Paul Goldschmidt
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I present the Lester’s Legends 2016 fantasy baseball first baseman rankings.
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1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks
2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
3. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
4. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox
5. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles
6. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
7. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
8. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves
9. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
10. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
11. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
12. Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
13. Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers
14. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
15. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
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Also check out:

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s an early look at the 2011 N.L. Only First Base rankings.
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1.  Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals:  The only concern I have with Albert is the contract situation, but I think he is professional enough to put that aside when the season starts.
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2.  Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds:  Votto put up monster numbers last year and should only get better as Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs solidify the Reds’ lineup.
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3.  Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies:  Howard’s numbers dropped last year, but he’s far from finished. He’s as good a bet as anyone to lead the league in HRs and RBI.
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4. 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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5.  Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants:  Like V-Mart in A.L. and mixed leagues, 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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6.  Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants:  The Giants aren’t known for their offense, but with Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval, who is in much better shape, Huff should be a fine first base option in N.L. leagues. 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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7.  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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8. 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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9.  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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10.  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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Also check out:

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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Here’s a last minute look at the 2011 A.L. Only First Base rankings.
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1.   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, Big Papi and Kevin Youkilis. This could be a monster year.
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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.  Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees:  Tex had a down year by hitting .256, yet he still managed to score 113 runs with 33 HRs and 108 RBIs. He’s a strong bet to rebound in a big way this year.
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4.  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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5.  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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6.  Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins:  Morneau is on the right track to recover from his season-sending concussion. He is a high risk/reward option.
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7.  Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals:  Butler can hit .300, but has yet to show the power that he is capable of. If he can make that jump this year, look out.
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8.  Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers:   You’re most likely drafting him as  your catcher, but he does have 1B eligibility. Plus, he can flat out rake. The move to Detroit will cost him some production, but he’s still a solid option.
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9.  Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox:  Konerko is 35, but he continues to deliver the long ball. His average won’t hold up, but hopefully his back will.
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10.  Kendry Morales, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim:  Morales’ had one of his biggest highs and the definite low on the same play. The good news is that in his brief playing time, he proved that 2009 wasn’t a fluke.
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Also check out:

Click here to enter the 2011 Fantasy Baseball Team Name Contest
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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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Also check out:


Here’s my second look at the fantasy first basemen rankings.


Image courtesy of Icon SMI

1.  Albert Pujols:  My thoughts haven’t wavered on Pujols as the #1 first baseman. Nobody’s have.

2.  Ryan Howard:  I bumped him up a spot. His average isn’t going to kill you, but you simply can’t ignore the HRs and RBIs he brings to the table. Sure, Prince Fielder was toe-to-toe with him last year, and Tex and Miggy have the potential, but Howard has been doing it for four straight years.
(2006-2009):  .278, 102 runs, 49.5 HRs, 143 RBIs, 2.5 SBs

3. Mark Teixeira:  I rank Tex at three simply because of the ballpark and lineup he’s in.

4.  Miguel Cabrera:  I went into further detail with Cabrera (click to see article) to justify the #4 ranking. I think his average is more likely to be a competitive edge over Prince Fielder, than Fielder’s HRs and RBIs over Cabrera.

5.  Prince Fielder:  His #5 ranking is merely a reflection as to how deep the position is.

6.  Victor Martinez:  Technically a catcher, V-Mart has first base eligibility. That dramatically adds to his value.

7.  Kevin Youkilis: Same goes for Youk, but replace catcher with third base.

8.  Adrian Gonzalez:  Quietly, steadily a nice source of HRs and RBIs.

9.  Justin Morneau:  I bumped him down a few notches mainly because of his injury history and the uncertainty of Target Field. Weather could play a key role in the opening and closing months of his season.

10.  Joey Votto:  Another player we profiled (click here for the article). Potential for a .310 average with 25-30 HRs and 100-110 RBIs. continue reading »

Here’s an early look at the 2010 First Base rankings.

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1.  Albert Pujols – Simply the cream of the crop.

2.  Mark Teixeira – Could knock in even more Yankees with Curtis Granderson addition. I expect a better average in 2010.

3.  Ryan Howard – His average didn’t kill you last year, but it was still enough to keep him out of the two slot.

4.  Miguel Cabrera – Better average than Tex and Howard, but fewer RBI opportunities.

5.  Prince Fielder – He actually had better numbers than Howard or Tex, but  I think he has a harder time replicating those numbers.

6.  Justin Morneau – His numbers have varied the past four years, but as a whole have been solid. I expect something around the average of those four years with Morneau hitting around .290 with 30 HRs and 120 RBIs.

7.  Adrian Gonzalez – I’d like him more if he got traded, but he still should give you around .280 with 38 HRs and 110 RBIs.
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