Here’s the 2013 LestersLegends First Base Rankings for AL-Only Leagues.
1. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels
By Albert Pujols' standards, the .285-85-30-105-8 line he turned in last year was disappointing. His OPS improved from .794 in the first half to .935 in the second half. Pujols has settled in and is part of an even more impressive lineup with Josh Hamilton on board. Monster numbers should return.
2. Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
Prince Fielder had a slight dip in production outside of batting average, but you can’t be upset with a .313-83-30-108-1 line. Fielder also improved in the second half with his OPS going from .885 to 1.006.
3. Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals
Billy Butler is primarily a designated hitter, but he did play 20 games at first base last year so he should have eligibility in your league. Butler finally showed what he’s capable of with a .313-72-29-107-2 line. With his size, the power should not be a fluke. He has already proved that he’s a capable hitter.
4. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays
We know the power is for real, but last year Edwin Encarnacion put together a complete season (.280-93-42-110-13). Regression is likely, but with Toronto’s potent lineup, he should deliver once again.
5. Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox
Mike Napoli has plenty of power and landed in a good spot. He has a 1.107 career OPS in Fenway Park. He should be highly productive in Boston's lineup.
6. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox
Paul Konerko turned 37 this month, but he hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down. He’s a strong bet for 20-25 home runs while driving in a fair share of RBI and posting a solid batting average.
7. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees
Mark Teixeira isn’t old (he'll turn 33 in April), but with three straight years with a batting average of less than .260 (.252 during the span), he is a liability in that category. He still clubbed 24 home runs in 123 games. However, Teixeira will miss at least a month of action, which hurts his value.
8. Kendrys Morales, Seattle Mariners
Kendrys Morales will serve as the designated hitter for the Mariners, but he has first base eligibility in most leagues. He should be even healthier in 2013 and able to build on his .273-61-22-73-0 line as he is almost certain to have more than the 484 at-bats he had last year.
9. Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals
Eric Hosmer regressed in his second season going from a .293-66-19-78-11 line to a .232-65-14-60-16 line in his sophomore year. However, I like Hosmer's stolen base potential at his position, and I think he will improve in the other four 5×5 categories as well.
10. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins
I don’t think Justin Morneau will ever be the player he once was, but he’s worth a gamble late in drafts.
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