Fantasy Baseball Tier Rankings: First Base

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Fantasy Baseball Tier Rankings: First Base
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What I like most about first base is the consistency of the position.

First basemen tend to put up similar numbers from year to year, so you can bank on certain numbers from them.

This reliability puts the fantasy manager at ease and takes out some of the uncertainty on draft day.

Like most years, 2010 is stocked with first basemen. In fact, first base may be even more loaded than in previous seasons. It has a handful of elite players, several rising stars, and a fair share of proven players who will put up near-elite numbers.

Even though we know first base is one of deepest positions in fantasy, it is still useful to separate the players into tiers so we can identify where a drop in production occurs.

 

First Base Tier Rankings Separated by Color

 

Tier One

Albert Pujols (STL), Prince Fielder (MIL), Miguel Cabrera (DET), Mark Teixeira (NYY), Ryan Howard (PHI)

The cream of fantasy’s most plentiful crop, Albert Pujols is as sweet as they get. He’s a stud in every category, and oh yeah, he steals bases too.

Prince Fielder ’s 34 HR in 2008 were an aberration. The man’s a 45-plus HR masher.

Miguel Cabrera ’s combination of high average and power makes him one of first base’s best.

One of New York’s finest, Mark Teixeira is in the perfect lineup and the perfect ballpark.

Ryan Howard ’s power is off the charts. If he can learn how to hit lefties, look out.

 

Tier Two

Adrian Gonzalez (SD), Mark Reynolds (ARI), Joey Votto (CIN), Kendry Morales (LAA), Pablo Sandoval (SF), Justin Morneau (MIN), Kevin Youkilis (BOS), Lance Berkman (HOU)

When Adrian Gonzalez gets traded at the deadline, he’s going to start approaching Tier One status.

Mark Reynolds ’s combination of power and speed makes him a unique first baseman. The only detractor with him is the low batting average.

If Joey Votto can overcome the anxiety issues that plagued him last year, he’s in for the first .300-30-100 year of his career.

Kendry Morales finally realized his untapped power potential last year. Expect him to be in contention for the AL MVP next year.

Pablo Sandoval was second in the NL in batting average last year. Expect an uptick in power numbers now that he’ll bat exclusively in the three hole.

Justin Morneau was off to a monster 2009 before a back injury derailed his season.

Kevin Youkilis bats cleanup, plays his home games in Fenway Park, and has Jacoby Ellsbury , Dustin Pedroia , and Victor Martinez hitting in front of him.

Back from an injury-plagued 2009, Lance Berkman should continue putting up the numbers we’ve grown accustomed to.

 

Tier Three

Victor Martinez (BOS), Adam Dunn (WAS), Billy Butler (KC), Derrek Lee (CHC), Carlos Pena (TB), David Ortiz (BOS), Michael Cuddyer (MIN), Paul Konerko (CHW)

Martinez was brilliant in Boston last year. Expect that to continue, as he wants to prove to his employers that he’s worthy of a long-term contract.

If you can stomach the low batting average, Adam Dunn ’s 40 HR and 100 RBI sure are nice.

Billy Butler made huge strides last year, and there’s still room for a growth in power.

Sure seems like Derrek Lee is over the wrist issue that sapped his power in 2007 and 2008, as he had no problem eclipsing 30 HR.

Carlos Pena is Adam Dunn at a fraction of the price.

David Ortiz hit 27 of his 28 HR between June and September. He still has something left in the tank.

Michael Cuddyer probably won’t hit 32 HR again, but he will have plenty of RBI opportunities. His OF eligibility is a nice bonus too.

Always undervalued on draft day, Paul Konerko puts up productive power numbers.

 

Tier Four

Jorge Cantu (FLA), Chris Davis (TEX), James Loney (LAD), Todd Helton (COL), Garrett Jones (PIT)

While not a great source of HR, Jorge Cantu will give you a good average and around 100 RBI.

Chris Davis oozes with power, but his erratic batting average is worrisome, as well as the presence of Justin Smoak .

James Loney is another first baseman with good RBI potential and a good batting average who doesn’t have enough power to warrant a high draft position.

Starting to see a theme here? Todd Helton , meet James Loney.

Garrett Jones had great numbers last year after his call-up, but his minor league numbers don’t support them.

 

Tier Five

Nick Johnson (NYY), Adam LaRoche (ARI), Nick Swisher (NYY), Jose Lopez (SEA)

If Nick Johnson can stay on the field, his sweet lefty swing is a nice fit in Yankee Stadium. He’s also a candidate to bat second, so he could be a good source of runs.

The ultimate second-half player, Adam LaRoche ’s post-All-Star break stats put him in Tier Three. Unfortunately, you have to endure a poor start to the season with him.

Nick Swisher will give you solid HR and RBI totals, but his batting average leaves something to be desired.

The acquisition of Chone Figgins should give Jose Lopez more RBI opportunities, but you’d be best suited using Lopez at second base.

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