Rankings Update: First Base

Back after a week lost to illness, here are your first base rankings. wOBA numbers are listed as “(Current, ZiPS Updated)”. If the wOBA numbers are a couple of points off, don’t sweat it, because it’s just me writing these things up ahead of time.

The Machine
Albert Pujols (.407, .455)

Albert’s OPS is below 1.000. I’m shocked.

Big Ballerz
Miguel Cabrera (.460, .420)
Ryan Howard (.336, .385)
Mark Teixeira (.331, .366)
Prince Fielder (.346, .389)

Cabrera holds strong at number two, with Teixeira overtaking Fielder for the number four spot. It wasn’t his power surge in Boston that did it. Just kidding, it was his power surge in Boston.

Not Quite Elite
Adrian Gonzalez (.369, .379)
Joey Votto (.424, .398)
Kevin Youkilis (.425, .399)

Am I the only one who thinks Youkilis could hit way more homers if he wanted to? Also, Joey Votto is really good.

A Cuban, A Canadian, and a Fat Guy
Justin Morneau (.466, .412)
Kendry Morales (.354, .356)
Adam Dunn (.393, .396)
Derrek Lee (.304, .355)
Paul Konerko (.455, .393)

This group keeps on growing. Adam Dunn jumps up two spots, and Konerko continues his ascent back into fantasy relevance.

Writers Block
Carlos Pena (.295, .357)
Billy Butler (.364, .365)
Adam LaRoche (.371, .380)
James Loney (.337, .350)

Remember, folks, Billy Butler is only 24 years old. It doesn’t look like it will be this year, but his power will continue to develop and he will be freakin’ awesome.

Two Men and a Baby
Garrett Jones (.348, .359)
Justin Smoak (.314, .327)*
Todd Helton (.306, .354)
Lance Berkman (.288, .375)

Smoak does not have a ZiPS Update, so his number is simply his ZiPS projection. I like what he’s doing thus far, and yes, I’d rather have him than Helton or Berkman going forward.

The Rest of ‘Em
Daric Barton (.371, .360)
Luke Scott (.282, .333)
Russell Branyan (.263, .336)
David Ortiz (.291, .358)

Branyan is yet to hit a dinger this year, and Big Papi is showing little signs of life once and awhile. Don’t get me wrong, he’s very close to done, but he might have one decent year left in him. At least, that’s what the Red Sox are hoping.

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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.

11 Responses to “Rankings Update: First Base”

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  1. mr met says:

    no love for Ike?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • soup du jour says:

      Agree. Don’t know about future projection, but the dude has been impressive so far. Better than Smoak, at any rate. How do they stack up, relatively?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • The A Team says:

        Smoak is definitely a much better player going forward. Ike struggles against lefties to the point where it’s unclear if he can improve. For fantasy purposes, Smoak hits in a better lineup in a friendlier park in addition to possessing greater tools and polish, so ranking him well ahead of Ike is an easy call.

        Would I give Davis a nod perhaps between Barton and Scott? Probably.

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      • mr met says:

        Ike is 8-14 against lefties since he came up… SSS I know, but at the same time it means something

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      • wobatus says:

        Davis actually had better OPS against lefties than Smoak in AA and AAA overall as well. Also small sample size. Ike has K issues, but he gets all the bad rep as a hitter against lefties, while Smoak, Alonso and Morrison have all had issues just as much if not more so, albeit Smoak is a switch-hitter. A-Team, I don’t know where you get “it’s unclear he can improve” against lefties when small samples suggest he has improved against lefties, getting better when he moved to AA last year, and hitting 2 homers against Jon sanchez last week, who had not given up ANY hits to lefties up to that point.

        Davis has also provided some decent first base glove work. He may not match Smoak as a hitter in the long run, but he seems to be a decent player in his own right.

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  2. fiji.siv says:

    No love for the Canadian? American bias? :-)

    Morneau has a higher wOBA than 7 of the 8 players ahead of him and projects as third overall yet is ranked ninth. What gives?
    (For those of you reading at home [or work] Cabrera has lifted his wOBA higher than Morneau, hence the “7 of 8″.)

    BTW, I agree about Youk.

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    • The A Team says:

      Between Target Field’s probable friendliness to lefties and Morneau’s new-found willingness to draw free passes (it’s in the data and he’s talked about it), I’m expecting a big year from him. I understand waiting to see if the newfound plate patience sticks, but the group he’s currently listed with have nothing in common with him. He definitely belongs a tier up.

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    • JayCee says:

      Maybe this is prospective and Morneau has a history of fading a bit?

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  3. JayCee says:

    Barton > Berkman

    sad to say, Lance is about done.

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  4. Dan says:

    Was just offered Tulo and Reynolds for Pujols. Currently Furcal and Rolen/Beckham manning SS and 3B and Pena is on the waivers to boot.

    Am I insane for not jumping all over this?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. Griff says:

    Dear Prince,

    What the hell man. Ok, i get it, your a slow starter….

    Does his weight and attitude catch up before am 8 or 9 follows his 2? If you had the chance to trade him in a Keeper League for full value (keep 5 players on 20 man rosters) knowing full well billy butler is available next year. Do ya do it?

    My Keeper choices are (Ubaldo, Lester, Panda, Prince, Andrus, Cruz)

    I already have two first round picks in next years draft. If i could get another 1st rounder and billy butler or another young production bat, is it now?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

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