Updated Consensus Ranks: First Base

It’s time to update the rankings!

Hopefully these rankings will allow you to find your own buy-low and sell-high opportunities. The disagreements between our different rankers should help. Jeff Zimmerman‘s rankings are largely built upon a mix of Steamer and ZiPs, Zach Sanders has his own secret sauce, and Mike Podhorzer and I are a little more intuitive, even while we both use the projections as a basis. Hopefully we are representative of the different types of fantasy managers out there.

The first basemen shuffled the cards around a bit, but the elite are still the elite… except for one Anthony Rizzo, who is zooming up the ranks. To the point where we are wondering if he’s the number one fantasy first baseman going forward. Well, someone knew it was coming, and yet that same someone wouldn’t yet make Rizzo the number one guy. There are still the matter of his strikeouts and his final batting average.

There are some dramatic movers and shakers in the rest of the rankings. Chris Davis looks like a new man according to his plate discipline stats, and Mark Reynolds might have proven that his power would translate to a tougher home park. Ike Davis looks whiffy and Paul Konerko looks old.

Who do you like more than our rankers? Less?

With the color-coding we hope to highlight the biggest movers. That definition changes as you follow the ranks down the list — players had to move more to register a color change as you near the bottom of the list. These are rest-of-season rankings for 5×5 roto.


RG Player JZ ES MP ZS
1 Prince Fielder 3 2 1 1
2 Albert Pujols 1 1 2 6
3 Joey Votto 4 3 3 3
4 Paul Goldschmidt 5 4 5 2
5 Anthony Rizzo 2 5 6 5
6 Adrian Gonzalez 6 6 7 8
7 Edwin Encarnacion 8 7 4 9
8 Billy Butler 7 9 10 4
9 Buster Posey 9 8 13 7
10 Freddie Freeman 10 10 12 14
11 Mark Trumbo 12 11 14 11
12 Allen Craig 13 13 9 15
13 David Ortiz 15 12 8 16
14 Chris Davis 16 15 11 10
15 Eric Hosmer 11 14 16 19
16 Joe Mauer 19 17 20 12
17 Paul Konerko 17 19 17 18
18 Carlos Santana 18 18 25 13
19 Michael Cuddyer 14 16 15 35
20 Nick Swisher 21 20 23 31
21 Ike Davis 26 31 18 23
22 Mark Reynolds 22 24 28 26
23 Todd Frazier 27 25 24 27
24 Mike Napoli 34 28 26 17
25 Adam LaRoche 35 29 21 22
26 Mark Teixeira 20 21 29 38
27 Garrett Jones 23 26 34 25
28 Ryan Howard 24 30 31 34
29 Lance Berkman 41 32 27 20
30 Corey Hart 31 23 35 33
31 Yonder Alonso 33 27 32 30
32 Brandon Belt 25 22 37 39
33 Michael Young 28 33 36 28
34 Justin Morneau 38 34 30 24
35 Kendrys Morales 36 40 22 29
36 Mitch Moreland 39 36 42 21
37 Chris Carter 30 37 33 41
38 Daniel Murphy 29 32 49 41
39 Adam Dunn 37 39 40 37
40 Brandon Moss 40 35 39 40
41 James Loney 41 41 45 32
42 Adam Lind 41 41 43 36
43 Dustin Ackley 32 41 48 41
44 Logan Morrison 41 41 41 41
45 Matt Carpenter 41 38 47 41


Other first basemen that appeared on one ranker’s list: Jordan Pacheco, Carlos Pena, Chris Parmelee, Luke Scott and Justin Smoak. No, no Mike Jacobs.




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


70 Responses to “Updated Consensus Ranks: First Base”

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  1. Kevin says:

    I seriously don’t understand the hate of FG in regards to Lance Berkman. Hosmer, Davis, Jones, Teixiera , Konerko ahead of Berkman….based on what?

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    • Kevin says:

      Referring to Ike Davis here, just to be clear

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    • wynams says:

      Even Garrett Jones rates higher here, which is just a tad ridonk.

      I hope all of my league takes these consensus ranks to heart! HEAR HEAR! *clinking champagne glasses

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    • kid says:

      Might have something to do with his projected health? ZIPS’ ROS stats for him aren’t particularly appealing…

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        For me it was about the fact that he’s not quite playing every day, he’s a heck of an injury risk, and I’m not 100% sure he’ll reach his old power days at his age. Also, DHes get a 10% penalty (the pinch-hit penalty), so it’s not completely fair to look back at his old days. I’m very happy with him as my AL-LABR first baseman, however.

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    • Jaker says:

      Berkman has slowed considerably since his start and is not an every day player. He’ll get plenty of days off and is prone to injury.

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  2. diehardmets says:

    Just curious, how come Pujols is still so high? There have been no indications of him coming out of this season long slump yet, and one has to wonder if he’ll ever be even close to what he once was.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      For me it was as simple as the fact that other than BABIP, it’s only the power that’s missing, and power takes the longest to stabilize. I could easily see him hitting 30 this year, and he still has the plate discipline (low Ks) to hit for a good average. The wild card is the health of his legs.

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      • pudieron89 says:

        so it’s only the most important part of a first baseman’s game that he’s missing? sounds great!

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Stabilize – means predictive. His power right now is not predictive. Meaning, other than speculation about his health, we cannot say much more about his power now than we could a month ago. He’s still much more likely than not to put up a .200+ ISO and a .300 average RoS.

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      • Tommy says:

        These guys are too hard on Pujols. He’ll come around.

        On May 13, 2012, here are what his slash rates were: .196/.234/.275/.510

        As of May 13, 2013, here are his current slash rates:
        .234/.315/.393/.709

        Final Stats in 2012?
        Counting: 85-30-105-8
        Slash: .285/.343/.516/.859

        And he has started this year better than last year. My take? As he ages, he is a slow starter. So he’s more of a 30-HR threat than 40. With 7-8 SB, great OBP, and outstanding counting stats, that’s still elite territory.

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    • Hunter Pence's Thorax says:

      I own Pujols and I’d deal him for any of the 3 below him.

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    • Jon L. says:

      I would also rank Pujols lower. Yes, he started abysmally last year, but there was no clear physical cause. This year, you can see his plantar fasciitis plain as day when he tries to run, and that’s just not something that ever gets better without prolonged rest.

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  3. Sgt Hulka says:

    Please give me hope for Hosmer. I have him I’m a 15-teamer.

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  4. Barry Smail says:

    How is it that Chris Davis, who is among the AL league leaders in HR, RBI and BA, is ranked so low? How is it that Pujols and Encarnacion are ranked above him?

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    • Kevin says:

      Pujols has a history of excellence, and Chris Davis has a history of being, well, Chris Davis. A few months shouldn’t change your rankings that dramatically.

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      • Dave says:

        Given their relative ages and health, I would have Chris Davis higher and Albert Pujols lower. I’m not saying I’d put CD ahead of Pujols, but I would have them where ZS put them. Roighly

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      • SKob says:

        Kevin, what exactly in the history of Chris Davis makes you think he isn’t a power hitter and won’t hit over .300? Career minor league numbers? Nooo, beast and beast! Last years numbers? Okay, average was under .280 (I think), but in his first year with a full time job, why would we not expect improvement.

        Not getting a real chance in Texas does not make him a fluke! Pujols struggling with an injury and having NO history of dominant success with the Angels should drop him from #2. I have been critical of Zach’s rankings before, but he was actually right then, and I think he’s right about Pujols now!

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      • Eno Sarris says:

        Dude, Chris Davis won’t hit over .300. I’d bet a lot of gummi bears on that. He went from league-worst strikeout rate to just bad. He’s got a strikeout rate between Jason Kipnis and Chris Parmelee and Evan Gattis. Of the guys that struck out 25+% of the time last year, not a single one hit .300 for the season.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      For one, they are rest-of-season rankings.

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  5. JR Ewing says:

    [cite]Just curious, how come Pujols is still so high? There have been no indications of him coming out of this season long slump yet, and one has to wonder if he’ll ever be even close to what he once was.[/cite]

    1. He has TONS of history.
    2. I haven’t heard anything that suggests a reason for him dropping out of the elite, other than potential age decline.
    3. He started out very slow last year and finished strong, so this wouldn’t be the first time that happened.
    4. There’s no one behind him that has the current performance + history to move above him.

    *Disclosure: I don’t own Pujols in any leagues this year

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    • rob deer says:

      well, regarding #2, he’s pretty clearly hurt to some degree, and with an injury that isn’t going to go away as the season wears on. I would definitely rather have Goldschmidt, Rizzo, or Votto than him.

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    • wynams says:

      Plantar fasciitis is hindering his base of power in driving the ball (legs) … Pujols should not be in the top 20.

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      • Johnny Come Lately says:

        Hahahahhahahahaha

        Good one!

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      • Jason B says:

        Agreed Johnny – it’s one thing to think Pujols warrants dropping down slightly based on age/injury risk/slowish start, or some combination thereof. But ‘out of the top 20′ is taking that just a tad (read: waaaaaaaaay) too far.

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  6. Jeff says:

    I’m not sure it’s fair to call it “hate” toward Berkman, but he has been good so far. I’m more curious about the faith in Pujols. Can you maybe explain what’s in the numbers that makes him #1 for two voters? Is it simplyt that he came back around this time last year? Thanks!

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  7. KRS-1 says:

    what a laugh. all these fangraph “experts” were so down on goldschmidt pre-season.
    you still have adrian ranked too high and freeman, davis not high enough

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      We were down on him? We ranked him fifth. That’s a pretty sweet ranking for a young dude without much of a track record, a high strikeout rate, and troubles against righties. I’m happy he’s managed to improve his approach against righties, but his strikeout rate is still high.

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    • ashtray says:

      Apparently, knowledge didn’t reign supreme over Eno in this instance. See what I did there?

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    • Clifford says:

      yeah since Freeman is such a fantasy stud. I don’t get it with him. Why do people value him so highly? His last 2 years, hes averaged .271, 79 runs, 22 HR, 85 RBI, and 3 SB…this year, his ZiPs full season projection is at .278, 79 runs, 20 HR, 91 RBI, and 2 SB…that’s good and all, don’t get me wrong…but take a look at this stat line from last year…

      .274, 68 runs, 27 HR, 86 RBI, and 2 SB

      pretty similar, huh?…yet, Garrett Jones is ranked 27th, while Freeman is ranked 10th. Ill take about 8 guys over Freeman who has little projection left.

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      • ThaLooch says:

        Freeman is about 8 years younger than Jones. He can hit lefties and plays every day. Freeman has upside. Jones has most likely hit his ceiling. I still like Jones though find he consistently gets underrated.

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  8. Jeff C says:

    JZ has Hosmer over Allen Craig and Ortiz? Are these dynasty league rankings? Because for this year that looks insane.

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  9. Murdstrom says:

    Just how finished do people think Konerko is? Been clinging to him hoping for a bounce back since his BABIP and HR/FB% are incredibly low (for him), and he’s hitting a ton of fly balls and line drives. Is his bat just looking that slow at the plate or is there hope for at least *some* rebound?

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  10. Rob says:

    I think you have to move Pujols down a big. Fantasy baseball players care about what a player has done lately, not just track record. That’s kind of how you have to play.

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      I disagree with this greatly. Unless a guy is just not making contact, I wouldn’t change my projections drastically based on a few weeks of play. I mostly try to take advantage of players that are looking at recent performance too heavily.

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      • rob deer says:

        This is generally the right approach, but it’s not correct in this case. Watch some of Pujols’ at bats. He’s not right. The recent performance, and power dip, are related to physical issues, not small sample size issues or luck. And I think it’s wishful thinking to assume those issues go away as the season progresses.

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      • TheOneWhoKnocks says:

        It’s not just April and May with Pujols though. His numbers across the board (Iso, walk rate, average, etc) have declined steadily for about 4 years running.

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      • Clifford says:

        yeah, and those “declining” metrics A.) mean absolutely nothing for fantasy (unless of course you are in some new saber-friendly league that counts ISO as a category), and B.) led Pujols to put up .285, 85 runs, 30 HR, 105 RBI, and 8 SB last year. You’re so right, he shouldn’t even be top 25. Not like his .236 BABIP has had any impact on his average this year…oh and you fail to mention that his walk rate is up substantially from last year.

        But hey, those are just silly metrics, right?

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      • The Foils says:

        problem with the “watch some of Pujols’ at bats” mentality is that most players look really good when they’re hitting the ball well and look really bad when they’re not.

        though I do agree that the ghost of Pujols will be haunting the Angels for some time to come

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  11. Don Pardo says:

    With Rizzo, Goldschmidt, and Freeman holding down my 1B/CI/UTIL spots in my keeper league….I’m quite a happy boy these days.

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  12. kid says:

    Too high:
    Freeman – Nice player, but the career .342 wOBA isn’t getting me excited.
    Adrian Gonzalez – He’s doing extremely poorly in an underrated category: runs.
    Butler – Similarly to Gonzalez, because he doesn’t score runs or hit for power, he’s gotta hit .300 with lots of RBI to justify the price.

    Too low:
    Chris Davis – I’m a believer, and would easily prefer him to the three names above.
    Garrett Jones – .352 wOBA last year, .367 wOBA this year; what is the real difference between him and a guy like Freeman?

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  13. Ender says:

    [quote]Butler – Similarly to Gonzalez, because he doesn’t score runs or hit for power, he’s gotta hit .300 with lots of RBI to justify the price.[/quote]

    Which he does every year…

    Also what is up with wOBA? These are fantasy rankings, you can survive with a subpar wOBA.

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  14. tylersnotes says:

    are these updated to project where you think the player will be ROS only? That is, are you saying “if you had Billy Butler in April, he hurt you enough that you’ll finish with a number 8 1b” or are you saying “if you pick up Butler today, we think he’s the number 8 1b for the rest of season”? Or is that on a writer-by-writer basis?

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  15. Carlos Llanez says:

    Hosmer… you have got to be kidding me. REALLY? He is suddenly going to learn how to hit the high inside strike he cannot and has not hit all season OR LAST SEASON? He is suddenly going to quit hitting ground balls? Has he cracked the top ten for grounders hit yet?

    Napoli… Really? Way to low. Napoli’s history at Fenway is awesome. He is a wall baller if there ever was one. He will most likely hit 30 HRs with close to 100 RBI and close to 85 Runs. Will Hosmer do that??? Thank the fantasy gods he is my catcher!!!

    Yonder Alonso… the poor forgotten Padre. He will hit more doubles and more HRs as well as have a higher BA AVG and OBP than… Eric Hosmer, book it. I dropped Hosmer and kept Yonder and have been soooo happy ever since.

    Hosmer’s ranking is RIDICULOUS!!! Come on Eno you’re killing me…

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    • Eno Sarris says:

      Hosmer has proven he can hit 15-20 homers with that same bad batted ball mix (and yes I agree it’s not optimal). He has 10 stolen base speed. .275/15-20/10+ has great value, and I think he can go on a good run. Probably away from home.

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      • Jason B says:

        “.275/15-20/10+ has great value”

        Should read: “.275/15-20/10+ has *some* value”

        /fixed/

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  16. Frankie says:

    Seriously, Morneau at #34?! The last thing I am is a Twins fan, but seriously… this guy still rakes. Hosmer at #12? Dude has more Walks than RBI this year. Come on now.

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  17. CPT says:

    I have major beef with number 36. He:

    has always had light-tower power
    hits in the middle of a potent offense
    has a full-time role after being platooned in previous seasons
    exhibits very light splits, hitting .291 v LHP and .293 v RHP
    is in the middle of a break-out season.

    Mitch Moreland has 4 home runs in his past 8 games, one of which an opposite-field shot against Jon Lester. The proverbial window to buy is closing.

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    • CC says:

      Excellent post. Texas and Ron Washington have said all along that Mitch was going to be their everyday 1B and play against LH. I believe he has only missed one game. Even when Texas lost their DH Berkman was benched and Moreland played. Too many believed he would be replaced by Kinsler in no time with Profar at 2nd.

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  18. Dave says:

    Presumably Hosmer is 15th due to potential, because his stats are pathetic, and are far worse than people below him on this list.

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  19. fei says:

    I’m sorry there is no way Pujols is your #2 guy, I think you may be overrating him a bit simply based on name recognition. He’s not even a top 10 1st anymore.

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  20. ryan says:

    Konerko, hosmer, or arenado ros, obp instead of avg and no sb…using at util
    fielder is at 1b, have machado and lawrie for 3 and carpenter as super utility..

    Thanks!

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  21. Chris says:

    What’s up with the Cuddyer ranking of 35 by Zach? That is incredibly out of whack vs the other 3 and throwing off his overall. I think Cuddyer is a very interesting play the rest of the year and his fast start actually is sustainable. He was a breakout candidate last year due to the mve to Colorado. That did not get realize unfortunately due to injury.

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  22. Brian says:

    How about Youkilis?

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  23. Greg says:

    Where would Brandon Belt be on this list if he was expected to play more consistently? Any word on the reason why he’s getting more ABs lately?

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  24. Brian says:

    Would you guys drop Dunn or Moreland for Teixeira in a 10 team mixed roto?

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  25. CJ says:

    Why the Encarnacion hate? I would rather have him than Rizzo or Gonzalez, and probably even Pujols and his plantar fasciitis

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  26. supgreg says:

    This is a good exercise and the debate about each player is good for adjusting my own rankings, but people need to remember that this list is the average of 4 guy’s opinion.

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