We’ve been rolling out our updated position rankings this week, and now it’s time to hit the first baseman. Here are our preseason and May rankings for reference. There hasn’t been a ton of movement, especially not higher up on the list, but every little bit counts.
The top tier is reserved for the best of the best, which is why Gonzalez joins the three holdovers. He gives you AVG in addition to bulk HR and RBI totals, though his dinky walk rate (~7.0%) leaves something to be desired in OBP leagues. Pujols is barely outhitting Matt LaPorta a third of the way into the season, and I don’t mean that as a compliment to LaPorta. He gets another month in the top tier just because of his track record before I’ll consider dropping him. But yeah, Pujols owners have every reason to be disappointed.
Sanchez jumps into a big boy category because of his AVG, OBP, and RBI goodness, though he’s not going to give you the same amount of power as the others. Berkman’s renaissance has continued into June, and the others are pretty self explanatory. Elite HR and RBI, not so much on AVG (except for Konerko, so far).
Helton’s quietly having a very nice dead cat bounce year, though you’re not going to get much pop out of him. You can do a lot worse in OBP leagues though. Wallace is slowly and gracefully coming back to Earth following his BABIP-fueled surge, but his teammates are so bad that RBI production is kept to a minimum. Both Lind and Davis are on the disabled list and aren’t expected back for a while, but I’m not going to drop them in the rankings because of that.
Many projected a return to the days of 40+ homers for Dunn with the move to Chicago, but he’s been nothing short of a disaster. He’s still 0-for-2011 against lefties, and is on pace for a whopping 15 homers. Brutal. Miranda has been on a nice run since getting the job essentially full-time, and Trumbo now has the same kind of job security. Freeman’s shown flashes, but that’s not good enough for a higher ranking in my book.
Now we’re at the island of misfit first baseman. Lots of disappointments reside here, and only a handful of those guys are at an age where you think a return to past glory is possible. Belt is theoretically on the way up with more playing time, but he hasn’t done much yet. That doesn’t mean he won’t, though.
Injury, ineffectiveness, minor leagues. Pick one or any combination of those three things and you can figure out why the guys in the above category are fantasy irrelevant.