February 14, 2013
Pre-Season Positional Rankings
Top 15 Fantasy First Basemen
In the coming weeks, the fantasy team here at Baseball Prospectus will be rolling out our positional rankings. Each team member assigned to cover a position will create an initial top 15 (more for outfielders and starting pitchers) on his own. He will then send that list to the rest of the team for discussion, at which point we will debate the rankings, both in terms of each player’s specific placement and the merits on which he was included in the top 15. This back-and-forth debate will yield the final list, which will be presented by the original author with notes on the pertinent players. We encourage you to bring your opinions into the fray using the comment section below.
Today, we continue the rankings with a look at our top 15 first basemen.
As usual, first base is a deep fantasy position that offers useful bats into the twenties. Following a recent trend, however, this year’s first basemen lack that signature-slugger starpower to warrant selection over their more-agile counterparts in the outfield. We see a clear nucleus at the top—a triumvirate of $200 million dollar men who, given their salaries, seem worthy of a mere first-round selection or $40 auction bid from one of us.
After that, the scene becomes much more muddled. A healthy crop of young, rising stars are scattered about aging veterans, who may or may not have another quality season in their tanks. One thing this position doesn’t lack is disagreement—with a number of players coming off of either career-best or career-worst years, I’ve seen plenty of divergent opinions on how best to rank them. With the help of the rest of the fantastic BP fantasy crew, here is my attempt to do so, including commentary on each player to help you flesh out my thinking.
First, the list: