RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: First Base

Time for the first basemen! At least one entrant here will cause some consternation, but it’s probably a good time to remember that the bar for offense at first base is incredibly high. The 15th-ranked first baseman this year might hit .275 with 30 homers. Heck, the 20th-rhanked guy could do that.

So enjoy this list twice. They’ll probably fill two (to three) positions on your roster.

Rankings based on 5×5 roto, 12 teams, single-catcher with Middle Infield and Corner Infield spots, 14 hitters and 9 pitchers. Each ranker had their own mix of projections and intuition.

RG Name Jeff Zach Mike Eno
1 Paul Goldschmidt 1 1 1 1
2 Chris Davis 2 2 2 2
3 Prince Fielder 4 3 4 3
4 Edwin Encarnacion 3 5 3 5
5 Joey Votto 5 4 5 4
6 Freddie Freeman 9 7 6 6
7 Eric Hosmer 6 6 9 10
8 Anthony Rizzo 7 9 10 7
9 Albert Pujols 8 11 11 8
10 David Ortiz 10 10 7 12
11 Adrian Gonzalez 11 12 8 9
12 Billy Butler 12 8 17 11
13 Allen Craig 13 13 12 18
14 Mark Trumbo 14 14 13 17
15 Jose Abreu 15 20 14 13
16 Brandon Belt 18 16 15 14
17 Matt Adams 16 17 16 16
18 Kendrys Morales 19 18 20 15
19 Victor Martinez 22 23 19 20
20 Brandon Moss 24 15 18 28
21 Adam Lind 23 19 24 19
22 Mark Teixeira 21 22 21 21
23 Nick Swisher 20 21 26 24
24 Chris Carter 17 31 25 25
25 Mike Napoli 26 28 22 23
26 Yonder Alonso 27 25 27 22
27 Justin Morneau 28 24 23 27
28 Adam Dunn 25 27 31 30
29 Mitch Moreland 29 29 29 26
30 James Loney 34 26 30 29
31 Ryan Howard 30 30 33 31
32 Adam LaRoche 31 33 28 33
33 Ike Davis 35 32 34 32
34 Logan Morrison 32 34 37 35
35 Justin Smoak 33 35 36 34
36 Garrett Jones 36 36 35 36
37 Lucas Duda 38 37 40 37
38 Gaby Sanchez 37 40 38 39
39 Paul Konerko 39 38 39 40
40 Daric Barton 40 39 40 40

Other players ranked by one analyst: Mike Carp, Nate Freiman, Jesus Guzman, Darin Ruf, Kyle Blanks, Japhet Amador, and Andrew Lambo.




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Graphs: Baseball, Roto, Beer, brats (OK, no graphs for that...yet), repeat. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.

56 Responses to “RotoGraphs Consensus Ranks: First Base”

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  1. G says:

    Mauer, Morneau?

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  2. stuck in a slump says:

    No Hart?

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  3. Cardinology says:

    Seems like not a huge difference between numbers 8 or so and number 25ish – less upside with guys like Napoli and Swisher than Pujols or Rizzo, but everyone in that range seems to be pretty good but with at least one questions mark – Power (craig/butler/gonzalez), BA (trumbo/napoli), injuries (pujols, teixeira), etc.

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  4. Cybo says:

    Carlos Santana?

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  5. it really seems to me that projections are undermining jose abreu’s potential batting average. i know the cuban numbers aren’t a good comp because of the many inconsistencies pointed out on this website, but the guy can hit for average. he’s going to play everyday, and if his pop is real, i have no problem putting him at least as my #12 1B.

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    • Fredward says:

      Hey buck I’m with you. I’m on board with Abreu playing half his games in a dong friendly park, and the reports on this fellow are that he is quite a natural. Might be similar to a slightly larger, right hand only, and younger version of Kendrys Morales. Reports are he really clobbers the nut.

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  6. jim S. says:

    I think Matt Adams is WAY overrated. A mitigating factor is that he’ll be playing for possibly the best team in baseball.

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  7. matlock says:

    just for kicks…mark reynolds?

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  8. kevinthecomic says:

    Miguel Cabrera? Two-time league MVP. Maybe you’ve heard of him?

    -12 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • rod says:

      Dunno about your league, but (like Mauer at C) Cabrera is much more valuable as a 3B in mine.

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    • cs3 says:

      Third Baseman?
      Maybe youve heard that the 2 time league MVP didnt play first base last year, and will not qualify as a 1B to open the season in any fantasy leagues?

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      • Tom B says:

        Which will change after what… 5 days in most leagues? The more important point is that his production at 3B is more valuable.

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    • Pizzabox says:

      Well… I may not be QUITE as skilled as Eno… but I have him just ahead of EVERYONE aside from sliced bread.

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  9. This is for everyone….stop asking where Mauer, Santana, etc go in a listing of 1B. They go in your catcher spot while you still can…

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    • Cybo says:

      Some of us owners have the luxury of having made smart moves and may not be playing in 2 catcher leagues. Maybe some folks wonder if Mike Napoli or Carlos Santana would be better off in our CI slot. Assuming always makes an ass out of you first and in this case only you. Every team and league is different. Some teams do not have the flexibility to just play a guy at C instead. Maybe they can’t get a better 1B. Maybe you shouldn’t criticize people’s questions when you have no clue the context or their need for the info they request. Have some respect dude.

      I still laugh to myself as I recall the last “consensus first base rankings” released on this site. If my memory serves correct Albert Pujols was ranked 2nd or 3rd. This ranking was released after he had missed about a month of baseball and had no time table to return. As much as I love FG and all they have to offer I must say their rankings really aren’t very useful. Certainly not as useful as they should be when you consider their origins.

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      • Cybo says:

        Ahh I get it now. Pastors are just used to telling people what to do and what to think. Carry on.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        We showed love for an injured hall of famer with a great track record for a month too long and we’re useless.

        I do not think rankings are rendered useful or useless by their correlation to your beliefs. In fact, the difference makes them useful.

        We are well known for being tied to projection systems, and therefore move slower than intuition. Thats useful 70% of the time.

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      • Cybo says:

        I didn’t mean any offense and I certainly never stated that FG’s rankings are “useless”. Just that they aren’t as useful as they could or should be imo. For example leaving off all the C eligible 1Bs is not very helpful for ranking players in leagues that use CI positions. We all know that players are more valuable at shallower positions but considering your ranking is specifically for SINGLE catcher plus MI and CI it really makes a ton of sense to have included the C eligible 1Bs. A team in such a league could easily have 2 top 100 players eligible at C.

        My apologies for any offense and my poor choice of words. I appreciate very much the work that is put into FG and I’ve been a daily visitor for years. I love baseball and no other place on the web (or in the universe for that matter) really KNOWS baseball quite like FG. But I do have to admit that a lot of the consensus rankings I’ve seen on here just seem flat out weird sometimes. Yes I understand that they are very heavily weighted by projections. I guess they just seem way off base from a what I would call a “consensus” of the various sources on the web. It certainly doesn’t make them useless.

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        I guess I’ve never found a good reason to play a catcher in a CI spot even in my deep redrafts. I could see it in a keeper. I’ll include them from here on out. Thanks!

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    • Cybo says:

      As far as this ranking, I like it better than the last 1B ranking on here. I’d bump Matt Adams up a few spots and Rizzo down at least 10 in a redraft. Maybe nudge Hosmer down a couple too but after the top 5 they’re all very close anyway. Belt, Butler, Hosmer, Freeman, AGone, I’d be happy with any of them in the middle rounds. Overall I like it.

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  10. GilaMonster says:

    I don’t really understand the Joey Votto hate. I think ranking him behind Fielder is head scratching.

    He is a 25-30 HR guy with an excellent average,OBP, a solid bet for 100 Runs, and close to 100 RBIs with a couple SB.

    He had a career bad year with RISP and I don’t think that will continue. I think if Billy Hamilton can somehow manage to get on base, Votto will be seeing a lot of fastballs or have a man on second ready to score.

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    • Tom B says:

      Being ranked 5th isn’t an insult, 4 other players are simply projected to be better. They are all a much more sure bet for 100/30/100 than Votto.

      He also had the best OBP in the league batting ahead of him, which he won’t have this year.

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    • jpg says:

      There nothing head scratching at all about it. The dude had 73 RBI with an OBP machine in Choo hitting in front of him. He only hit 24 jacks last year and was pacing to hit less than that before getting hurt in 2012. He’s not a threat to steal double digit bases anymore. I think #5 in a standard league that uses BA and not OBP is actually pretty generous. He’s a fringe top ten guy in my eyes.

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  11. Snarf says:

    Posey? Most have him ranked at 9ish

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  12. Mark says:

    Not really feeling the Hosmer love. He has a pretty spotty track record including last year. Also first baseman usually don’t continue to steal bases as they age. He was terrible in the first half last year as well that sophomore year.

    Diminished stolen base numbers with middling power. Meh

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    • stonepie says:

      he was plagued by a bad babip in 2012. his power is frustrating.. he owned one of the longest avg fly ball distances last year but his FB% was too low. in the 2nd half, it crept upwards and you saw the results with 8 homers in 279 AB’s (29.1% fb rate vs 21.6% in the 1st half).

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  13. matlock says:

    my only beef is im suprised teixiera is above safer and productive players such as swisher, carter, and napoli(Albeit, its not a consensus). Hell, I would even take Morneau and Loney over the player that used to be Tex

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    • DPMeanDoublePlay says:

      It’s been well documented that Tex’s wrist issues aren’t going away. He said his wrist is still tight and will be until at least June and possibly all season. I am personally staying away from him. Too much risk for me.

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  14. david says:

    To rank Eric Hosmer as the 6th best 1B suggests major drug use. Aren’t you “experts” tired of being wrong on him? .302 avg last year was the result of a 2nd half Babip of .368, way above his carer average. Groundball rate of 53, hard to project him to over 20 HRs. He is Brandon Belt with 5-7 more steals.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Steals are valuable. My personal projection, which prefers to look at year-long samples instead of chopping up his work into smaller samples, has him at .289/20/9. Seems reasonable to me, even takes into account stealing less. Healthy young player that plays more often than Brandon Belt, who gets sat a lot, and was on a better offense last year, so his R/RBI are consistently higher too.

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  15. Evan says:

    Kind of useless if Miguel Cabrera is nowhere to be seen on the list. If I’m not mistaken, it’s been expected that he will be playing first base all season.

    -18 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Eno Sarris says:

      I don’t think we can rank a guy at a position he’s not eligible at in any fantasy game. Things change too often. Should we rank Carlos Santana at third? Marcus Semien at short? Obviously these aren’t as locked down as Miggie to first, but the point is, he’s not eligible there now, so even if you drafted him as your first baseman, you’d have to find another one. And the best policy is to wait until something actually happens to react to it, IMO.

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    • Simon says:

      Can’t you work out where to rank him yourself if you want to use him as a first baseman?

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    • jim says:

      agreed Evan. It’s a HUGE detractor from this list to not just have Cabrera at number 1 and then every other player adjusted down one number.

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    • Ken says:

      Useless?

      Just put him at the top of this list and add one to all of the other ranks if you’re terribly concerned about it.

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    • Pizzabox says:

      While your at it I better see Machado on the SS rankings, Jeter on the 3B/OF rankings, and Sandoval back on the C rankings… GAWD I HATE THIS FAMILY! *runs up stairs, slams door, buries head in pillow and cries.

      Come on, dude… is this really worth fretting over? My grandmother, god rest her sole, could place Miggy on this list.

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  16. mauro1 says:

    Eno, why so low on B-Moss?

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  17. B says:

    Just curious about LaRoche. I know he’s coming off a bad season and he’s getting up there in age, but one year away from a 33/100 season. I’m not expecting that, but wondering for reasons why you feel he can’t get back to, say 25/85 and a decent average, with full playing time? His BABIP was also .277 last year compared to a career .305 mark. I also see that Steamer projects him for only 113 games? Am I missing something (quite possibly)?Thanks in advance.

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  18. Ruki Motomiya says:

    Something I’m wondering, not in an accusatory way, but a curiousity way: Why is Prince Fielder above E3? E3′s had a lot more power the past two years, hits for a very solid average with great walk skills, has gotten more runs and RBIs than Fielder the past few years and he even steals some bases to boot, having stolen 7 and 13 the past two years (And 8 the year before). Even Fielder’s 2011 power season basically had HRs only around equal to E3′s last year. Is it injury concerns or something?

    A-Gon looks like good value, he’s only a 20-25 HR hitter now but he hits for an excellent average and has a good RBI spot. If you miss out on the elite 1B, he seems like a good option.

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    • pualy says:

      The Texas factor.

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      • the hottest stove says:

        is there even a texas factor anymore? i thought it basically went away with the new construction… According to stat corner, LHB in Comerica had a 2% greater boost to home runs than LHB in Arlington last year. Even if that was fluky, it seems it would be a negligible difference.

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    • Pizzabox says:

      I agree that EE is superior to Fielder; however, it’s really semantics as either guy could outproduce each other. I’d say the tier 2 guys start at Prince and end at Votto so they could easily be switched.

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  19. Anon21 says:

    I’m not sure if complaining about Jeff’s robo-rankings has gone out of style, but Rizzo over Freeman is pretty silly. Freeman is the better hitter in the better lineup; this isn’t rocket science.

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  20. pualy says:

    Pujols seems low. I mean if he’s fully healthy, which is being reported, you’re looking at a guy that is .280/30/100. That’s E5 minus 4-5 steals. I’d probably draft him over Rizzo and Freeman, maybe Hosmer in redraft leagues this year. Why is FG so low on him?

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  21. Bill Andrews says:

    I hope anybody that has Rizzo ranked higher than Pujols, Ortiz, Craig and Jose Abreu is in my league.

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  22. Oxboy says:

    Kendrys Morales over Allen Craig, Eno?

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