I hope you enjoyed the top tier catcher’s preview last week, but this week is all about the 1st baseman. This is a key position to try and grab early because if you don’t get one of the top guys the fall to the next tier is far. These top 5 guys are the big names that you will somehow have to try and get.
Goldy has been a monster for a while now and has really solidified his top 3 ranking in all of fantasy baseball. The guy gets on base, hits homers, drives in runs, and even swipes a few bags for you, he literally does it all. Goldy can easily smack 30 plus homers and maybe finally get to that 40 mark this year with enough at bats. In 2015 he hit 33 homers, drove in 110, stole 21 bags, and had a slash line of .321/.435/.570, and yes I did say 21 stolen bases. Like I said before he is a monster and if you’re lucky to grab him, just put him in and sit back and enjoy the ride.
2. Miguel Cabrera
Miggy is starting to get up there in age but when healthy he is still arguably the best pure hitter in the game. The key word there is staying healthy. Last year it was the hip, and he tried to play through it, but it just made matters worse. Don’t get me wrong he still had a good year, but not to the normal Miggy standard. He only had 511 plate appearances and still had 18 homers, 76 runs batted in, and a slash line of .338/.440/.534, so yea he still is awesome. The injury thing just might be a 1 season thing because the last 11 years he has had 650+ plate appearances. If you end up with Miggy its still a great get and should help led your team in a big way.
Boy did Votto come back in a big way last year. 2014 was a lost year for him but he made up for it in 2015 with hitting 29 bombs for Cin City. He was the same old Votto with walking a ton and getting on base at an elite level. The one thing that could hurt him this year is the lineup around him. The Reds just aren’t very good, and with his lengthy contract it will be hard to move the 32 year old. The guys surrounding him has never got in the way of Votto because we all know Votto’s approach will never change. He is who he is and that’s a guy that is very patience and won’t get himself out, and that means more fantasy points!
4. Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo took that next step forward into becoming a dominant 1st baseman for a long time in 2015. I mean he also had a huge year in 2013 and 2014, but last year was his career year. Now at this point we can now say that this is who Rizzo will be. This year he will be looking for his 3rd straight year of 30+ homers and should be able to drive in more than the 101 runs he did last year, with an even more stacked lineup. I’m nagging here, but the one worrisome thought could be he gets drilled a lot, which could lead to an injury at some point, but as long as his bones keep up he is a stud.
5. Edwin Encarnacion
To be honest I thought he had a down year last year, but boy was I wrong. He hit 39 homers, drove in 111 runs and had a slash line of .277/.372/.557. That his 4th year in a row hitting 34+ homers, so whats to say another one isn’t in store for us? At this point I’m trying to figure out why I have him this low, but that just shows how top heavy this position is. It wouldn’t shock me if Edwin was ranked the #2 first baseman at the end of the 2016 season. Like Rizzo, he is hitting in a stacked lineup which will only help him drive in more runs and score more runs. Edwin is 33 years old, but he has been so good since 2012 I don’t see this is the year where he starts to decline.
Breakout: Wil Myers
Wil Myers is my breakout candidate for a few reasons. The guy is only 25 years old and has shown he can hit at the big league level, and at a good rate. He also used to be a top prospect that once hit 30 homers in the minors, so the power is there. He also had a great rookie year in hitting 13 homers in 88 games with a slash line of .293/.354/.478. The next year everybody and their mother were picking Myers to breakout and become a stud, but it never happened. He only played in 87 games due to a wrist injury. That injury hurt his value so bad that the Rays shipped him out only a year later, after just trading for him. Last year he actually played really well when he was on the field. The problem with that is that he only played in 60 games. He yet again hurt his wrist which really derailed his season. I don’t think he can hurt his wrist for a 3rd straight season, but who the hell knows. He also has OF eligibility which is always useful as well, but let’s hope the Padres keep him at 1st where that wrist of his can stay away from OF walls.
Sleeper: Jon Singleton
The Astros, Jon and I are in the same boat here in wanting to see J-Sing succeed. The Astros need Jon to get going because they gave him a long term contract. I need him to be good because I have him in my dynasty fantasy league. Last and more importantly Jon needs to show the league that he is ready to step up. He has nothing to prove in triple A as he mashes every time he is down there. He also in 24 years old now, so it’s either he shows up or he just might not have it. He knows that because he has already come into camp 15 pounds lighter and looks ready to work. The thing is that prospect; AJ Reed is really pushing Jon for that spot so it won’t be easy, as Reed is very polished. I do believe in the skills of Singleton to become a power hitting 1st baseman that can stick around in this league, but I’m just a 26 year old guy that takes wild guesses at who will be good or not.
Credit all authors of images used in both article and as cover image : George