Monday, March 7, 2011

Fantasy Baseball Rankings Day 1: First Basemen

First basemen are obviously the power sluggers of the MLB.  And because hitting will usually pay off more than pitching, with Starting Pitchers only pitching once maybe twice in a week, a power hitter is who you should spend your first pick on.  And the first name on this list is a person who will be drafted first overall in every league.  Seriously, if you have the first overall pick in your league and you don't pick this person, you should forfeit your league, because you don't know what you're doing.  So, without further ado, here is the list of the top 20 first basemen of the 2011 Major League Season.

1. Albert Pujols, STL
Seriously people, a hitter like this comes along only once in a generation.  Our grandparents saw Babe Ruth.  Our grandparents and parents saw Hank Aaron.  Our parents saw Ted Williams.  We see Albert Pujols.  Here's a man who hit 42 homeruns and knocked in 118 RBIs while hitting a .312 batting average.  Now he's in a contract year.  He's playing for his livelihood.  He is going out there to prove he is the best in the majors and get a huge contract next year.  Pick this man with your first pick if you get the chance because he will lead you to a league season win.

2. Joey Votto, CIN
The reigning NL MVP.  Does anything else have to be said? Coming off a year with 37 homeruns, 113 RBIs and .324 batting average.  This guy is a young guy who should have an even better year this year.  So, if you don't get the chance at Pujols, get Votto.  He'll do a just fine, and maybe even as well as Pujols.  Last year my girlfriend drafted Votto, and I'm not sure if she even knew who he was.  But he did so well for her, she came in 2nd in a league of 16 and kicked my butt every time I played against her.  Joey Votto is a great first baseman and should definitely be picked either 2nd or 3rd overall.

3. Miguel Cabrera, DET
Now a lot of people have told me that Miguel Cabrera should be the 2nd first baseman on this list.  And there is a good argument there.  Cabrera is a great slugging first baseman who also will hit for average.  I mean 38 homeruns, 126 RBIs, and a .328 batting average.  So there is no doubt Cabrera is great.  But his recent off the field antics drop him to 3rd.  With a possible DUI looming in his personal life, the question is how much of his mind will be on the game?  How much will this incident distract him.  Now he is a professional, and has been smacking balls over walls for years so he will still perform very well.  But I don't think he'll out perform Pujols or Votto this season.  But being ranked third on a list behind those two is not a bad place to be!

4. Adrian Gonzalez, BOS
The Boston Red Sox made huge news this off season with some great moves, none bigger than trading for Adrian Gonzalez.  This man has been crushing balls in San Diego's PETCO Park, which has very deep outfields for years.  Now he'll be playing 81 games in Fenway Park, baseball's smallest park in demensions.  He is notorious for hitting balls into left field, and it doesn't take much to get one to bounce off the Green Monster in left field in Boston.  So I see this man not only hitting homers over the four foot wall in right field, but off the 37 foot wall in left.  So he should succeed in power and average.  But with all good news comes bad.  He's coming off shoulder surgery, and still has yet to play in a real game in pre season.  He just started batting practice, so I question will he be 100% as of Opening Day. But whether he's ready on day 1, he will still be ready for the whole season at most after the first month, so he will do a great job for your fantasy team.

5. Mark Texiera, NYY
How can I have a list of great first basemen without this man?!  I mean, a switch hitting first baseman who hits homeruns and singles.  Texiera is a member of the Yankees, a team infamous for its power.  Texiera has had at least 30 homeruns and 100 RBIs in each of the last 7 years.  Those kind of numbers are the kind you can build a team around.  Having Tex on your team will definitely give you your power numbers over the course of the year.  Texiera hasn't had a bad year since signing with the Yankees, and looks like he will continue that trend this year with some great numbers.  Without a doubt, Texiera will go in the first round.  If you have a chance on him in the first round of your draft, don't pass him up hoping to get him in round 2, because trust me, he will not be there!

6. Prince Fielder, MIL
7. Ryan Howard, PHI
8. Kevin Youkilis, BOS (can also be drafted as 3B)
9. Justin Morneau, MIN
10. Paul Konerko, CWS - both will play every day, one as 1B and one as DH
11. Adam Dunn, CWS - both will play every day, one as 1B and one as DH
12. Buster Posey, SF
13. Kendry Morales, LAA
14. Billy Butler, KC
15. Derek Lee, BAL
16. Carlos Lee, HOU
17. Carlos Pena, CHC
18. Victor Martinez, DET (can also be drafted as catcher)
19. Pablo Sandoval, SF (can also be drafted as 3B)
20. Aubry Huff, SF (can also be drafted as OF)

Notable First Basemen Not on List:
Mike Napoli, LAA
Adam Lind, TOR
Adam LaRoche, WAS
Michael Cuddyer, MIN (can also be drafted as OF)
Lance Berkman, STL

As always, please comment with opinions if you agree, or more importantly disagree.  I always love to hear if people think differently than me.  And I am serious.  I want to know if anyone thinks this list is wrong.  I look forward to reading them.

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