Rot Your Brain: Fantasy Baseball's Top 30 First Basemen

Craig RondinoneCorrespondent IMarch 5, 2010

JUPITER, FL - MARCH 01:  First baseman Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on March 1, 2010 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)
Doug Benc/Getty Images

The first base position in fantasy baseball has more firepower than the New Orleans Saints offense.

There is no excuse for your fantasy team not to have a first baseman that can hit 30 home runs and drive in 100 runs. In fact, you could have two (you need an extra infielder, right?) or three (what about designated hitter?).

Here are the top 30 first basemen in fantasy baseball heading into the 2010 campaign:

1. Albert Pujols, St. Louis Cardinals

Nine years in the majors, and in all nine Pujols has hit over .300 with 30 homers and 100 RBI. In seven of the nine seasons he had an OPS over 1.000. He has also never missed more than 19 games in a season. And to top it all off, in most of those years Pujols did not have much batting behind him, and this season he gets Matt Holliday protecting him from start to finish.

2. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees

Tex is the Jamie Foxx of fantasy baseball. Foxx gives his fans bang for their buck in numerous categories (music, movies, comedy, television) and Teixeira does the same for his faithful (homers, RBI, batting average, OPS).


3. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies

Maybe some moron will remember how bad Howard was in last year’s World Series and allow him to drop into your lap. Then you can enjoy the slugger who has averaged 49 home runs and 143 RBI over the past four seasons.


4. Prince Fielder, Milwaukee Brewers

Fielder is the thickest vegetarian I have ever seen, but fantasy owners hope he keeps eating the same tomatoes and cucumbers this year that he did in 2009 when he scorched pitchers for 46 homers and 141 RBI.

5. Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins

The jury is out on whether Minnesota’s new open-air ballpark will help or hurt Morneau’s numbers, but you cannot argue with his four consecutive 100-RBI seasons.


6. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers

If Cabrera can keep his mind on hitting homers and keep it off guzzling six-packs of Old Milwaukee, he should return to fantasy dominance.


7. Adrian Gonzalez, San Diego Padres

A-Gon’s fantasy value will skyrocket if and when San Diego deals him, because the only two things holding him down are Petco Park and the light-hitting teammates around him.


8. Kendry Morales, Los Angeles Angels

This late bloomer is now the main man in the middle of the Angels batting order with Vladimir Guerrero out of the way.


9. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds

Let’s hope this sweet swinger pulls a Zack Greinke and overcomes his personal problems to become one of the biggest fantasy forces of 2010.


10. Lance Berkman, Houston Astros

Are Berkman’s best days behind him at age 34? I sure hope not since I own him in two keeper leagues.


11. Adam Dunn, Washington Nationals

This human beanstalk kills in the homer, RBI, on-base percentage, and OPS categories, plus he gets hurt as often as Carlos Beltran stays healthy. Won’t win any batting titles, though.

12. Derrek Lee, Chicago Cubs

Lee does not steal bases anymore and can give you ulcers with his prolonged slumps, but he has extra motivation this year considering he will be a free agent looking for a hefty contract after the season ends.


13. Kevin Youkilis, Boston Red Sox

The "Youk" should supply at least 25 homers, 90 runs, 90 RBI, a .300 average, and a .900 OPS to fantasy owners and Red Sox Nation.


14. Carlos Pena, Tampa Bay Rays

You cannot complain about Pena’s 116 homers and 323 RBI over the past three seasons. If he hits .227 again, though, feel free to bitch about him on fantasy message boards.

15. Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals

If the portly Butler can go from 21 homers and 51 doubles (his 2009 totals) to 30 homers and 40 doubles in 2010, he should bounce his way into the top 10 at the position.

16. James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers

Fantasy owners keep waiting for the power to come, but line-driving Loney is coming off back-to-back 13-HR years. Joe Mauer’s power finally arrived last season, though; so maybe Loney’s is next.


17. Chris Davis, Texas Rangers

Davis enjoys striking out as much as Dave Kingman did, but unless he hits the homers Kingman did he is going to find himself in Triple-A again.


18. Adam LaRoche, Arizona Diamondbacks

You never want to draft LaRoche because he hits like Mario Mendoza during the first half of the season. You want to trade for LaRoche after the All-Star break, because that’s when he turns into Ty Cobb.


19. Paul Konerko, Chicago White Sox

Konerko will hit his homers and drive in his runs, but you will have to get your stolen bases, runs and batting average from somebody else.


20. Todd Helton, Colorado Rockies

His cranky back should be able to hold up another season and allow him to hit over .300 for the 12th time in his illustrious career.

21. Russell Branyan, Cleveland Indians

The strikeout-loving, homer-happy Branyan must prove that his career-high 31 homers last year was not a figment of our imaginations.


22. Aubrey Huff, San Francisco Giants

Hitting .189 in 40 games for Detroit down the stretch last season certainly didn’t help Huff’s fantasy stock.


23. Garrett Atkins, Baltimore Orioles

Atkins has hit .252 in games not played at Coors Field during his career, so a full season without any thin air guiding his fly balls spells trouble.


24. Troy Glaus, Atlanta Braves

The chances of Glaus staying injury-free all season are about as good as the chances that District 9 will win the Best Picture Oscar, but playing first base instead of third increase those chances slightly.

25. Gaby Sanchez, Florida Marlins

Could be 2010's Kendry Morales or just one of the better first basemen in Triple-A.


26. Daniel Murphy, New York Mets

The only people who think Murphy can turn into a .300 hitter that knocks in 90 runs are the Mets.


27. Casey Kotchman, Seattle Mariners

Kotchman gets to play against right-handers and Ryan Garko gets to play against southpaws in Seattle’s planned platoon. Yawn.

This powerless hitter has heavy competition to deal with thanks to newly acquired Jake Fox and top prospect Chris Carter angling for at-bats.

28. Daric Barton, Oakland Athletics

This powerless hitter has heavy competition to deal with thanks to newly-acquired Jake Fox and top prospect Chris Carter angling for at-bats

29. Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays

The poor man’s Mark Grace is still stuck in Toronto and still primed for a 15-HR, 65-RBI season that won’t excite anybody.

30. Jeff Clement, Pittsburgh Pirates

Clement has quickly gone from being Seattle’s future catcher to possibly being Pittsburgh’s starting first baseman, although Steven Pearce could win his job.

Next column: Rating the second basemen.


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