Fantasy Baseball 2012: Positional Draft Tiers—First Base

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Fantasy Baseball 2012: Positional Draft Tiers—First Base
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Fantasy owners can expect Freddie Freeman to make sizable jumps in runs, homers, RBIs this season.

Here's a look at the four tiers of first base prospects in 12-team mixed roto leagues. The general rule of thumb: Make every effort to grab a Tier I talent in the first two rounds (Mark Teixeira might slip to Round 3); and if that falls through, grab two, three or four players from Tiers II and III to make up the difference.

Tier 1

  • Miguel Cabrera, Tigers (eye-injury setback hasn't bumped Miggy from No. 1)
  • Albert Pujols, Angels (the No. 2 overall pick in mixed and AL-only leagues)
  • Joey Votto, Reds (No. 1 option in NL-only leagues)
  • Adrian Gonzalez, Red Sox
  • Prince Fielder, Tigers
  • Mark Teixeira, Yankees

Tier 2

  • Eric Hosmer, Royals (could graduate from this tier by May -- he's that good)
  • Paul Konerko, White Sox
  • Lance Berkman, Cardinals
  • Carlos Santana, Indians
  • Freddie Freeman, Braves (consider last year's 21 HRs/76 RBIs a baseline measure)
  • Mark Trumbo, Angels (should gain 3B/OF eligibility by May 10)
  • Mike Napoli, Rangers
  • Michael Morse, Nationals (here's hoping 30 HRs/.300 BA is the new normal)
  • Kevin Youkilis, Red Sox (should regain his four-category form in 2012)

Tier 3

  • Ryan Howard, Phillies (could be Tier II performer from July-September)
  • Ike Davis, Mets (a potential OPS machine for rebuilding club)
  • Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks
  • Gaby Sanchez, Marlins
  • Kendrys Morales, Angels
  • Mark Reynolds, Orioles
  • Adam Lind, Blue Jays
  • Brandon Belt, Giants (expect a big jump in Year 2 production)
  • Carlos Pena, Rays
  • Carlos Lee, Astros
  • Michael Cuddyer, Rockies
  • Mitch Moreland, Rangers
  • Justin Morneau, Twins (a reputation pick -- fingers crossed on his health)
  • Mike Carp, Mariners
  • Adam Dunn, White Sox (a leap of faith he won't be historically awful in 2012)

Tier 4

  • Lucas Duda, Mets
  • Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays
  • Justin Smoak, Mariners
  • Todd Helton, Rockies
  • James Loney, Dodgers
  • Daniel Murphy, Mets
  • Aubrey Huff, Giants
  • Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
  • Yonder Alonso, Padres (will be a four-category factor sooner than later)
  • Juan Rivera, Dodgers
  • Chris Davis, Orioles (a late-round gem with 26-HR potential)
  • Casey Kotchman, Indians
  • Matt LaPorta, Indians
  • Casey McGehee, Pirates
  • Brett Wallace, Astros
  • Lyle Overbay, Diamondbacks
  • John Mayberry Jr., Phillies
  • Jesus Guzman, Padres
  • Daric Barton, Athletics
  • Chris Carter, Athletics
  • Brandon Allen, Athletics

Jay Clemons can be reached on Twitter, day or night, at @ATL_JayClemons.

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