Brian, First Base, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top 20 First Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’12

Probably the only time you'll see a picture of CJ Wilson on Rotoballs.

Alright, before you read this, scan down the list…I’ll wait…(drinks a beer)…(clips toenails)…you back yet? I know, right? No Ryan Howard! But screw that guy! I mean, he’s barely got a leg left, he’s 34 years old, and I just really don’t like the name “Ryan”. So instead of worrying myself with projecting the unprojectable, I ripped up all his baseball cards and set my Phillies jersey on fire. Another thing you’ll notice: no Carlos Santana, Mike Napoli, or Joe Mauer. Reason: if you draft one of these players and play them at first, shame on you.

And now that that’s taken care of, we can get down to the nitty-gritty, the insane projections, and the absurd rankings you noticed during your scan.

Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera? Who is still the best hitter in the league? Who doesn’t have to play third base? Who is older than he is fat? Pujols. It was close. But I would kill myself if some of you drafted Cabrera over Pujols and the latter out-produced the former and I had projected differently.

Another debate: Adrian Gonzalez or Joey Votto? This might be a coin flip, more than any other debate we’ll have today, and they very well could end up with the exact same stats at the end of the season. Seriously, they could. Exactly the same numbers! But, it doesn’t hurt that I went to elementary school with Gonzalez. So…he wins.

Eric Hosmer and Michael Morse over Paul Konerko? Wow, I really went overboard on this one, didn’t I? Not so fast. Konerko’s HR/FB rate is insane, meaning expect some return to normalcy. Plus the dude is 59 years old, and I strongly dislike old dudes. But Hosmer and Morse are young, and hot, and…did I mention they’re hot? Yes? Well…how about how young they are? Oh, I did. Either way, Hosmer was one of the best rookies from last year, and the Royal blue sky is the limit for him. Morse will surely benefit from a rebounding Jayson Werth and improvements from Ian Desmond and Danny Espinosa.

First base is hard to rank and project because there are so many “hybrid-players”. Lance Berkman, Michael Young, Kevin Youkilis, Howard Kendrick, Michael Cuddyer, and Mark Reynolds are all players who played more games at other positions than at first base in 2011. But they have to be included in the first base rankings because they can play first base on your fantasy squad (“But so can Santana and Napoli and…” Let me stop you before your brain explodes…no catchers at first base…period). All of these guys are more or less the same player. If you don’t have a first baseman by this point, may I suggest pulling a name out of a hat and praying for the best?

There are five tiers in this group, indicated by the underline:

1. Albert Pujols- 110, 38, 120, 5, .315

2. Miguel Cabrera– 105, 31, 110, 1, .325

3. Adrian Gonzalez- 106, 34, 115, 0, .310

4. Joey Votto– 100, 28, 100, 6, .315

5. Prince Fielder- 93, 35, 110, 1, .290

6. Mark Teixeira- 95, 38, 110, 2, .258

7. Eric Hosmer– 79, 26, 89, 10, .290

8. Michael Morse- 80, 28, 90, 1, .290

9. Paul Konerko- 70, 25, 95, 1, .280

10. Lance Berkman- 75, 24, 75, 2, .280

11. Michael Young- 85, 15, 95, 5, .300

12. Billy Butler- 75, 20, 90, 1, .300

13. Kevin Youkilis- 80, 20, 75, 3, .290

14. Howard Kendrick- 90, 15, 70, 15, .280

15. Freddie Freeman- 70, 25, 80, 6, .290

16. Ike Davis- 70, 24, 73, 3, .300

17. Michael Cuddyer- 80, 20, 80, 6, .275

18. Adam Lind- 60, 22, 80, 1, .260

19. Mark Reynolds- 80, 30, 80, 5, .230

20. Kendrys Morales- 80, 25, 85, 0, .280


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