Tuesday, March 18, 2008

FSE Fantasy Baseball Positional Rankings - First Base

Over the next week, FSE will release ranking for each position in fantasy baseball. Top 10s will be provided for all infield positions while outfielders, starting pitchers and relievers will have an expanded set of rankings. In addition, we will highlight a few sleepers at each position and provide some honorable mentions if applicable.


We kicked off yesterday with the catchers and now turn our attention to the first basemen.


Top 10 First Basemen

#1 Ryan Howard - A slugger in the prime of his career and the best bet to his 50+HR this season. Sitting in the middle of a potent Phillies lineup in a small ballpark makes him our #1 1B over all.

#2 Prince Fielder - People forget he is 6 years younger than Howard and Albert Pujols. He is still very young and growing as a hitter and as a slugger. He is #2 now, but do not be surprised if by the end of the season he is #1.

#3 Albert Pujols - Would be the #1 guy if we were not terrified by his elbow injury, that could cost him the season. You want your first round pick to be healthy and slugging all season. If the Cardinals are bad (which they look to be) who wouldn't be surprised if he is out by July or
August?

#4 Mark Texeira - Looking to regain that consistent power stroke that once made him a lock for 40HR. He should have a big season hitting in a solid Atlanta Braves' lineup, in the fastball league.

#5 Justin Mourneau - There is something to be said for a guy who can consistently hit .280 with 30HR and 100RBI.

#6 Derek Lee - Unique because he can steal a base and has more value in a head to head league because of this. He regained his HR stroke in the second half of last season and could position himself back atop the elite 1B this season.

#7 Lance Berkman - Switch hitter who should settle into playing 1B on a full time basis this season. He can hit 30HR and will play in a great hitter's park with a solid lineup around him.

#8 Paul Konerko - The most underrated guy on this list, hits 30+HR every season and drives in 100+ near every season. He will go much later than he should in your draft, so keep an eye out for him.

#9 Adrian Gonzalez - If he didn't play in SD he might be higher up the rankings. The offense around him is awful and he plays in a bad hitter's ballpark. Still a lock for 20HR and a .300BA, hitting in the middle of a lineup.

#10 Carlos Pena - Phenom who finally broke out last season slugged 40HR and had well over 100RBI despite not being a fulltime player for the first few months of the season. He is listed here because of his potential but also because he has to show he can do it for more than 1 year.

Honorable Mentions

Todd Helton - Todd Helton is old. He lost his elite status and now doesn't even crack our top 10. He is still a decent bat, but is more Lyle Overbay now than Albert Pujols.

Carlos Guillen - Will be playing 1B this year, but will have SS eligibility. The move will help him stay healhty over the course of the long season, so draft him and put him at SS where he will play like a top player. In a pinch he will even be a decent 1B option, as he can steal a bag, unlike many other 1B.

Sleepers

James Loney - Came up last season and hit like gang busters, for a rookie. He should improve on his numbers this year. The mediocre lineup around him, and bad hitter's park are reasons to be weary of drafting him. That being said, he will be a fine pick later on after the top 10 guys are gone.

Ryan Garko - Former catcher got a chance to play 1B on a full time basis last season and hit pretty well. Look for Garko to improve his power a bit and RBI total from last season, as he becomes more familiar will hitting in the major leagues.

Adam Laroche - Has been the definition of a second half player for years now. He said he changed his off season workout routine so he can be better in April and May making him a more consistent bet over the course of a long season.

Joey Votto - Young guy who can steal a base and hit a HR. He has gone 20/20 in each of the last seasons in the minors, and even had a decent degree of success during his cup of coffee in the majors last season. Dusty Baker wants him to the starter, so don't worry about playing time.

Kevin Youkilis - Tough to ignore the Red Sox 1B. He can hit anywhere from 1-6 in the lineup, meaning he will either be in great spot to score runs, or drive in RBI. He slumped in the second half last year and if he can put it all together this year could be inline for a 20HR and 100RBI season.

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