2018 Preseason Rankings (OBP): Top 15 First Basemen: Who Are The Risers & Fallers?

by Eric Stashin (aka The Rotoprofessor)

Especially at the top there aren’t significant changes in our first base rankings when we make the change from AVG to OBP.  When you get outside the Top 10, though, there are some intriguing names who see their value rise and could be strong options flying under-the-radar.  Who are they?  How do our rankings look in general?  Let’s take a look:

1. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
3. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
4. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
5. Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
6. Jose Abreu – Chicago White Sox
7. Edwin Encarnacion – Cleveland Indians
8. Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
9. Wil Myers – San Diego Padres
10. Carlos Santana – Philadelphia Phillies
11. Matt Carpenter – St. Louis Cardinals
12. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
13. Justin Bour – Miami Marlins
14. Chris Davis – Baltimore Orioles
15. Josh Bell – Pittsburgh Pirates

Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.


  • Rhys Hoskins was one of the bigger surprises on our standard league rankings, and he actually rises into the Top 5 when we change to an OBP format. We talked about Hoskins’ plate discipline and overall appeal recently, which justifies the jump, so make sure to check it out by clicking here.
  • The biggest riser on the rankings is Chris Davis of the Orioles, which makes sense. He’s hit .221 or worse in three of the past four seasons, but he’s proven capable of drawing a significant number of walks (10.7% or better in each of the past five seasons, including an 11.6% mark in ’17).  There is a little bit of a projection, assuming the power will rebound, but a .330+ OBP with power is going to be a strong option as a corner infielder.
  • Another of the big gainers is Matt Carpenter, who is coming off a disappointing season but still carried a .384 OBP. There’s little reason to think that he won’t continue to be one of the better options in the league, regardless of format, but in OBP he could easily outproduce this ranking assuming he’s healthy.
  • Carlos Santana is going to get a lot of hype, especially with the move to Philadelphia potentially helping him see a spike in his power back into the 27+ HR range (he’s hit as many as 34 HR in a season already). The owner of a career .365 OBP (.363 in ’17) and having proven capable of producing HR/RBI/R (all of which could increase, especially if he’s slotted in the middle of the lineup), what’s not to like?

Order Rotoprofessor’s 2018 Fantasy Baseball Draft Guide for just $7.50!!  Click here for the details, but don’t miss out on the best bargain in fantasy baseball preparation.

Make sure to check out all of our 2018 Preseason Rankings:

Standard League
OBP League
First Basemen01/08/1802/09/18
Second Basemen01/15/1802/13/18
Third Basemen03/09/1803/06/18
Outfielders1-20: 03/18/18

21-40: 03/19/18
1-20: 03/12/18

Starting Pitchers1-20: 03/24/18

21-40: 03/24/18
Relief Pitchers02/12/18--


  1. chris says:

    it looks like Hoskins is going to be playing LF this year pretty much exclusively. He’ll likely get some starts at 1B (Santana can play 3B and LF and came up as a Catcher) but he’s not a full-time 1B and I wonder if that could affect his eligibility in dynasty leagues.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      In dynasty it’s possible, but the bar plays anywhere. Could argue he s more valuable as an outfielder given depth at first

  2. Bbboston says:


    In a AL only 5×5 league auction league with 8-9 keepers per year, which causes price inflation.

    Question: Smoke will be kept. Encanarcion will probably won’t be kept at last year’s price of $35. What do you think about keeping Abreau at $32? Normally I wouldn’t do that, but AL 1st base position seems to be very shallow and Abreau offers a huge plus in avg for the position, while more than holding his own in all other stats.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      I generally don’t keep players who are that expensive, but there is value there (I have Abreu valued at $36 for AL-Only formats). So it’s certainly not a bad move, depending on your alternatives

  3. Barry says:

    In a 6×6 OPS 12 team mixed league. I have the 4th pick and I have developed multiple early round strategies using Arenado or Goldschmidt as my first pick. If Altuve falls then I will go from there as I will start the Draft with a number one player in their respective position.

    My question is how concerned are you about the installation of the humidor and it’s effects on Goldschmidt and his counting stats? I’ve seen numerous articles about authors concerns and they are lowering him in their rankings to a a late first rounder or avoiding him altogether.

    • Rotoprofessor says:

      It’s a concern, obviously, but not enough for me to drop him significantly because it’s not like he’s struggled to produce on the road throughout his career. That said, if I had a choice between the two I’m going Arenado anyway

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