Top 15 First Basemen For 2011: An Extremely Early Look

Yesterday we took a look at the Top 15 Catchers for 2011 (click here to view) for those of you who are already looking to build your team for next season.  Today, let’s take a look at the Top 15 First Basemen:

  1. Albert Pujols – St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
  3. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees
  4. Prince Fielder – Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Adrian Gonzalez – San Diego Padres
  6. Justin Morneau – Minnesota Twins
  7. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Kendry Morales – Los Angeles Angels
  9. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
  10. Kevin Youkilis – Boston Red Sox
  11. Billy Butler – Kansas City Royals
  12. Adam Dunn – Washington Nationals
  13. Paul Konerko – Chicago White Sox
  14. Lance Berkman – Houston Astros
  15. Ike Davis – New York Mets

Thoughts:

  • We all know how good Mark Teixeira is, so a bad two months or so shouldn’t be enough to seriously downgrade him.  Sometimes bad years happen, but he’s still a first round pick in my book.
  • The group of Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez and Justin Morneau is likely to move around a lot between now and the beginning of 2011.  Fielder is having the worst season of the four, but I’m holding onto him at the fourth spot for now.  Sooner or later you have to think things are going to click and the RBI will come in droves. 
  • Can you imagine if Gonzalez were in a hitters ballpark?  His numbers could be scary.
  • Kendry Morales’ injury is a big blow to teams in 2010, but he proved that 2009 was no fluke before he got hurt.  He’s a tremendous option in all formats, so all you can do is stash him away and use him to help dominate your leagues for many years to come.
  • The power is there for Mark Reynolds, but he’s showing just how bad his average could be (currently hitting .215).   Plus, you have to factor in your league’s rules.  Thus far he’s played just four games at 1B, so his long-term value at this position is quickly diminishing.  If he’s eligible he’s going to have value here, but if you are planning on him being your 1B for 2011, you may have problems.  At this point I am going to leave him off the rankings, as many formats require 20 games at a position the prior year to be eligible.
  • I know Billy Butler hasn’t taken that next step in the power department as many hoped, but I am still a believer.  He’s an average machine and continues to hit plenty of doubles.  Sooner or later, the fly balls will come and the home runs will follow.  Even if that doesn’t happen, I’m high on him.  If he does, he could be a Top 7 option.
  • Pablo Sandoval has played just three games at first base this season, meaning he could quickly lose his eligibility at the position.  If he keeps it, he’s a solid option, but keep a close eye on that.  Like Reynolds, he’s being held off the rankings for now.
  • While Justin Smoak has struggled in his rookie season, there’s little question that he’s the long-term solution for the Rangers at 1B.  He’s also starting to come around, hitting .421 with 2 HR and 7 RBI over 19 AB in June.  Still, at such a deep position, he falls just short of this list.  By the end of the year, though, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him jump over Ike Davis (who has an edge being the Mets cleanup hitter).
  • Lance Berkman & Paul Konerko continue to be solid options, but exactly how much do they have left?  That certainly suppresses their value for dynasty league owners, but for 2011 they will continue to have value.
  • Others who just missed include Jorge Cantu, Carlos Pena, Troy Glaus and Adam LaRoche.  It’s amazing how deep this position is, isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on these rankings?  Who is being overvalued?  Who is being undervalued?

Make sure to check out our other extremely early 2011 rankings:

To view the previous article click here.

13 comments

  1. john says:

    no chance in hell votto should be that low. look at that contribution and the trend, he’s gotta be at least two spots above where he is now

  2. La Posse says:

    I have to agree with John. At the very least, I see nothing statistically that would lead a person to rank him behind Kendry Morales or even Prince Fielder?

  3. Rotoprofessor says:

    As I said, these are extremely early rankings and I expect a lot to change between now and the end of the year. If Fielder continues to struggle (which I’m not anticipating), he’s going to fall.

    I think Votto is a great offensive 1B, and his ranking speaks to the depth at the position more then anything else. I could understand flipping him with Morales, except that I don’t have any fears of Morales returning to form next season considering the injury was to his ankle. They are extremely close, but I think I would take a healthy Morales over a healthy Votto (though, if Votto keeps producing the rest of the year, that easily could change).

  4. I would probably move him ahead of Morales and possibly Adrian Gonzalez, but all the guys listed ahead of Votto could hit 40 HRs. Until Votto shows that kind of power, I somewhat see where RP is coming from.

  5. Will Overton says:

    I’d have Votto above Morales probably, but I don’t know if I could put him higher than anyone else on that list. I realize Prince and Tex are struggling, but look at the body of work. Prince just drive in 140 runs last year, thats a number Votto will probably never touch.

    I think Votto has room to improve and I’m a big fan, but he’s gotta go 30/100 back to back before he jumps some of the bigger boys. I think its a testament to him that he’s in the discussion though and he’s higher than a guy like Youk.

  6. E-Z says:

    In the last couple of drafts, it has been Pujols in a tier on his own followed by Miggy/Howard/Tex and Fielder almost interchangable. Do you now see Miggy as having jumped the divide and him and Pujols as the absolute elite in the position? Any chance Miggy surpasses Pujols if he continues hitting like this?

  7. Nick Tenaglia says:

    I agree that Votto is a superb 1B, but the 1B position is meant for big HR hitters and guys who are guaranteed 115 RBI.

    Votto’s HR ceiling right now is around 30-35 at best. He can probably make the RBI marker given that the team doesn’t collapse around him. I mean, having a .300+ avg, hitting 32 HR and knocking in 115 RBI is not too shabby at all, but every guy ahead of him can already do that andthensome.

    As the Rotoprof said, with numbers like that, and a ranking so low, it just shows you how deep the 1B position is.

  8. The Great One says:

    Despite his slump i think miguel cabrera is the best first baseman in the game today followed by morneau. Pujols is just hitting to bad for me to put him in front of them right now. miguel could go and will go on another tear boosting his avg right back up to the top 3 and he should continue to lead the league in hr’s and rbi’s. he has more opposite field power than i have ever seen and he can spray the ball to any field and hit it out anywhere he wants. morneau has some good power to and he is batting ridiculous this year avg wise. i would still put miggy as this years mvp based on his numbers and the way he can hit the cover off of the ball.

  9. jiggy says:

    Hey where is Garrett Jones?
    Im not saying he should be on this list but where do you think he’ll rank next year?

  10. Jay says:

    Big IF here, but if Lind continues to play 1B from here on out, and replaces Overbay next year, we could see him on this list as well.

  11. Rotoprofessor says:

    jiggy, it’s impossible to tell with Jones, because a lot of it is going to depend on if he is still in Pittsburgh or not. If he’s starting, he’s probably borderline Top 20.

    Jay, it’s certainly possible, but he needs to step it up and have a big final two months. He’s not a .219 hitter, but he also may not be the 35 HR guy he was in 2009. Berkman will come off the list, so there certainly is a spot that he could grab.

  12. kurt says:

    Anybody that lists Ryan Howard outside the top 5 has absolutely no credibility. One year with down numbers and he drops out of the top 5? that’s just stupid

  13. Rotoprofessor says:

    These are actually older rankings. In our most current ones (http://rotoprofessor.com/baseball/?p=7455) he is actually fifth. Still, the fact that there is a conversation at #5, including Howard, Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez simply displays how deep the position is at this point.

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