2012 First Base Tiers: June

It’s time to update our first base tiered rankings now that we’re into June and more than one-third of the way through the season. Due to popular demand, I’m leaving the catchers (Mike Napoli, Buster Posey, Joe Mauer, Carlos Santana) and middle infielders (Michael Young, Howie Kendrick) out of the rankings since they’re so obviously more valuable at other positions despite having first base eligibility in most leagues. Here are the preseason and May tiers for reference.

Tier One
Miguel Cabrera
Joey Votto
Paul Konerko
Prince Fielder
Albert Pujols

Konerko makes the long overdue jump into the top tier thanks to his MLB-best 189 wRC+. That latest minor wrist procedure doesn’t concern me much, the man has gotten better and better with age.

Tier Two
Adrian Gonzalez
Billy Butler
Mark Teixeira
Edwin Encarnacion
Mark Trumbo
Mike Morse
Eric Hosmer

It’s time to ding Gonzalez. He’s hit just four homers this season and 19 over the last calendar year, and that’s simply not top tier power production. Morse hasn’t done much since coming off the DL about a week ago but that’s no big deal, he has some rust to shake off. E5 owns a 139 wRC+ over the last calendar year, so this isn’t an early-season fluke. Hosmer needs to get it going and soon, this is very uncool.

Tier Three
Adam Dunn
Bryan LaHair
Freddie Freeman
Corey Hart
Allen Craig
Adam LaRoche
Nick Swisher

Injuries have forced Craig into the Cardinals’ lineup on an everyday basis, which is great news for fantasy owners. The man lives to hit. LaHair has cooled off a bit but remains productive, you just can’t use him against left-handers.

Tier Four
Michael Cuddyer
Carlos Pena
Kevin Youkilis
Paul Goldschmidt
Lucas Duda
Justin Morneau
Kendrys Morales
Yonder Alonso
Luke Scott

Morneau and Morales have been productive though not as productive as they were prior to their devastating injuries. Goldschmidt has started to hit some dingers but Scott is on the way down, he’s been scuffling bad for about a month now.

Tier Five
Chris Davis
Justin Smoak
Mark Reynolds
Todd Helton
Matt Adams
Logan Morrison
Brandon Belt
Daniel Murphy
Garrett Jones
Mitch Moreland
Ike Davis

Your island of misfit fantasy first baseman, loaded with guys who can hit for some power but no average or hit for average with no power. Some aren’t doing either right now, like Davis. I’m a big fan in the long-term but my goodness.

Tier Six
Ty Wigginton
James Loney
Matt Carpenter
Shelley Duncan
Brett Pill
John Mayberry Jr.
Casey Kotchman
Mike Carp
Casey McGehee
Aubrey Huff
Jesus Guzman
Juan Rivera
Matt LaPorta

In our spectrum of adequacy, these guys range anywhere from regrettable to participatory.

Off The Radar (injuries, minors, etc.)
Pablo Sandoval
Lance Berkman
Ryan Howard
Victor Martinez
Carlos Lee
Gaby Sanchez
Anthony Rizzo
Mat Gamel
Adam Lind
Kila Ka’aihue
Chris Parmelee
Brett Wallace
Daric Barton
Brandon Allen

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

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He’s also awful in relation to where he’s been the past few years too. RF eligibility only makes me shout a very soft “woo hoo”. Might need to ride the pine in daily leagues on days when I’m in a bad mood and feel obsessed to start a bunch of speed guys.