End of Season Rankings: First Base

The 2012 fantasy baseball season has come to a close, so it is time to look back at the season past and determine which players were the most valuable at each position. This week focuses on first baseman, a popular cornerstone of fantasy offenses everywhere.

The players were ranked based on their 2012 production, using the evaluation system explained and updated on this site some time ago. To keep things manageable and avoid skewing the numbers, players were only considered if they amassed 350 plate appearances over the course of the year. The replacement level was also adjusted to account for players eligible at multiples positions. The valuations are built for $260 budgets and traditional 5×5 roto fantasy leagues.

One important thing to note is the premium (or lack thereof) placed on the position a player occupies in your lineup. While a first baseman may be able to accumulate superior overall numbers, the availability of such production lower in the rankings severely dampers the amount the player was worth.

These rankings are meant to reflect a player’s value should he have occupied this spot in your lineup for the entire year. So, a player who missed time due to injury but put up great numbers during his time on the field — like Joey Votto — would be worth less.

With all this in mind, here are your rankings.

Rnk Name Pos AB HR R RBI SB BA $$$
1 Miguel Cabrera 1B 622 44 109 139 4 0.330 $37
2 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 542 42 93 110 13 0.280 $27
3 Prince Fielder 1B 581 30 83 108 1 0.313 $21
4 Albert Pujols 1B 607 30 85 105 8 0.285 $20
5 Buster Posey 1B 530 24 78 103 1 0.336 $20
6 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 514 20 82 82 18 0.286 $16
7 Corey Hart 1B 562 30 91 83 5 0.270 $15
8 Adam LaRoche 1B 571 33 76 100 1 0.271 $15
9 Allen Craig 1B 469 22 76 92 2 0.307 $14
10 Adrian Gonzalez 1B 629 18 75 108 2 0.299 $14
11 Joe Mauer 1B 545 10 81 85 8 0.319 $13
12 Chris Davis 1B 515 33 75 85 2 0.270 $13
13 Mark Trumbo 1B 544 32 66 95 4 0.268 $13
14 Freddie Freeman 1B 540 23 91 94 2 0.259 $12
15 Adam Dunn 1B 539 41 87 96 2 0.204 $12
16 Nick Swisher 1B 537 24 75 93 2 0.272 $11
17 Garrett Jones 1B 475 27 68 86 2 0.274 $10
18 Paul Konerko 1B 533 26 66 75 0 0.298 $10
19 Joey Votto 1B 374 14 59 56 5 0.337 $8
20 Tyler Colvin 1B 420 18 62 72 7 0.290 $7
21 Ike Davis 1B 519 32 66 90 0 0.227 $6
22 Mark Teixeira 1B 451 24 66 84 2 0.251 $6
23 Kendrys Morales 1B 484 22 61 73 0 0.273 $5
24 Howie Kendrick 1B 550 8 57 67 14 0.287 $4
25 Carlos Santana 1B 507 18 72 76 3 0.252 $4
26 Justin Morneau 1B 505 19 63 77 1 0.267 $4
27 Daniel Murphy 1B 571 6 62 65 10 0.291 $3
28 Michael Young 1B 611 8 79 67 2 0.277 $3
29 Todd Frazier 1B 422 19 55 67 3 0.273 $3
30 Michael Morse 1B 406 18 53 62 0 0.291 $2
31 Eric Hosmer 1B 535 14 65 60 16 0.232 $1
32 Dustin Ackley 1B 607 12 84 50 13 0.226 $1
33 Jordan Pacheco 1B 475 5 51 54 7 0.309 $1
34 Michael Cuddyer 1B 358 16 53 58 8 0.260 $0
35 Mark Reynolds 1B 457 23 65 69 1 0.221 $0
36 Kevin Youkilis 1B 438 19 72 60 0 0.235 $0
37 Carlos Lee 1B 550 9 53 77 3 0.264 $0
38 Jeff Keppinger 1B 385 9 46 40 1 0.325 $(1)
39 Brandon Belt 1B 411 7 47 56 12 0.275 $(1)
40 Anthony Rizzo 1B 337 15 44 48 3 0.285 $(2)
41 Yonder Alonso 1B 549 9 47 62 3 0.273 $(3)
42 Mike Napoli 1B 352 24 53 56 1 0.227 $(3)
43 Carlos Pena 1B 497 19 72 61 2 0.197 $(4)
44 Mitch Moreland 1B 327 15 41 50 1 0.275 $(4)
45 Bryan LaHair 1B 340 16 42 40 4 0.259 $(5)
46 John Mayberry 1B 441 14 53 46 1 0.245 $(5)
47 Lucas Duda 1B 401 15 43 57 1 0.239 $(6)
48 Justin Smoak 1B 483 19 49 51 1 0.217 $(7)
49 Casey Kotchman 1B 463 12 46 55 3 0.229 $(7)
50 Adam Lind 1B 321 11 28 45 0 0.255 $(10)
51 Ty Wigginton 1B 315 11 40 43 1 0.235 $(10)
52 James Loney 1B 434 6 37 41 0 0.249 $(12)
53 Casey McGehee 1B 318 9 36 41 1 0.217 $(14)

Some things to note

• Plate appearances are used as a qualifier because they are a better measure of offensive playing time. While plate appearances drive the qualifications for the rankings, at-bats are listed to help keep batting averages in context.

• The depth at first base this year was pretty sweet. Other than the lack of RBI, Paul Konerko had himself an excellent year, and he ranks all the way down at 18th.

• If you were the sort to wait on first baseman this year and grab a couple of part-timers, you probably made out okay. Anthony Rizzo and Mitch Moreland are great examples of getting production at a high rate while keeping costs low.




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Zach is the creator and co-author of RotoGraphs' Roto Riteup series, and RotoGraphs' second-longest tenured writer. You can follow him on twitter.


16 Responses to “End of Season Rankings: First Base”

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  1. El Guapo says:

    If you can get Joey Votto for $8 where you play, we’d like to apply for a club in those leagues.

    -7 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Cliff says:

      i think thats likely in reference to their worth in terms of dollar amounts, not how much he would/did bid on them. unless of course you think he got EE for $27, LaRoche for $15, Chris Davis for $13, and Garrett Jones for $10.

      Before you go trying to make the writer seem like an amateur, its usually wise to ensure you dont in turn make yourself look like the amatuer.

      +15 Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. jcxy says:

    as a reference point, how many dollars do you need to accrue to win your league on average (assuming 12 team 5×5 mixed roto $260 budget)?

    with this in mind, is there any way that you could post average auction values next to their final year price? it would be interesting to see which type of player would be the best bet to overspend on, see whether the typical 160-100 split holds up, etc etc.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Tough to say just because you can’t simply add up the values of the players on your final week’s roster, since your team has likely changed throughout the season. I’d guess around $330 though, since I know the standard advice is to try paying 78%-80% of value at the auction.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jcxy says:

        Well, that’s kind of what I’m trying to get to in my head. If you spent 30 on Prince Fielder, is the 21 dollar return *relatively* good, average, or bad? As you point out, there is “free” team value available as free agents following the draft, so is paying the premium for Pujols or Fielder, knowing you’re likely to incur some real value loss, nonetheless not only excusable but justified?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Zach Sanders says:

        jcxy — with many of the big-name players, you end up paying a premium. Not only because they’re a name that everyone knows and wants, but because there is a certain assurance of a high level of production.

        This doesn’t necessarily mean you should pay that premium, but that’s what happens.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • @jcxy, it’s a bad return. First basemen are typically the most overvalued in auction drafts, at least in mine. That’s when you zig when they are zagging and scoop up the bargains created by the overpaying.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • jcxy says:

        that makes more sense now. thanks!

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Transmission says:

    Can you comment on DHs who sometimes moonlight as 1Bmen, like Billy Butler? He was my only 1Bman this year, played 162 real innings in the field, and it looks like he would be penciled in around 7th on that list.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. NL ONLY says:

    Ryan Howard?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. dmoney says:

    These rankings help me realize why I finished 5 out of 12 teams this year. I drafted Reynolds and Hosmer…. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    of course I also drafted Goldschmidt in the auction style draft.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. lendewig says:

    Zach-

    Is there a way to determine value in single league formats for these reports?

    Thanks

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. zach says:

    where do you suppose Rizzo would rank if he had played all year?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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