I am a bit more optimistic about the depth at first base in comparison to others. It is not as loaded as prior years, but there is a lot of power through the first 15-16 names who will see stable at-bats. There are also some names that come in late that will also have some value. Position eligibility is big in this spot, as where some names can be first base eligible. There is certainly a clear front two with Cody Bellinger and Freddie Freeman. Although, Pete Alonso and Matt Olson are creeping up those rankings with their power bats. Anthony Rizzo and Paul Goldschmidt are still getting things done, but are not the first two off the board anymore.
|7||Jose Abreu||White Sox||76.5||$22.00||627.7||571.2||170.7||32.6||2.1||26.7||83.4||89.6||2.1||0.299|
|15||Edwin Encarnacion||White Sox||178.2||$10.00||566.3||493.0||128.3||22.1||1.0||32.7||79.3||86.5||2.1||0.260|
|22||Michael Chavis||Red Sox||236.6||$2.00||486.1||441.5||110.2||22.1||1.0||20.8||62.8||65.9||3.2||0.250|
|39||Mitch Moreland||Red Sox||622.6||458.4||406.9||103.9||23.1||1.0||17.8||57.7||59.7||1.1||0.255|
Tier One (1-2)
Just two players in the tier one spot at this position, although some names will be joining soon enough. Cody Bellinger is coming off an excellent season, and has established himself as a primary fantasy bat to take within the first few picks. Bellinger has always had excellent walk rates, being in the double-digits in the first three seasons of his career. We have seen a strikeout rate drop 26-23-16 over the last three seasons. Bellinger has 15 SB potential again, and 40+ HRs. He is an elite bat, and is being drafted as such. He also has outfield eligibility, but you are going to want to plug him at first base where it is shallower in comparison to the outfield.
Freddie Freeman is one of the best hitters in the game, and he enjoyed a power outbreak as many did last season. Generally his power numbers have always been the knock against him in comparison to the rest of the position. With a career .380 OBP and stellar contact numbers, Freeman is a machine. He will also give you a few stolen bases as well to go with 30+ home runs. In this offense I would expect plenty of runs and RBI again. He is going early second round, which is about right for him. While you could wait for a first baseman, nabbing one of the few top dogs leaves less pressure to get the right guy later on.
Tier Two (3-9)
There isn’t much separating the next group, as tier two opens up as a lengthier set of rankings. Pete Alonso is bringing old school power numbers back to first base, coming off a 53 home runs season. He has the higher strikeout rate to go with it, but had a .358 IBP last season, and hit .260. Hard to see that number going up, but the power is going to continue to be there. With a decent lineup around him of contact bats, there are plenty of chances for RBI and R.
After Alonso, we hit about a 30 pick gap between the next round of first baseman. Anthony Rizzo and Paul Goldschmidt have very similar projections and were once in the one-two conversation as far as ADP goes at the position. I slightly prefer Rizzo due to the better contact numbers, but not by much. Goldy has a bit more power upside, but we are splitting hairs here.
Matt Olson has ridiculous power, and playing Oakland certainly doesn’t hold him back much. He had 36 home runs despite missing a portion of the first half. His power numbers have been there at the major league level, sporting a .258 career ISO. Jose Abreu has been a model of consistency since entering the league. He has over 100+ RBI in all but one season, and has 30 home runs in four of six. Abreu has a career .349 OBP and .293 average. You can grab him a round later than the three names above, and feel very good about it.
If you had Josh Bell last season, you enjoyed his breakout season, although most of that production came in the first half. Bell had been a groundball hitter, but has upped his flyball rate over the last three seasons. His hard-contact also took a rise, hitting 45% in 2019. Bell hit .302 with 27 home runs in 88 games, before hitting .233 in the second half. Not much changed within his numbers, although hard-contact dropped. BABIP dropped off quite a bit too. We should see a slight drop in power numbers, but still a very productive bat. Max Muncy is an underrated fantasy bat. He has multi-position eligibility, and is a powerhouse in a very good lineup.
Tier Three (10-15)
Yuli Gurriel is a fine option, who has good contact numbers and 20+ HR potential. He has hit over .290 in 455 career games, and has just an 11% strikeout rate. Gurriel is a full-time first base option, and while power numbers should regress a bit, he is a nice value option in the later rounds. The Orioles don’t have a ton of fantasy options, but Trey Mancini is coming off a big year that was no fluke. He has had 24, 24, and 35 home runs over the last three seasons, and projects for over 25 again. Mancini is also outfield eligible, but I like him more at first base if you are past the 100th pick and without a 1B option yet.
Rhys Hoskins didn’t have an awful year, although for where you drafted him that might be a different story. He still had over 80 runs and RBI, hitting 29 home runs. His .226 average hurt you, but he was never going to be a high average guy anyway. Hoskins has changed his stance and approach a bit over the offseason, and that is always something to note. I have Hoskins making a jump in aveage this year, and posting around a .255 average. With he power potential and chances for runs and RBI, I like where he is going.
The first year with New York was a success for DJ LeMahieu, and he posted career highs in everything but average. He is another utility guy who has some options at other positions. I will split the the difference between 2018 and 2019 numbers, so for where he is going right now I think it is a bit too high. Even at other positions, I can find guys 40 picks later to produce similar numbers in most categories. Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion are some veteran options to feel good about. E5 has more power upside, but both are going to be excellent middle-late round options.
Tier Four (16-21)
Health and consistent at-bats have been an issue for most of the young Rockies players. However, Ryan McMahon is coming off a season with 24 home runs and over 500 plate appearances. He projects around the same again this year, and has that Coors upside. Of course like many, he struggles away from home, where he had a .226 average and .357 SLG. Just because the Padres overpaid Eric Hosmer, doesn’t mean we have to take it out on him. The higher strikeout rate is a bit new for Hosmer, but he has 40 home runs over the last two seasons. Hosmer isn’t a sexy fantasy play, but is still a useful one.
Christian Walker might succeed some at-bats in comparison to last year, but not by much. He is your late round power grab, who projects for around 20-25 home runs. In terms of home run upside this late in the draft, there are not many better options, outside of maybe C.J. Cron. He is now with the Tigers, but has tremendous upside and is one of my favorite late round values. He has 55 home runs over his last two seasons, and a career .204 ISO. Cron projects for 25 home runs again.
Some old guys round out this tier, as Joey Votto is 36 years old. We might have finally seen a drop off for him, as the power numbers have really dropped over the last two seasons. He still has fantasy value and will produce a ton of runs in this lineup. Daniel Murphy is 34 years old, and will be 35 in April. Murphy had a pedestrian .279/.328/.452 line. Murphy is still worthy of a grab this late, especially playing in Coors. He is a talented bat, and will have some upside as well.
Tier Five (22-26)
Michael Chavis got off to a hot start, and then pitchers started adjusting to him more. He has good power, but struggles in the contact department. Chavis is likely to bounce around in terms of position, but is listed as a first baseman. He is nothing more than a bench guy for me, or of course deeper leagues and AL Only leagues. Luke Voit projects for similar numbers, and is going slightly higher than Chavis. I still prefer Wil Myers in this range, although San Diego shipping him out might be a positive for him if he can get in a positive hitters park. Myers has stolen base and power upside, and it wasn’t long ago he was posting strong fantasy seasons as a whole. He is basically free in drafts.
Matt Carpenter and Miguel Cabrera are two names we will never see close to their peak fantasy potential again. Cabera’s power has been trending down for a while now, but still brings decent averages and double-digit home runs. Carpenter’s strikeout rate was on the rise with his power over the last few years, but 2019 was a a year where we saw the strikeouts keep rising, but the power dropping. Carpenter still has 20+ home run upside and the ability to hit .250-.260. He is worth a pick later in drafts.
Tier Six (27-30)
A couple of big power bats fill this range. After being traded from Milwaukee to the Rays, Jesus Aguilar finds himself in Miami. He should get around 400 at-bats, and is a low average option who has plenty of power. It isn’t a great ballpark for power, so that is a downgrade. Justin Smoak is out of Toronto, but finds himself in Milwaukee. This is not a bad spot for lefty power, and he has brought over 20 home runs in each of the last three seasons. He was a bit unlucky last year with a .223 BABIP was well. I would still expect him to hit around .240 with 20+ home run upside.
Eric Thames is in Washington now, so overall some big moves for late end power bats. Thames should find himself between 20-25 home runs, and hit around .240-.250. Washington is an underrated power park as well. These guys are going to be league specific fantasy options, or those playing in deeper leagues with deeper benches.
Tier Seven (31-34)
Brandon Belt continues to post similar stats year in and year out. While they are low end fantasy stats, he is still a full-time name to target late in drafts if needed. He had 17 home runs last season, and should be around a .340 OBP. We know the Giants are not a good team, nor are they great for fantasy, but like Posey, Belt still is in play. The issue with the Rays is that they have so many names ready to go, and just not enough spots. Nate Lowe is likely going to give away a lot of at-bats, but that isn’t confirmed yet. Tampa also traded for Jose Martinez, who is a solid hitter. If we can get some stable playing time for either, both will have plenty of fantasy value.
Tier Eight (35-40)
We have hit the end of the line with usable names. Mitch Moreland is the most recognizable name here, who returned to Boston on a one year deal. It was somewhat of a surprise. If he remains healthy he will see over 400 at-bats, so that is a plus. Moreland has had fantasy value in Boston, but will give away bats against left-handed pitching. I don’t mind him in AL only or super deep leagues.
If you are looking for power and don’t care about OBP or average, Daniel Vogelbach will see time in Seattle, but not the 500+ at-bats like last year. I would cut his HR numbers about in half. Austin Nola will get more run, but doesn’t project for much better production. Ji-Man Choi has a chance to get fantasy worthy at-bats with Tampa, and has flashed quite a bit of power. As mentioned with Lowe and Martinez, it is a tricky situation still.
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Cheat Sheet
- Fantasy Baseball Sleepers & Late Round Values
- MLB Closer Depth Chart
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball SP Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Closing Pitching Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Top 40 Catcher Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball 1st Base Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball 2nd Base Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball Outfield Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball SS Rankings
- 2020 Fantasy Baseball 3B Rankings