Top 15 First Baseman For 2010: Take Two

We all know that first base may be the deepest position in baseball, but when you look at the rankings it really is amazing.  When Derrek Lee, Victor Martinez (much better suited as a catcher) and Carlos Pena all fall short, that tells you all you need to know.  Let’s take a look at who did make the cut:

  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. Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres
  8. Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
  9. Mark Reynolds – Arizona Diamondbacks
  10. Kendry Morales – Los Angeles Angels
  11. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  12. Lance Berkman – Houston Astros
  13. Pablo Sandoval – San Francisco Giants
  14. Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
  15. Billy Butler – Kansas City Royals

Thoughts:

  • The top three first baseman are pretty easy to pick, but after that you get some interesting individual debates.  Ryan Howard or Prince Fielder for #4?  The real difference is Howard has proven that he can put up the power and RBI every single season.  With Fielder, given his 2008 performance, are you really so sure?  That doubt makes me take Howard first every time.
  • Kevin Youkilis or Mark Reynolds?  It’s a tough call and my decision may be an unpopular one, but I just don’t trust Reynolds.  The potential for a terrible average is too great and it is impossible for me to expect him to replicate his 2009 power display.  No matter what, I would have Reynolds at #8, at best, though I’ll revisit that next time around.
  • Would anyone have thought we’d see the day that Lance Berkman was barely a usable first baseman?  It certainly says a lot about the position, now doesn’t it?
  • The depth at the position makes Pablo Sandoval better suited to be used as a 3B, but if you miss out on all the names above him it wouldn’t be terrible.  Given the word that he’s expected to be the team’s cleanup hitter, it makes him all that more attractive.
  • As can be seen by my projection of Billy Butler (click here to view) I’m extremely high on him for the upcoming season and think he should outperform Derrek Lee in 2010.  That’s why Lee fell short of the Top 15 (just barely) and Butler gets the nod for the final spot on the list.
  • Don’t be mistaken by the absence of Victor Martinez from this list.  I would take him ahead of many of the lower guys, but as a 1B he just doesn’t measure up.  He gets a lot of his value from his catcher eligibility, which I didn’t take into account in doing these rankings.
What are your thoughts on the early rankings?  Who is too high?  Who is too low?  Who was omitted that shouldn’t have been?

Previous Early Rankings:

Picture courtesy of Icon Sports Media, Inc.

10 comments

  1. Jay says:

    I’d go with Fielder third. Miggy has issues, Detroit is cutting salary, and if you take Ryan Howard forget about BA. Howard, Reynolds, Phillips, Uggla, Weeks, Dunn, Sizemore, Reimold etc. It isn’t a bad strategy and certainly one that should be employed if your league counts OBP.

  2. La Posse says:

    What’s the difference between Kendry Morales and Votto? I have both and can only keep one. Votto has a better avg and obp, but Kendry seems less likely to have a breakdown. Though the question is whether Morales can duplicate his power.

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    Jay, I just can’t trust Fielder to put him above Howard, let alone Cabrera. If we wanted to just ignore 2008, then sure, maybe, but I don’t think that’s prudent. Cabrera is one of the top hitters in the game. He’s going to get his hits and RBI no matter who is surrounding him, so don’t look at the Tigers moves and downgrade him.

    La Posse, Votto and Morales are extremely close. Votto scares me more, however. A .373 BABIP means his average could have a long way too fall. I’ll give my projections on him soon.

  4. Matt says:

    What are some general thoughts about A-Gon.. I have him for $28 in a keeper league thinking about moving him (and some people I won’t keep) for Utley for $35. Morneau is going to be a FA in this league how does he compare with A-Gon…. I would consider boosting A-Gon ahead of him due to Morneau injury issues

    I have to think Berkman will bounce back next year. I got burned with him last year. I had him Soriano, Rollins, Beltre.. and Im a Met fan… lets just say I’ve had my fill of injuries and disappointment lol

  5. Matt says:

    I was suprised to see that Fangraph’s Bill James has Kyle Blanks projected to hit more HRs with more Run and RBI than Butler… anythoughts?

  6. Rotoprofessor says:

    Matt, I think he significantly under valued Butler, while also maybe over valuing Blanks. I’m one of the bigger fans of Blanks, but playing half his games in that ballpark I just don’t see him reaching 25 HR this season.

    As for Butler, 17 HR is extremely low, but also stems from him projecting him for only about 500 AB. Considering he had 600 last season and is the main man in the middle of the lineup, I don’t think expecting so few is the right direction to go.

    Honestly, I would be shocked if Blanks (who isn’t really guaranteed an everyday job) out homers Butler. What about everyone else?

  7. Matt says:

    I don’t know if playing time is an issue, they seem to be trying like hell to get him a starting role… trading Kouz to move Headley to 3B

    I guess he projects him hitting around A-Gon and getting pitchers to hit and drive in runs

    He really is making it hard for me to pick which sleeper $1 keepers to go with… are his numbers usually this high or does he just love my keepers… he also has Garrett Jones outslugging Butler… he also is all over Noland Reimold (who is rumored to play 1B coming off surgery)… how do you rank Reimold v. G. Jonnes v. Blanks as $1 keepers

  8. Andrew says:

    I think Votto is the next best 1B after the clear top 5

  9. rolf says:

    best hitting position in baseball. who can break through top 15? any sleepers? hmmm…jeff clement in pittsburgh is a dark horse, if given a chance. carlos pena will hit 40 and that will put him in the top 15…

  10. 187 says:

    I think Chris Davis could poke his head into the top 10 this year.

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