First Base

Updated: 1/27/2018 by Max Freeze

HERE ARE MY FINAL 1B RANKINGS FOR 2018! Sorry for yelling, I don’t know how that happened, DAMN CAPS LOCK! Whoops. As I mentioned before, there’s something like 30 own-able first base eligible players, even in 12- 15 team leagues with CI spots. Nothing has really changed from my top 12 except I moved Gallo down to 11 due to the downside risk. The tier rankings are based on value. The first tier are top 15 overall players period, end of story. Ok, that’s not the end. The 2nd tier are 16-30. After that, they start expanding, but I wanted to break up the top six 1B, and this is the best way to do it. In tier 3 Hoskins is basically Bellinger without any speed, that’s why he falls a tier below. Tier 3 is interesting, these guys are from about 40 overall to 75ish. They all have huge power and low averages except Hosmer who is the opposite but valued similarly because of it. Ok enough rambling, check out the rankings then scroll to the bottom to check out the rest of analysis (or whatever you want to call it).

Rank Name Team
TIER #1
1 Paul Goldschmidt Diamondbacks
2 Freddie Freeman Braves
3 Joey Votto Reds
TIER #2
4 Anthony Rizzo Cubs
5 Cody Bellinger Dodgers
6 Jose Abreu White Sox
TIER #3
7 Rhys Hoskins Phillies
8 Eric Hosmer FA
9 Edwin Encarnacion Indians
10 Wil Myers Padres
11 Joey Gallo Rangers
TIER #4
12 Ryan Zimmerman Nationals
13 Travis Shaw Brewers
14 Ian Desmond Rockies
15 Carlos Santana Phillies
16 Justin Bour Marlins
17 Miguel Cabrera Tigers
18 Yulieski Gurriel Astros
19 Matt Olson Athletics
TIER #5
20 Justin Smoak Blue Jays
21 Eric Thames Brewers
22 Trey Mancini Orioles
23 Josh Bell Pirates
24 Mark Trumbo Orioles
25 Chris Davis Orioles
26 Yonder Alonso Indians
TIER #6
27 Wilmer Flores Mets
28 Marwin Gonzalez Astros
29 Hanley Ramirez Red Sox
30 Gregory Bird Yankees
31 Jay Bruce Mets
33 Matt Carpenter Cardinals
34 Buster Posey Giants
35 Jose Martinez Cardinals

Written 12/18/17

If Hosmer signs with the Padres I will likely move him down to where Myers is and maybe even lower. If he signs with someone like the Red Sox (unlikely), he may move up a spot. I simply don’t love him for his limited upside in power and no real speed to speak of but he should have a solid batting average (which is underrated) and be able to drive in runs. So you’re trading about 40-50 points in BA but about 15 HRs from some of the other 1B in this tier. I love Freeman and I’m taking him right around 12th overall wherever I can. He added 3B eligibility and basically matched Kris Bryant‘s output in 150 less PA yet he’s drafted after KB. I’ll take the over on the .285-30-90 Steamer projection; more like .300-35-105 and chip in 7 steals. I also like the improvements of the Atlanta lineup with Inciarte, an improving young Albies, and Acuna who should be up no later than May. The next three to round out the top 15 include: Shaw, Desmond, and Santana. The biggest surprise in the top 12 for me is Joey Gallo checking in at number 11. My early projections have him hitting 43 HRs and hitting just over .225 with solid counting stats. No one is going to mistake Gallo for a guy who hits for a decent average and there is a ton of volatility with his 35%+ K rate. However, his contact rate jumped 9% last year, his BABIP was unlucky (.250) for a guy who hits that ball as hard as he does, and he just turned 24 years old. He’s the last guy on the list for first basemen with a shot at 50+ HRs. Don’t sleep on his 7 steals from 2017 either, his speed score and base running is well above average and a 10 steal season is not out of the question.

I’ll continue modifying and updating the list as the off-season progresses. The list will most likely end up around 30 or so deep because there will be first baseman projected with 30 HRs after the 20th ranked 1B. It’s deep AF!

Updated from here and below 1/27/18

Welcome back! Tier 4 is what I call the corner infield tier. Maybe I’ll come up with clever tier names later, right now I’m too busy, gotta run to Home Depot for some insulation because even Max Freeze doesn’t like to be cold. Any who, most of these guys are veterans who have a ton of question marks but have obviously been great in the past. Or they are guys like Matt Olsen who has massive power but significant downside. Cabrera being in this tier should tell you that I don’t believe in a full bounce back. Too many injury, age, and poor supporting cast questions, his upside is likely a 4th or 5th rounder and the downside is not own-able.

Tiers 5 and 6 are bench bats in most leagues unless you’re in super deep leagues and they can fill your CI spots. A few guys are eligible at different positions so you’re likely not playing them a 1B like: Thames, Mancini, Flores, Marwin Gonzalez, Bruce, Carpenter, Posey, and Jose Martinez. So really this top 35 is more of a top 26. For those of you that play in OBP leagues, which I love by the way, here are guys who move up the ranks in those leagues: Rizzo, Hoskins, Gallo, Santana, Olson, Bell, Carpenter, Posey, Martinez. FYI my rank for Jose Martinez is for between 400-425 PA. If he can get over 550, I absolutely love him inside the top 20, maybe even around 15ish like a poor man’s Hosmer.