2011 Player Rankings: First Basemen

The 2011 season (and fantasy drafts) are rapidly approaching, so we here at RotoGraphs put our slide rules down long enough to come up some aggregate positional rankings. Today I present to you first basemen, and I’ll be your guy at the position all season…

Grand Slams
Albert Pujols
Miguel Cabrera
Joey Votto

Albert is still king, drawing the top spot from all seven of us who put the rankings together. Welcome to the high rollers club, Joey.

Solo Shots
Adrian Gonzalez
Prince Fielder
Ryan Howard
Mark Teixeira

I’ll take any of these guys on my roster any day of the week. I think a case can be made that one of these four plus a first round middle infielder is greater than one of the three guys above plus a second round middle infielder.

Double into the Gaps
Adam Dunn
Kendry Morales
Justin Morneau
Billy Butler
Kevin Youkilis
Paul Konerko

Safe, reliable, will get you home at night. Youkilis has more value at third base.

Single and a Stolen Bases
Luke Scott
Aubrey Huff

Derrek Lee
Ike Davis
Carlos Pena
James Loney
Michael Cuddyer

They’ll get the job done without a significant investment. Davis is a nice little breakout candidate, and Pena could make it rain in Wrigley.

Infield Hits
Mitch Moreland
Adam LaRoche
Freddie Freeman
Garret Jones
Adam Lind
Lance Berkman
Daric Barton
Justin Smoak
Gaby Sanchez
Matt LaPorta
Carlos Lee

Everyone here is either on the way up or on the way down.

Catcher’s Interferences
Brett Wallace
Todd Helton
Brandon Allen
Dan Johnson
Lyle Overbay
Kila Ka’aihue
Brandon Belt
Juan Miranda
Brad Hawpe
Ty Wigginton
Yonder Alonso
Chris Carter
Jorge Cantu
Russell Branyan
Xavier Nady
Chris Davis
Eric Hinske
Jay Gibbons
Travis Ishikawa

You’d have to be in a really, really deep league to look at these guys on draft day.

* * *

Buster Posey, Victor Martinez, and Mike Napoli all have 1B eligibility, but they’re far more valuable behind the plate, hence their omission from the rankings. We’re going to have plenty of more first base related content over the next day or two, and throughout the season I’ll post updated rankings and examine players that may (or may not) help your team.

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Mike writes about the Yankees at River Ave. Blues and baseball in general at CBS Sports.

24 Responses to “2011 Player Rankings: First Basemen”

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  1. Matt says:

    someone tell me what Brandon Allen has to do to get a chance

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  2. John says:

    Does Cabrera’s DUI impact anything?

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  3. kwaz says:

    I’d much rather see more than weak cursory analysis of tiers than have you spend effort on the hackneyed type-of-base-hit analogy

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    • Mike Axisa says:
      FanGraphs Supporting Member

      You’re lucky, I almost went with De Niro movies.

      We’re going to have a ton more 1B content today and tomorrow, the analysis will be there.

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  4. gu03alum says:

    Is Brett Wallace ownable in a 10 team NL only league?

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  5. pogotheostrich says:

    I can’t figure out if Butler is being overrated or Youkilis is being uderrated. Either way I would swap those two.

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    • Jason says:

      Are these sorted within the tier? I guess I just assumed they are dumped into tiers with no sorting. Any confirmation one way or the other?

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    • DonCoburleone says:

      Butler is being overrated. Unless man-boobs hits .390 that batting average (and runs and RBI’s) will never be high enough to justify 20HR’s out of 1B..

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    • Stairmaster Jenkins says:

      It’s a combination of both. It’s Kevin Youkilis by a country mile.

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  6. d_i says:
    FanGraphs Supporting Member

    if Berkman doesn’t outperform Cuddyer this year, i will be surprised. in terms of overall game, cuddyer is another powerless and slow OF year away from being in the dropped third stike throw that hits him in the back running to first base category.

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  7. Salt-n-Pepitone Loc says:

    Is Swisher eligible again this year? I punted 1B last year and ended up with him and that worked out pretty well. I’d probably put him at the top of the fourth tier.

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  8. DonCoburleone says:

    I was with you regarding those 2nd tier 1B and potentially drafting one of them in the 2nd round and a top MI in the first, but based on ADP its just not as simple as that.. Mock Draft Central has A-Gon going 8th, Tex 12th, Howard 16th and Fielder 22nd. So if you go Cano or Tulo first round you ain’t getting A-Gon or Tex thats for sure.. Seems to me like Fielder is the big bargain for top level first baseman this year. Give me pick #2 – you could end up with Hanley/Fielder plus someone like Youkilis, Holliday or Choo. Thats one heII of a solid core.

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  9. Nick says:

    Any chance Alonso breaks camp with the big club as a left field option?

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  10. Michael says:

    Where would you rank guys like Victor Martinez and Buster Posey? Guys that don’t normally play 1B but are eligible there.

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  11. Kid Charlemagne says:

    If you had a choice between Smoak and Davis for the next five years, which would you take?

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  12. Hugh G. Rection says:

    Mark Reynolds has traditionally maintained 1B eligibility. Will he maintain it this year?

    He is currently only eligible at 3rd in my (cbs.sportsline) league but he apparently did play 5 games at 1st last year

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