Fantasy Baseball: 2011 Top 20 First Basemen Rankings

Jan 10, 2011

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Here’s a last minute updated look at the 2011 First Base rankings.
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1.  Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals:  Turned in another fabulous season hitting .312 with 115 runs, 183 hits, 42 HRs, 118 RBIs, 14 SBs, 103 walks, and a 1.011 OPS. He truly is a machine and should be the number one player taken in fantasy drafts.
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2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers:  Miggy didn’t have any setbacks and it appears he won’t miss any time. Now that he’s back to a structured schedule I don’t expect a relapse.
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3.  Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds:  Potential realized. Votto went from a guy known in fantasy circles to a guy who edged the great Albert Pujols in MVP voting. Votto hit .324 with 106 runs, 177 hits, 37 HRs, 113 RBIs, 16 SBs, 81 walks, and a 1.024 OPS.
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4.  Adrian Gonzalez, Boston Red Sox:  A-Gone averaged 34.3  HRs and 104.8 HRs in his past four seasons with the Padres. Now he goes to more of a hitter’s park with a lineup that includes Carl Crawford, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury and Kevin Youkilis. Get your popcorn ready Sox fans.
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5.  Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees:  Tex struggled by his standards hitting .256. He still managed to score 113 runs with 33 HRs and 108 RBIs. He’s too good to continue to struggle so look for a return to form in 2011.
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6. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies:  Speaking of regression, Howard saw his runs scored (-18), HRs (-14), and RBIs (-33) take major hits in 2010. He averaged 49.5 HRs and 143 RBIs in  his previous four seasons, so I’m not expecting his regression to continue at just 31 years of age.
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7. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers:  Another bopper that struggled to get on track. His 141 RBIs in 2009 seems like a fluke, but he’s a good bet for 35 HRs and 100+ RBIs.
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8.  Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox:  Youk’s problem isn’t performing, it’s staying healthy. He was limited to 102 games last year. In fact, his career high in games played is 147 so you’re taking a little bit of a risk drafting him, especially considering he’s returning to the hot corner. Still, in that lineup he’s good for .300+, 90+ runs, 25+ HRs, and 90+ RBIs, and those are low estimates.
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9.  Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox:  Dunn isn’t a sexy pick, but has averaged 40.3 HRs and 101.3 RBIs in his past seven seasons. It’s his first time playing for an American League team and is a career .250 hitter so there is a little concern.
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10.  Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins:  Speaking of staying healthy, Morneau had an MVP caliber season going before being lost mid-season with a concussion. He hit .345 with a 1.055 WHIP. He scored 53 runs with 18 HRs, and 56 RBIs in 81 games. He’s also a considerable risk because the next concussion could end not only his season, but his career. He does, however, come with substantial reward potential.
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11.  Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals:  Butler saw his HRs (-6) and RBIs (-15) dip in 2010, but he hit a career high .318. I expect the power to return while maintaining a .310+ season.
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12.  Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers:   Let’s face it, you’re drafting V-Mart as a catcher. He won’t see may games at first base because of Cabrera, but should see his named penciled in the lineup card as the DH from time to time. If he can stay healthy, you’re looking at a .300, 20 HR, 100 RBI season.
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13.  Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox:  Konerko displayed his usual penchant for the long ball with 39 HRs and 111 RBIs last year, but added a new facet to his game by hitting .312. Considering he’ll be 35 this year, I’m hesitant to believe he can match the power numbers. I certainly think the average will fall back towards his career mark of .280.
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14.  Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants:  Like V-Mart, Posey will largely be drafted as a catcher, but he does maintain 1B eligibility. He really showed maturity for his age (23 when the season start) hitting .288 in the playoffs. He hit .305 with 18 HRs and 67 RBIs as a rookie. Assuming he can avoid the sophomore slump, he should be in line for 20+ HRs and 75+ RBIs.
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15.  Kendry Morales, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  Hopefully for Morales, the freak accidents are behind him. Rolling with Kendry as your #1 will also be a leap of faith considering he only had 51 games to prove his 2009 breakout season wasn’t a fluke.
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16.  Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants:  He’s playing in the outfield, but that only adds to his value. He hit .290 last year with 26 HR and 86 RBI and has quietly averaged 24 HRs and 86.6 RBI since 2002.
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17.  Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals:  LaRoche is another one of those players that flies under the radar. He’s hit 25 HRs in each of his past three seasons, and has averaged 24.7 HRs and 87.3 RBI the past six years.
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18.  Carlos Pena, Chicago Cubs:  Pena is a bona fide power hitter. He hit 28 HRs last year and has averaged 36 over the past four years. His average was terrible, but he was terribly unlucky sporting a .222 BABIP.
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19.  Ike Davis, New York Mets:  Davis is coming off a solid .264-73-19-71-3 rookie season. If the Mets can stay healthy, he will be in a tough lineup featuring David Wright, Jose Reyes, Carlos Beltran, Jason Bay, and Angel Pagan. With that kind of talent around him, he should be even stronger in 2011.
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20.  Gaby Sanchez, Florida Marlins:  A far cry from sexy, but Sanchez did his Jorge Cantu impression last year with a solid .273-72-19-85-5 season. He narrowly beat out James Loney.
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6 Responses so far | Have Your Say!

  1. Jake
    January 13th, 2011 at 11:58 pm #

    Pretty solid rankings. I like the tweak at the top for a change, first place i’ve seen Votto @ 2.

  2. LestersLegends
    January 14th, 2011 at 7:12 am #

    Thanks Jake. He’s such a good all-around player.

  3. Bob
    January 18th, 2011 at 1:41 pm #

    I think Derek Lee has to be in top 15? Where does he rank?

  4. LestersLegends
    January 18th, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    At his age I think he’s a bit of a risk. He’s top 20, but has the ability to move up into the top 15 if he can stay on the field.

  5. Doug
    March 3rd, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    I’m a fantasy baseball rookie skipper….advised to consider scarcity when drafting. I picked up Cano and Zimmerman right off. Consequently, I ended up with Adam Lind and Freddie Freeman as my first basemen. Andrus is my SS and my OF isn’t great, but not bad (I think) – Tabata, Stubbs, Cruz. My pitching IS weak – Verlander, Cueto, Daniel Hudson, Volquez, McDonald with Marmol closing (yeah, I’m a Reds Fan – can you believe Votto got picked 14th, one slot higher than I took Cano?) Any advice? Not much trade bait on my bench, and not much leftovers in a 15 team league.

  6. LestersLegends
    March 3rd, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    Talk about jumping right in. Rookie in a 15-team league. I think your team is solid. I think Lind bounces back giving you a really strong infield. I think Tabata and Stubbs could be nice options. Pitching is strong at the top. Hard to have both pitching and batting in a deep league like that.

    Maybe a little early for trades. I’ve found people don’t tend to trade before the season starts. They want to see what the guys they took do. I think it’s harder to get fair value.

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