Brian, First Base, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top-24 First Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’14


"Yeah, it's this big."

“Yeah, it’s this big.”

First base continues to be one of the deepest positions in fantasy. Food for thought: 14 of the men on this list of 24 ended the year ranked in Yahoo!’s top-100 players. In drafts this year, 15 of these guys are going top-100. There’s no excuse to not have a serviceable first baseman in 2014.

Here’s something else to think about: Albert Pujols’ ADP this year is 47.4. Albert freakin’ Pujols. Going in the 4th-5th round. Don’t get me wrong, the man who talks to photocopiers in ESPN commercials hasn’t been his usual self the past few seasons, but he’s Albert Pujols. Talk about potential value.

Potential busts at the position: Chris Davis (ADP: 8.1), Joey Votto (15.8), and Allen Craig (57.0). I have no doubt in my mind that Davis’ power is legit, but because of what he was just two seasons ago, I still have icky feelings. I’ve never been a Votto fan, so maybe I’m biased here, but when we’re celebrating a player who hit 24 HR with 74 RBI the year before, it makes me want to break things. And Craig is just a walking injury and if you’re a really good roulette player, go ahead, take a spin.

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Brian, First Base, Projections, Rankings

Brian’s Top 14 First Basemen Rankings and Projections for ’13


Don't let his name fool you.

Don’t let his name fool you.

[Editor’s Note: Mark Teixeira is expected to be out 8-10 weeks, putting his return date around the middle of June. He has fallen out of the Top 14]

It’s easy to fall in love with the protectors of first base (also known as the league’s best kissers) because they’re the producers, big boppers. They’re usually the easiest to project and most consistently reliable. Even in an off year, Albert Pujols still put up numbers that any other player would’ve been proud of. Billy Butler, the bigger, better known cousin of Ryan “Quentin” Butler, turned in an ox of a season. Even seemingly part-time player, Allen Craig, reminded us of Red Bird of old, Jack Clark.

But that doesn’t mean the position doesn’t come with its question marks. Joey Votto spent most of 2012 nursing a sore knee (not to worry, Jay Bruce kissed it better). Adrian Gonzalez had a power outage, changing his nickname from “A-Gone” to “Dirty Gonzalez.” Marcus Teixeira, who can’t seem to justify his hefty contract, didn’t come to play in ’12.

But with the influx of young talent (Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Eric Hosmer, and Anthony Rizzo), everyone in a standard 10-team league should get to first base this season.

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Butler, Player Profile, Shortstop, Third Base

Player Profile: Hanley Ramirez


"Juego al fútbol ahora."

At the start of spring training last season, Hanley Ramirez and former double-play partner Dan Uggla made a wager to see who would have the worst numbers come the All-Star break. It was determined that the loser would buy the winner a “surf and turf” dinner at Black Angus. Neither did at all well in the first half, but with the muscular Uggla hitting well below his weight on July 10, victory was his. He could almost taste the filet mignon and grilled prawns (additionally he would have a works baked potato, steamed broccoli, a Caesar salad with extra croutons, and maybe a nice Pinot Noir; Uggla envisions his meals to the finest detail). Ramirez saw the writing on the wall, and through a club-appointed interpreter, offered him double-or-nothing to extend the bet to the end of the season. Uggla looked at his own 43/15/34/.185 line and accepted the new terms, figuring his season was irretrievably in the toilet. By the end of September, however, Uggla was the hottest hitter in the NL, while Hanley hadn’t played in two months. Uggla felt so bad for Hanley that he upped the ante and treated him to dim sum at P.F. Chang’s.

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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.

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