Fantasy Baseball Top 25 First Baseman: Youngsters Emerging as Go-to Options

Eric StashinSenior Writer IJuly 11, 2012

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - JULY 1:  Infielder Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers takes a strike against the Tampa Bay Rays July 1, 2012  at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.  The Tigers won 5 - 3. (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

It has been some time since we have reviewed our first base rankings, so the All-Star break is the perfect time to do so. Who is on the rise? Who is plummeting? Let’s take a look:

  1. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers (1)
  2. Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels (2)
  3. Joey Votto – Cincinnati Reds (3)
  4. Prince Fielder – Detroit Tigers (5)
  5. David Ortiz – Boston Red Sox (NR)
  6. Paul Konerko – Chicago White Sox (7)
  7. Mark Teixeira – New York Yankees (9)
  8. Adrian Gonzalez – Boston Red Sox (4)
  9. Mark Trumbo – Los Angeles Angels (17)
  10. Paul Goldschmidt – Arizona Diamondbacks (NR)
  11. Billy Butler – Kansas City Royals (NR)
  12. Freddie Freeman – Atlanta Braves (6)
  13. Eric Hosmer – Kansas City Royals (11)
  14. Edwin Encarnacion – Toronto Blue Jays (12)
  15. Michael Morse – Washington Nationals (NR)
  16. Corey Hart – Milwaukee Brewers (NR)
  17. Allen Craig – St. Louis Cardinals (NR)
  18. Michael Cuddyer – Colorado Rockies (13)
  19. Kevin Youkilis – Chicago White Sox (NR)
  20. Adam Dunn – Chicago White Sox (15)
  21. Ryan Howard – Philadelphia Phillies (NR)
  22. Adam LaRoche – Washington Nationals (16)
  23. Justin Morneau – Minnesota Twins (20)
  24. Buster Posey – San Francisco Giants (NR)
  25. Carlos Santana – Cleveland Indians (8)

Currently on the DL – Lance Berkman
Demoted to Triple-A – Gaby Sanchez


Thanks to interleague play, both David Ortiz and Billy Butler may be eligible for first base in your league in the second half of the season.  That’s a nice bonus, as both should be among the better options the rest of the year.

We’ve spoken about Adrian Gonzalez lately, but he just continues to frustrate fantasy owners.  It’s mostly his power, as he is hitting a respectable .283 on the year (courtesy of a .327 BABIP) and he is actually posting the best line drive rate of his career (23.2 percent). 

The problem is the power, with a 6.1 percent HR/FB. Can we really expect that type of number to continue? For his career he is at 16.2 percent, so you would think that better days have to be ahead.  He’s falling down the rankings, but should be in line to jump back up quickly.

While Mark Trumbo’s average may fall, he’s proven that he can make consistent contact (20.8 percent strikeout rate), which means the average should at least remain decent. You match that with his exceptional power, and it is hard not to like him moving forward as the Angels have shown they will be creative to get him into the lineup.

Can Allen Craig stay healthy? When he’s on the field he has proven that he can be one of the better hitters in the league. Of course, his current 26.5 percent HR/FB is probably unsustainable, but he has power and brings a good average to the table. There’s an awful lot to like.

Unsurprisingly Edwin Encarnacion has slowly started to fade. His power has slowed (6 HR since June 1) and an inflated fly ball rate could lead to average woes. Be careful with him moving forward.

Kevin Youkilis looks revived in Chicago, doesn’t he?

Make sure to check out some other recent articles from Rotoprofessor:

Sell High Candidate: Can James McDonald Continue His Strong First Half?
Second Half Trade Targets: Outfielders: Justin Upton, J.D. Martinez & Alex Gordon

Setup to Saves: July 10, 2012: Drew Storn Returning, Sergio Romo Emerging & More