Which First Baseman To Target During Each Phase Of Your Draft

John ZaktanskyCorrespondent IMarch 26, 2010

PEORIA, AZ - FEBRUARY 27:  Adrian Gonzalez of the San Diego Padres poses during photo media day at the Padres spring training complex on February 27, 2010 in Peoria, Arizona.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

After all the composite and ADP first basemen rankings at www.chinstrapninjas.com , we decided to focus on our own personal targets and share them for your drafting enjoyment, and for some fun discussion.

Just like our catcher targets post , here are the first basemen we are targeting in fantasy baseball drafts this spring.

Early-Round Picks


Joey Votto: We at chinstrapninjas had a lot of love for Votto at this point last season, and that excitement isn't cooling off this year. Coming off a 2009 that saw him compile a career-best .322 batting average and .414 on-base percentage, Votto is on the verge of becoming an elite player. In some leagues, he actually could be had in the middle rounds, but will produce early-round production and value.


Adrian Gonzalez: Over the past three seasons, Gonzalez has consistently increased his home run output (30, 36, and 40) despite hitting in one of the biggest pitchers parks in baseball. He's playing for a new contract likely on another team (with a more hitter-friendly park?) and you can have him a couple rounds after the Prince Fielders and Ryan Howards are off the board.


Middle-Round Picks


Chris Davis: Could have made the late-round picks list in many mock drafts so far this offseason. People were all over him in last year's draft. Now, he's a post-hype sleeper that should produce 30-plus homers for the Texas Rangers.


Kendry Morales: Morales made Teixeira expendable for the Angels by smacking 34 homers, driving in 108 runs, and hitting at a .306 clip. Not shabby for a 27-year-old. The Angels did take a step back this offseason in losing table-setting players such as Chone Figgins, but I personally think he'll continue to mature into a solid fantasy option.


Late-Round Picks


Adam LaRoche: While he typically hits a few statistical up-and-down swings each year, he has finished the past couple seasons with consistent, under-appreciated production. A baseline of .270 and 20-25 homers isn't a bad jumping off point, and EP's gut reaction is that LaRoche takes the next step in his development this year.


Billy Butler: A borderline middle-round first baseman in drafts (could possibly be switched with Chris Davis considering where the two are going in drafts), Butler finally started realizing his potential last season and should carry that momentum over into a full season of solid production in 2010.


For the full story, with an extra first base target in each phase of your draft, click here .

For an index to our free fantasy baseball hub with growing draft preparation content, go here .

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