Fantasy Baseball 2012 Rankings: Top 15 First Basemen: A Second Look

Eric StashinSenior Writer IMarch 19, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 15:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers watches his solo home run in the first inning of Game Six of the American League Championship Series against the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 15, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

We all know that first base is among the deepest positions in fantasy sports, though that doesn’t mean that selecting an option is a slam dunk. One should never assume anything, so with that in mind, let’s take a look at how our rankings currently stand:

  1. Albert Pujols: Los Angeles Angels
  2. Miguel Cabrera: Detroit Tigers
  3. Adrian Gonzalez: Boston Red Sox
  4. Joey Votto: Cincinnati Reds
  5. Prince Fielder: Detroit Tigers
  6. Mark Teixeira: New York Yankees
  7. Carlos Santana: Cleveland Indians
  8. Eric Hosmer: Kansas City Royals
  9. Freddie Freeman: Atlanta Braves
  10. Mike Napoli: Texas Rangers
  11. Michael Morse: Washington Nationals
  12. Paul Konerko: Chicago White Sox
  13. Gaby Sanchez: Florida Marlins
  14. Michael Young: Texas Rangers
  15. Michael Cuddyer: Colorado Rockies



  • Two players dropped off our original rankings, Ike Davis and Ryan Howard. Davis doesn’t drop too far, but the threat of missing time due to Valley Fever has got to have an effect. Maybe it turns out that it doesn’t impact him at all, but despite what is going on during spring training, we simply don’t know. He was already a risky pick, and this just adds to it. Consider him high-risk, high-reward.
  • As for Howard, John Heyman recently tweeted (click here to view), “people saying late may or early June for Ryan Howard. so target date seems to be a month later than it was.” That’s certainly not good news, and could mean he will be limited to 400 AB or fewer if his return is delayed even further. He’s obviously a risk worth taking if you can get him significantly cheap, but it’s hard to consider him a top-15 option at this point.
  • I have two favorite “high-upside” first basemen this season, Freddie Freeman (and you can read my projection for 2012 by clicking here) and Gaby Sanchez. In regards to Sanchez, he suffered from some poor luck in 2011 (.287 BABIP) and showed a better command of the strike zone (his walk rate went from 8.9 percent to 11.2 percent). While I wouldn’t look to draft him as a starter, he’s a tremendous option as a corner infielder, as he could end up being a .275, 25 HR, 90 RBI option in the middle of the Marlins lineup.
  • Albert Pujols or Miguel Cabrera? Miguel Cabrera or Albert Pujols? Everyone is going to have their own opinion, but I can’t push Pujols down from the top spot at this point. I know he’s moving to a new league and is coming off a “down” year (.299, 37 HR, 99 RBI, 105 R). If that’s a poor year, though, what’s going to happen when he’s healthy? He’s the elite bat in the game, and that’s the bottom line.
  • Carlos Santana and Mike Napoli are both included here, but both obviously hold much more value as a catching option. Unless you are in a unique situation (i.e. owning both of them), I wouldn’t consider using either as a first baseman. You’d get much more out of having someone like Sanchez as your starting 1B than a low-end catcher (even someone like Kurt Suzuki) and then using one of these two options at first.

Make sure to check out all of our 2012 rankings: