and his potential upside.  That said it’s never too early to start preparing for the coming year, is it?  Keep in mind that these rankings are going to be changed (something we can say without a shadow of a doubt), but let’s take a first glimpse at our extremely early 2017 first base rankings (keep in mind these will also be expanded as we grow closer to draft day as well):

1. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
3. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
4. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
5. Edwin Encarnacion – Free Agent
6. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
7. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
8. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
9. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
10. Wil Myers – San Diego Padres

Just Missed – Daniel Murphy & Hanley Ramirez

Thoughts:

  • It was obviously a breakout campaign for Freddie Freeman, who not only hit for average (.302) but finally developed his power stroke (34 HR).  The addition of Matt Kemp is going to help give him support in the lineup and his power was consistent all year (though how it will play in Atlanta’s new ballpark remains to be seen).  The biggest concern is the potential for a rise in his strikeout rate (14.1% SwStr%), but at 27-years old and coming off a career year there’s reason to believe that another great campaign is coming.
  • For many 2016 was a disappointing year for Jose Abreu, and that was because of his inconsistent performance throughout the season.  At the end of the day he hit .293 with 25 HR and 100 RBI, and we all know what he’s capable of.  We’ll dive deeper into him later in the offseason, but don’t make the mistake of overlooking him on draft day.
  • Matt Carpenter backed up his 2015 breakout with another strong season (.271, 21 HR, 68 RBI, 81 R over 566 PA).  Injuries helped to limit his numbers, but with the power still there, an elevated line drive rate once again (26.2%) and maybe most importantly positional flexibility, the value will be there.
  • When moving to San Diego we are supposed to see your power take a hit, aren’t we?  Instead Wil Myers put up an impressive 28 HR/28 SB campaign (with 18 HR coming at home).  There was a significant second half swoon, which has to raise some red flags, but his potential contribution across the board is for real.  He’s another player we will spotlight as the offseason progresses.

Source – Fangraphs 

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2 comments

  1. CJ says:

    I’m pretty surprised Carlos Santana didn’t make your top 12. He finished 7th among 1st Basemen in standard format last year. He leads off for a lineup that should be even better next year with Brantley’s return.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      He didn’t miss by much, the problem is his average potential. It’s just not there at this point and at a deep position it’s going to suppress his ranking

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