March 11th, 2018
It’s NEVER too early to talk fantasy baseball, so I’m going to break down two positions per week until opening day on March 26th. As we start at first base there’s a couple things I’ve observed after deeply evaluating this position for the last five seasons. First Base is deeper in 2018 than it has been in years, and speed across all positions is at a premium.
There’s a lot of ground to cover and these are my personal rankings so give me some grace as I hash out my top 10. Bunt Single – I won my expert league drafting Chris Davis in the 4th round… Chris freaking Davis… thankfully I had Daniel Murphy in the 5th round who had 1B eligibility.
Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks
Goldy is an all timer… my favorite 1B this century. What’s not to love. A rock solid OBP above 4+, a great line-up around him in a hitters park and entering his prime. If healthy he’s a season long stat sheet filler and one of only to 1Bs to have 100 runs. The SBs are huge and make Goldy worthy of a top three pick at his position.
Anthony Rizzo – Chicago Cubs
Not sure where Rizzo is going to bat this season, but if he’s in the lead off spot runs and steals should see an uptick. I like Rizzo slightly more than Votto this season as the Cubs 1B only really loses the OBP battle. I’m expecting Rizzo who’s entering his prime to hit 30 bombs while being in the top three for RBIs amongst one-baggers
Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds
So Votto had a few more runs than Rizzo, and four more home runs in a hitter friendly park. Votto’s numbers are great, and he’s been a beacon of good health for three years. He’s slowed down a bit on the base paths, and my feeling is that because he’s on the wrong side of 30… the power will follow as well. A .428 career OBP should always have room on your roster.
Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves
I try not to judge Freeman too much as he’s only played 118 games in two of the last three season. He’s an RBI machine when healthy, so don’t let last year’s numbers fool you. I love his deceiving speed and OBP and the Braves are making a run this season, having beefed up their roster. Freeman will lead the way, and there’s no telling how good the numbers will be if he can play 155 games.
Cody Bellinger – Los Angeles Dodgers
If you think Bellinger is going to increase on his 39 HRs you are a far more optimistic person than I am. I just don’t see how teams are going to let Bellinger get them this season – however with only 450 ABs last season I do see him building on his runs and RBI. I’ll take the 4+ OBP and double-digit steals too!
Edwin Encarnacion – Cleveland Indians
After a super slow start EE got in a nice rhythm last season posting a remarkable number. His age is concerning, and I’m expecting a regression sooner than later, but no one has hit more HRs in the last 5 seasons. He’s in a remarkable lineup and makes a living mashing the baseball. You simply can’t ignore a .390+ OBP with 100 runs/rbis and over 30 HRs…
Joey Gallo – Texas Rangers
OK imagine Gallo’s 40+ bombs with more walks, fewer strike outs and a 10-12% increase in runs and RBIs… if you have that vision in your head Gallo stands to make the biggest jump on this list. He’s basically Joey Votto, with more power. A 4+ OBP with 40 bombs is more valuable than where I have him currently ranked. I refuse to think he won’t regress a bit in the power area, but I think with only 450 RBIs there’s room for quality growth, not just bombs. Get some.
Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies
The dude was a beast with less than 200 ABs. We’ve never seen him slump, or struggle. He appears to be able to do anything, and has mild manner that can be likened to Mark Texiera. I just can’t stake my claim until I see how he deals with adversity at the major league level. Fair enough?
Will Myers – San Diego Padres
I can’t tell if Myers can build on these numbers, but the hype machine says he should be able to. I’ll tell you this – Anyone who goes 30/20 regardless of the position needs to be ranked. The power results in RBIs and the speed will bring the runs. The OBP is just decent, but if Myers falls to you and you’ve built up other positions, he’s a good add.
Miguel Sano – Minnesota Twins
I love Sano this year. He only had 428 ABs last season and still hit 28 bombs. Byron Buxton will be great this season and Sano will be the perfect power compliment. His power upside is huge, and I’ll take him as a 1B if the first nine are gone. Have faith in that Twins lineup… it’s deceivingly good.