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01-19

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1

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

01-19

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1

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

01-19

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0

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

01-18

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3

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: First Base
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-18

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1

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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8

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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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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2

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

01-16

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11

State of the Position: First Base
by
George Bissell

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

01-13

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8

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

01-13

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6

Fantasy Players to Avoid: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

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

Player Profile: Jonathan Lucroy
by
Jeff Quinton

01-12

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4

Tale of the Tape, Dynasty Edition: Yan Gomes vs. Devin Mesoraco
by
Mark Barry

01-12

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3

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

01-12

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2

The -Only League Landscape: American League Catchers
by
Mike Gianella

01-12

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10

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 50 Catchers
by
Bret Sayre

01-11

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2

Tale of the Tape: Welington Castillo vs. Brian McCann
by
Alex Chamberlain

01-11

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0

The Adjuster: Catchers
by
Eric Roseberry

01-11

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1

Get to Know: Catcher Prospects
by
Ben Carsley

01-11

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6

Fantasy Three-Year Projections: Catchers
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-10

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12

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: Catchers
by
Mike Gianella

01-10

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2

Tale of the Tape: Russell Martin vs. Matt Wieters
by
Bryan Joiner

01-10

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0

Player Profile: Buster Posey
by
Scooter Hotz

01-10

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3

Welcome to Splitsville: Catchers
by
Tim Finnegan

01-09

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8

Fantasy Players to Target: Catchers
by
BP Fantasy Staff

01-09

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7

State of the Position: Catchers
by
George Bissell

01-09

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2

Early ADP Analysis: Catchers
by
Matt Collins

01-09

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6

The Quinton: Catchers and Answers to Easier Questions
by
Jeff Quinton

01-06

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: A Deeper Dive: OBP
by
Wilson Karaman

01-05

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1

The Over/Underachievers: On-Base Percentage
by
Greg Wellemeyer

01-05

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3

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: A Deeper Dive: Wins
by
Scooter Hotz

01-04

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Over/Underachievers: Wins
by
Matt Collins

01-04

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5

Fantasy Freestyle: Using Statcast Analytics for Fantasy Decisions
by
Tim Finnegan

01-04

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5

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: On-Base Percentage
by
George Bissell

01-03

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: The Landscape: Wins
by
George Bissell

12-23

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: A Deeper Drive: Runs/RBI
by
Scooter Hotz

12-22

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1

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Over/Underachievers: R/RBI
by
Greg Wellemeyer

12-19

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4

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: The Landscape: Runs/RBI
by
George Bissell

12-16

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: A Deeper Dive: WHIP
by
Scooter Hotz

12-15

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2

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Over/Underachievers: WHIP
by
Wilson Karaman

12-15

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4

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: The Landscape: WHIP
by
George Bissell

12-14

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0

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Moving Forward: Batting Average
by
Matt Collins

12-13

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1

Fantasy Categorical Breakdowns: Over/Underachievers: Batting Average
by
Mike Gianella

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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

1

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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January 19, 2017 6:00 am

Dynasty League Positional Rankings: The Top 50 First Basemen

0

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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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

1

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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January 18, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Tommy Joseph vs. Eric Thames

2

Bryan Joiner

Is the second-year Phillie or the new, KBO-destroying Brewer a better fantasy bet in 2017?

The Tale of the Tape series doesn’t get less orthodox than this. In one corner, you have Philly’s Tommy Joseph, a conventional young masher with loads of potential ready for his first full season. In the other, you have a guy who hasn’t played in the majors since 2012 and couldn’t do squat when he did... but Eric Thames went to South Korea in 2014 and played for three years like he was bitten by Babe Ruth reincarnated as a (fat) radioactive spider. Thames returns to America a changed man, but can it win him this totally arbitrary matchup? Let’s find out!

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January 18, 2017 6:00 am

Get to Know: First Base Prospects

8

Ben Carsley

A window into the fantasy future at the cold corner.

Previous entries in this series

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January 17, 2017 6:00 am

Player Profile: Hanley Ramirez

2

Wilson Karaman

A midyear mechanical change produced outstanding results for the Red Sox first-sacker in 2016, but can you expect more of the same to come?

Player Background

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January 17, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Tiered Rankings: First Basemen

15

Mike Gianella

Stacking up the players at this position by fantasy-value-based bins.

Welcome back to our fantasy positional ratings series at Baseball Prospectus. Things can only get better from here on out, as we move from the not-so-fun duties of ranking catchers to the much more fun assignment of ranking first basemen. Once again, I rated the players at the position and then received the feedback of our crack team of fantasy writers in order to bring you a mix of my ratings at the position along with a reality check from the rest of our staff if I was too low or high on a specific player. Let’s get right to it.

Five-star players are the studs at their position. In general, they are the players who will be nabbed in the first couple of rounds of the draft, and will fetch mixed-league auction bids over $30. Four-star players are a cut below the studs at the position. They will also be early-round selections, and they are projected to be worth more than $20 in most cases. Three-star players are the last tier in which players are projected to provide double-digit dollar value in auctions, and two-star players are projected to earn single digits in dollar value in auctions. One-star players are late-round sleepers and roster placeholders. The positional tiers aren't simply a regurgitation of last year's values but rather offer insight into what we expect will happen in 2017.

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January 17, 2017 6:00 am

Welcome to Splitsville: First Base

0

Tim Finnegan

A look at how first-sackers fare based on the handedness of the opposing pitcher and other contextual factors.

Last week, I introduced a few different splits fantasy owners can use in both seasonal and daily leagues, and focused on catchers. For more detail on those splits, see the link above. We transition to first base this week.

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January 17, 2017 6:00 am

Tale of the Tape: Victor Martinez vs. Carlos Santana

2

Alex Chamberlain

Which of these two ex-catchers is a better investment in redraft leagues this spring?

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January 16, 2017 6:00 am

Fantasy Players to Target: First Basemen

2

BP Fantasy Staff

The staff identifies possible value plays at this position for the coming season.

Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Maybe all those years of the Cincinnati front office and local media riding him for walking too much has seeped into the general fantasy-playing population at large after all, because Votto continues to be an underrated mixed-league target at the top of his position. In 2015, granted at 31 and coming off an injury season, he was taken 71st overall on average – around 12th among first basemen depending on who you count out of the position-eligible pool. He produced $30 in standard mixed-league value, good for the second-best return at the position. Last year he went off the board seventh among first basemen, 36th overall on average; he earned $29 mixed-league dollars, again the second-most of any first baseman. We’ve got him ranked second at the position this season in acknowledgement of recent evidence, and yet… he’s currently going off the board sixth among first basemen, around the 28th overall pick. Huh?

At 33 there are certainly age-related concerns to be peddled, particularly given the history with his legs. But he was thoroughly destructive in the second half last season, the ballpark remains a perfect fit for his batted ball distribution, and he managed a tick under 200 R+RBI last year in spite of a bottom-third supporting cast. And while his value increases exponentially in OBP leagues, he’s a career .313 hitter (.320 over the last two seasons). A whopping six first basemen managed to crack .290 last year, so the advantage of a locked-in asset in AVG shouldn’t be understated, either. At 28 overall, Votto has the look of an absolutely lethal snake-draft target for the turn in 14- to 16-team redrafts, or a lethal second pick for anyone stuck navigating the late first-round muddle in a straight draft. —Wilson Karaman


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