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01-22

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BP Boston
by
Matthew Kory

01-22

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BP Milwaukee
by
Nathan Desutter

01-22

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7

Players Prefer Presentation: Would You Like to Play a Game of Telephone?
by
Meg Rowley

01-22

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Transaction Analysis: Reds Cash In Straily
by
Bryan Grosnick and Steve Givarz

01-20

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10

Fantasy Players to Avoid: First Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-20

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The -Only League Landscape: American League First Basemen
by
Mike Gianella

01-20

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Player Profile: Miguel Cabrera
by
Matt Collins

01-20

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18

2017 Prospects: Colorado Rockies Top 10 Prospects
by
Jeffrey Paternostro, Wilson Karaman and BP Prospect Staff

01-20

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2

Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: A.J. Reed vs. Dan Vogelbach
by
George Bissell

01-20

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3

Transaction Analysis: One More Go-Round in Toronto
by
Bryan Grosnick

01-20

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0

Rumor Roundup: Hunting Starters
by
Demetrius Bell

01-19

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3

The -Only League Landscape: National League First Basemen
by
Scooter Hotz

01-19

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5

Dynasty League Positional Rankings Continued: First Basemen on the Ocean Floor
by
Wilson Karaman

01-19

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5

Tale of the Tape: Brandon Belt vs. C.J. Cron
by
Mark Barry

01-19

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2

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Pitchers' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-19

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5

Transaction Analysis: Extension Party
by
Bryan Grosnick, Jared Wyllys and Matthew Trueblood

01-19

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4

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 50 First Basemen
by
Bret Sayre

01-18

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Cold Takes: Why Do Hall of Fame Voters Love Relievers?
by
Patrick Dubuque

01-18

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Rumor Roundup: Must-See TV
by
Emma Baccellieri

01-18

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10

Outta Left Field: Cooperstown Changes
by
Dustin Palmateer

01-18

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26

2017 Prospects: Los Angeles Dodgers Top 10 Prospects
by
Jeffrey Paternostro, Wilson Karaman and BP Prospect Staff

01-18

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1

Rubbing Mud: Dozier and the Doyers
by
Matthew Trueblood

01-18

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3

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: First Base
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-18

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2

The Adjuster: First Base
by
Eric Roseberry

01-18

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2

Tale of the Tape: Tommy Joseph vs. Eric Thames
by
Bryan Joiner

01-18

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9

Get to Know: First Base Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

01-17

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2

Player Profile: Hanley Ramirez
by
Wilson Karaman

01-17

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1

Cold Takes: Stan Javier Saves a No-Hitter
by
Patrick Dubuque

01-17

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9

Rubbing Mud: Flashback Friars
by
Matthew Trueblood

01-17

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15

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: First Basemen
by
Mike Gianella

01-17

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0

Welcome to Splitsville: First Base
by
Tim Finnegan

01-17

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8

Baseball Therapy: What Does Batter/Pitcher Matchup Data Tell Us?
by
Russell A. Carleton

01-17

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3

Tale of the Tape: Victor Martinez vs. Carlos Santana
by
Alex Chamberlain

01-16

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3

Rumor Roundup: Ain't Settling for Anything Less Than Everything
by
Ashley Varela

01-16

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16

2017 Prospects: Chicago Cubs Top 10 Prospects
by
Jeffrey Paternostro and BP Prospect Staff

01-16

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11

State of the Position: First Base
by
George Bissell

01-16

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9

Flu-Like Symptoms: New Year's Resolutions: Hitters' Plate Discipline
by
Rob Mains

01-16

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2

Fantasy Players to Target: First Basemen
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-16

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5

Early ADP Analysis: First Base
by
Matt Collins

01-16

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2

The Quinton: First Basemen, Roto Categories, and Total vs. Complementary Production
by
Jeff Quinton

01-16

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Transaction Analysis: Dented Cans and Safety Nets
by
Bryan Grosnick and Jared Wyllys

01-13

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8

The -Only League Landscape: National League Catchers
by
Scooter Hotz

01-13

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5

Players Prefer Presentation: Baseball's Longest and Shortest Games
by
Meg Rowley

01-13

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-13

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6

Tools of Ignorance: Cornered
by
Jeff Quinton

01-13

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1

Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: Francisco Mejia vs. Chance Sisco
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-13

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0

Transaction Analysis: Can't Stop, Won't Stop
by
Bryan Grosnick and Brendan Gawlowski

01-13

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0

Transaction Analysis: Going Back To Cali
by
Aaron Gleeman

01-13

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0

Player Profile: Jonathan Lucroy
by
Jeff Quinton

01-13

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1

Rumor Roundup: Trumbo Tumbles
by
Demetrius Bell

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A deeper dive into the fantasy future at this position.

Predicting future first basemen of relevance can be a tricky endeavor, as the position tends to be a landing strip for failed defensive efforts elsewhere, and true-to-form first basemen face exceedingly high natural barriers to success. After we muddle through the veteran re-treads theoretically capable of making mixed-league runs and generating some modicum of 2017 value, we’ll moved on to some longer (and longer still) term discussion. There’s enough power among the veteran prospects who fell short of Bret’s Top 50 list to warrant some turned heads, with a couple of A-ball guys sitting under Shaw who I like for watch lists in even medium-depth leagues this year. Unfortunately, last year’s draft class was especially brutal for first-base talent, with all of two guys drafted as cold cornermen garnering so much as a $200,000 bonus. But then there are some intriguing names on down the 2017-and-beyond line, and organizational purview will of course add depth to this list as the season wears on and hope for more polished leather wears out.

Here is my look from last week at catchers, which includes an introduction to the series. And now, on to the depths of the first-base position for 2017.

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January 19, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Brandon Belt vs. C.J. Cron

5

Mark Barry

Which of these two alliterative West Coasters is the better bet for your fantasy team in 2017?

This week we’re taking a look at two young-ish, alliterative first basemen repping the West Coast. At 28 years old, Brandon Belt is coming off of one of his most productive seasons as a pro, one year removed from signing a lucrative contract extension to keep him by the Bay. C.J. Cron got off to a hot start in 2016, but the embers were quickly extinguished by an errant Mike Wright fastball (bet you didn’t think you were going to read about Mike Wright today, huh?) in July, leading to surgery and missed time for the 27-year-old slugger. Who will be better long term? I’m glad you asked. Let’s dive in.

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Does better plate discipline for pitchers yield better results?

In this series, we’re investigating the outcomes when baseball players made what appear to have been New Year’s resolutions to do something differently in 2016. But unlike the rest of us, who resolve to get a new job or limit the time we spend on Facebook, we’re looking here at specific baseball outcomes.

The first article considered batters who hit markedly more (or less) to the opposite field in 2016 than in 2015. The next two looked at batters who hit more or fewer balls on the ground and pitchers who induced more or fewer grounders. The most recent article looked at hitters who improved their plate discipline. Next, let’s check out pitchers’ plate discipline.

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January 19, 2017 6:00 am

Transaction Analysis: Extension Party

5

Bryan Grosnick, Jared Wyllys and Matthew Trueblood

You get an extension. And you get an extension. And you get an extension.

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January 19, 2017 6:00 am

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 50 First Basemen

4

Bret Sayre

Stacking up the players at this position for the long haul.

We, at Baseball Prospectus, have been talking about cold corner inhabitants for a while now (three days and change to be exact, depending on when you are reading this) and the party continues to rage on. Yet before we rage, we shall calibrate—since rankings aren’t useful without knowing what you’re reading. The list you are about to read here presupposes a 16-team standard (read: 5x5 roto) dynasty format, in which there are no contracts/salaries, players can be kept forever, and owners have minor-league farm systems in which to hoard prospects. So feel free to adjust this as necessary for your individual league, whether it’s moving non-elite prospects without 2016 ETAs down if you don’t have separate farm teams or moving lower-risk, lower-reward players up in deeper mixed or -only formats.

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And it's not just about save totals.

As the public ballots have run past our vision like newspapers off the press in the montage of an 80s movie, there’s one trend that catches the eye: the Lee Smith/Trevor Hoffman combination. Seventy-two voters as of this writing have publicly given a final show of support for Lee Smith, former saves record-holder. And 68 of those spent a second vote on the man who surpassed him, Trevor Hoffman.

This equals the amount who also voted for Tim Raines, who has better than 15 percent more support overall and exceeds the 63 votes for Jeff Bagwell, the other clear winner from this year’s class. Forget that in terms of specialization, they put designated hitters to shame: People who like closers really, really want there to be more closers in the Hall of Fame.

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Alex Rodriguez gets a TV show, the Tigers look for a center fielder, and the Rays add a former closer.

Tigers looking to fill center field hole

The Tigers were rumored to be a potential suitor for Gregor Blanco in the hours before he signed a minor league-deal with the Diamondbacks yesterday afternoon. But even with him now off the market, they’ve apparently still got a free agent outfielder to focus on—Peter Bourjos, who would presumably help fill the team’s void in center field. Though one of the Tigers’ first moves this winter was trading away center fielder Cameron Maybin, they haven’t done anything since to fill the space he left behind.

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Limitless ballots could make for Hall of Fame overkill, but maybe there's a simple solution.

Former New York Times writer and current blogger Murray Chass recently wrote about why he turned in a blank Hall of Fame ballot. In the piece, he shares an e-mail he sent to ballot-tracker Ryan Thibodaux:

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I'd like to rest my heavy head tonight on a bed of California stars.

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Brian Dozier is still in Minnesota, but maybe the Dodgers and the Twins were right to balk at a deal.

Last week I attended SportCon, a day-long convention on analytics in sports put on by an organization called MinneAnalytics. There were six seminar sessions throughout the day at the enclosed downtown campus of St. Thomas University in Minneapolis. I was sitting in an auditorium/lecture hall early in the afternoon, waiting for new Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey to walk in for a panel on how teams use analytical information in coaching and advance scouting, when Ken Rosenthal’s Twitter feed told me what business Falvey had concluded prior to making the short trip from Target Field to the conference: The Dodgers and Twins had reached a semi-official impasse, and Brian Dozier was (however flimsily) assured of remaining in Minnesota for a while.

That "news" is sorry succor for the news-starved fans of the baseball offseason and it rippled through the room like word that the keg has run dry at a wedding reception. If the convention were at Loyola Marymount instead of St. Thomas, it’s fair to guess that the tone would have been the same. Twins fans have wanted this deal for most of the winter. Dodgers fans have approached it cautiously, hugging their prospects tightly but with a measure of anticipation, too. Neither front office will endear themselves to large swaths of their fan base by walking away from the bargaining table. The Twins are still likely to be a losing team in 2017 and the aggressive rebuild Falvey and general manager Thad Levine have hinted at seems on hold until Dozier is dealt.

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January 18, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: First Base

3

Greg Wellemeyer

Stacking up players at this position based on their projected fantasy values through the end of the 2019 season.

Last week, we ranked catchers for the next three years and this week we’re on to first base. If you read last week or you’re familiar with this exercise from years past, you know that these rankings function best as something like a cross between keeper preferences and dynasty rankings for those whose window of contention is open in the immediate future. It’s important to state that these rankings are mine alone. They no doubt vary from the opinions of other writers on this site and that’s okay. Good, even. This wouldn’t be much fun if we all thought the same thing about every player and couldn’t learn from each other in the cases where we diverge.

And with that out of the way, let’s get on with it:

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January 18, 2017 6:00 am

The Adjuster: First Base

2

Eric Roseberry

Identifying players who see their values rise or fall in OBP and points formats.

After spending last week looking at fantasy catchers, a deep sadness came over me. The perfect antidote to that sadness was a week assessing first basemen. There’s no shortage of solid options at this position. However, as both Jeff and George mentioned earlier this week, there is a significant drop once you move past the elite level performers. Who you draft at first is an important decision for fantasy success, and if you find yourself in an OBP or points league, there are a few players worth giving extra attention.

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