Original Air Date: February 15, 2008
Listen to the Original Episode
First base is a very deep and exciting position every year. There are a lot of low-risk, high value contributors that can really solidify a fantasy offense. Let's delve into who to look out for this year:
Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals was the original no-doubt favorite, stealing the first or second overall pick in drafts every year. Here at Fantasy Diamond, I'm going to advise you to stay away from him this year. (!!!!?)
He showed up at Spring Training and immediately the Cardinals became worried that his nagging elbow is still an issue.
"If it blows out, it blows out. You can't control that," Pujols said in response.
Not reassuring, Albert! So, seeing as though he'll be taken in the early rounds, and I recommend not taking big risks EVER in any of the early rounds, stay away from Albert. There's a plenty of other solid first basemen, like...
Philadelphia Phillies Ryan Howard is a front-runner in the first base category. He had injury problems last year but still posted awesome numbers, and you can expect the same if not better this year.
Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers was good when he got called up to the majors and got even better last year. It's hard to believe that he could get better this year—if he does, congrats to guys that draft him, and if he doesn't improve, oh well, he's a pretty safe bet to still put up terrific numbers. Power, RBI, and runs all with a solid batting average.
Boston Red Sox’ David Ortiz is a fantasy players dream, contributing a whopping amount of runs, RBI, and home runs. Last year, he played through injuries and still put up great numbers, though he did hit 35 home runs in 2007 as opposed to 54 in 2006. Still, expect a home run total in between those two numbers and an increase in the runs and RBI category.
Mark Teixeira of the Atlanta Braves is a solid, solid first baseman who enjoys playing in Atlanta and will put up big numbers, but his big second half got him a lot of attention so make sure you aren't one of the people overpaying for him.
First base sleepers:
Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres (Petco Park makes people forget about him)
Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox (Down year in 2007, Swisher adds more depth to lineup)
James Loney, LA Dodgers (*** big numbers coming up)
Ryan Garko, Cleveland Indians (Hitting behind Martinez and Hafner)
Daric Barton, Oakland A’s (** Very cheap and very talented)
Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (A lot of hype, good ballpark to put up big numbers)
On a final note, stay away from Carlos Pena. He magically put up monster numbers in 2007, and just as magically will make them disappear in 2008. You've been warned...