Top 15 First Baseman for 2010: An Early Look

Last week we took a first look at the top catchers heading into 2010 (click here to view), so today we turn to what is likely the deepest position in baseball, first base.  What other position can someone hit 39 HR in just 471 AB (Carlos Pena) and not be ranked in the Top 15?  If he’s not in, let’s take a look at who made the cut (again, (keep in mind that these are going to be fluid throughout the offseason based on news, transactions and further research):

  1. Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
  3. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  4. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies
  5. Prince Fielder – Milwaukee Brewers
  6. Justin Morneau – Minnesota Twins
  7. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
  8. Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
  9. Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres
  10. Lance Berkman – Houston Astros
  11. Kendry Morales – Los Angeles Angels
  12. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  13. Derrek Lee – Chicago Cubs
  14. Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
  15. Victor Martinez – Boston Red Sox


  • When Adam Dunn is not good enough to be a starter in a shallow, 12-team league, you know you are dealing with one of the deepest positions in baseball. Since when is a nearly given 40 HR, 100 RBI season something to sneeze at? We all know that it’s his average that hurts him, since his .267 could easily fall to .220 in 2010. That sounds very similar to the concern for Carlos Pena, though he actually did hit .227 before getting injured.
  • The #2 spot is an interesting debate, between Teixeira and Cabrera. In the end, Teixeira is surrounded by a better line-up and calls a hitter friendly park home. Could you imagine the type of numbers he could post if he were to get off to a great start instead of hitting .200 with 3 HR in April?
  • Mark Reynolds played 24 games at 1B in 2009, meaning he should be eligible there in the majority of formats in 2010. We’ll be talking about him in detail during the offseason, but it is hard to imagine him putting up another 40/20 campaign. His previous career high in stolen bases, including the minor leagues, was the 11 he stole in ’08. Keep that in mind.
  • Ryan Howard vs. Prince Fielder? That’s a match-up that could bounce back and forth all winter long. They tied for the league lead in RBI, showing you how close they are.
  • Derrek Lee’s resurgence really came as a surprise. It had been three years since he had more than 22 HR (he hit 35 in ’09) and he set his career high in RBI with 111. The truth is, it is hard to imagine him being able to repeat this amazing success.
  • Joey Votto had an amazing season, but what would have happened if he had stayed healthy all year long? The power may not be the same as some of the other top first base options, but he could conceivably hit 30 HR with a .300+ average. How can you go wrong? The interesting comparison is between Votto and Kendry Morales, one of the breakout players in the league in 2009. Which of the two would you rather have?
  • While Victor Martinez is among the best catchers in the game, his bat just doesn’t portray as well as a first baseman. The flexibility is nice and something that pushes him a few other deeper options, but I would be disappointed if I was saddled with him as my starting first baseman.

What are your thoughts on the early rankings?  Who is too high?  Who is too low?  Who was omitted that shouldn’t have been?

To read the previous article, click here.

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.


  1. Jim says:

    Why no love for Prince? I play in an OBP league (vs AVG) and he had the same number of runs, 7 more HRs, 19 more RBIs, 12 more total bases and an OBP that was 29 points better than Teixeira. I understand that you can argue that this season is hard to repeat after last years relatively poor performance, but you need to remember that it was only two years ago that he hit 50 bombs. I think he is #2.

  2. Sam says:

    I have Kendry Morales and Joey Votto in a deep league and I”m having a hard time putting one over the other. Votto takes more walks and is more patient at the plate but Morales seems to hit for more power. Which one is likely to have a growth season next year? I hear Votto may go to the outfield?

  3. fiji.siv says:

    Reynolds reminds me of another DBack who surprised us with speed and power. In 2007 Eric Byrnes finished with 21/50. He’s TOTALED 14/13 ever since. Besides, Reynolds’ .341 BABIP is going to keep him out of my top-10.

  4. Fiji, I don’t disagree about Reynolds, but at this point it is tough to keep him out of the Top 10 with the season he had. I agree he’s a risk, though, and one that is much more likely to move down the rankings in the coming weeks.

    Sam, I have heard rumors of Votto moving to the OF to free up a spot for their young, slugging 1B. It’s not going to matter for eligibility, obviously, so it’s not going to affect him in the rankings. As for Votto vs. Morales, that’s an extremely tough call. Right now I’m leaning Morales, but it is ever so slightly.

  5. Jim, there is something to be said for consistency, especially in the first round. You don’t want to take a huge risk, because while a first round pick may not be able to win your league for you, he certainly can lose it. The fact that there is a huge question as to which Prince Fielder you would get has to knock him down the rankings a few rungs, despite the huge year. When there is so much talent to chose from, you have to be sure.

  6. Big Dog says:

    Where do you have Butler fitting in? He had a great second half.

  7. Jimmy says:

    I’d like to argue that Pablo Sandoval should just make the cut in the top 15, as well… possibly over someone like Adam Dunn.

  8. Rotoprofessor says:

    Jimmy, Sandoval is a fair one to throw out there and he certainly is borderline Top 15. I could easily see him jumping ahead of V-Mart in the next go ’round.

    As for Butler, he’s a solid option in all deeper formats, but I wouldn’t want to be depending on him as my starter. He still hasn’t shown the type of power necessary to be a fantasy starter at 1B in shallower formats.

  9. Joe Bob Briggs says:

    Howard looks two or three spots too high to me, but the omission of Pablo Sandoval is the biggest crime here. Second only to Hanley Ramirez in batting average and seventh in OPS and he doesn’t even make your top fifteen? He deserves a place on this list before Dunn or Lee do.

  10. Charles says:

    @ Joe Bob Briggs, you think Howard is two or three spots too high despite hitting .279 with 105 Runs 45 HR 141 RBI and 8 SB as a bonus? What 2-3 players should be higher than him?

    I like this list. I would put Cabrera number 2 and Tex number 3, but that’s about it.

  11. matthole says:

    carlos pena over V-Mart

  12. Abraham Navarro says:

    No doubt about it, Albert Pujols, 10 consecutibe seasons of 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs, is the best 1st Baseman today

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