Fantasy Baseball:Why Drafting Albert Pujols As The No.1 Pick Is Not In the Cards

Ryan Neiman@RyanNAnthony Contributor IIIFebruary 10, 2011

ST. LOUIS - MAY 17:  Albert Pujols #5 of the St. Louis Cardinals gets a hit against the Washington Nationals at Busch Stadium on May 17, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

Albert "The Machine" Pujols is considered one of the best hitters of today and when his career is eventually over, he may be labeled one of the greatest sluggers in baseball history.

Every season, Pujols puts up monstrous numbers.

He has never has had a batting average below .315 in a season. He has never belted less than thirty home runs in a season and he has never had under one hundred RBIs in his entire career.

It's an easy assessment to come to the conclusion he is the best player of our generation.

Even with his amazing statistics every year, should you still draft Albert Pujols if you have the first overall pick in fantasy baseball?

In fantasy baseball, having the number one draft pick is not as significant as many would believe it would be.

On the contrary, in fantasy football, there is a huge discrepancy between the number one pick as oppose to unfortunate draft spots such as being the unlucky seventh pick.

This year, the majority of fantasy baseball owners will pick Pujols if they have the number one pick.

I say, why bother.

Many will argue why would you not want a player who led the National League last season in runs, home runs and runs batted in?

I could be obnoxious and I could point out his on-base-percentage and his slugging-percentage were both down nearly thirty points last season.

There are so many positions in fantasy baseball you have to fulfill and you can afford to draft a different selection other than Pujols if you have the first pick.

There is so much depth at the first base position as it would be a wasted pick taking Pujols instead of drafting another elite player at a position that does not have a lot of talent.

There are other first basemen who will have similar production like Albert Pujols this season.

Take a look below at several first basemen you could possibly draft in the later rounds who can have the same offensive output as Pujols. Their last season offensive production is included, too.

  • Joey Votto: .324 BA, 37 HR, 113 RBI
  • Adrian Gonzalez: .298 BA, 31 HR, 101 RBI
  • Paul Konerko: .312 BA, 39 HR, 111 RBI
  • Ryan Howard: .276 BA, 31 HR, 108 RBI
  • Miguel Cabrera: .338 BA, 38 HR, 126 RBI
  • Mark Teixeira: .256 BA, 33 HR, 108 RBI
  • Prince Fielder: .261 BA, 32 HR, 83 RBI
  • Kevin Youkilis:  .307 BA, 19 HR, 62 RBI (Only Played 102 Games)
  • Justin Morneau: .345 BA, 18 HR, 56 RBI (Only Played 81 Games)
  • Aubrey Huff: .290 BA, 26 HR, 86 RBI
  • Carlos Pena: .196 BA, 28 HR, 84 RBI
  • Adam Dunn: .260 BA, 38 HR, 103 RBI
  • Billy Butler: .318 BA, 15 HR, 78 RBI

Just take a look at this list. There is pure talent everywhere.

From my previous fantasy baseball experience, the constant trend is every one likes to draft outfielders and pitchers early. Thus, you could still end up with a first basemen like Paul Konerko, Kevin Youkilis, or Carlos Pena late in the draft.

I could hear the laughter to begin with the mentioning of Pena would be a great draft pick, but I strongly believe with the combination of a new zip-code and the friendly winds at the confines of Wrigley Field, he may have a comeback season.

There isn't any reason why you should panic about not getting a decent first baseman if you are the first pick.

There are three positions that worry me this year in fantasy baseball and they are shortstop, second base and catcher.

These positions do not have the luxury of depth and talent as oppose to first base.

At these positions, there are just a few elite players and there are a handful of mediocre players.

When evaluating these positions, you have to sort them into tiers according to talent.

As you find out below, the farther you go down in each tier, the less eye appeasing each player is at these positions.


Tier 1

Chas Utley

Robinson Cano

Ian Kinsler

Tier 2

Dustin Pedroia

Dan Uggla

Brandon Phillips

Tier 3

Gordon Beckham

Rickie Weeks

Kelly Johnson

Placido Polanco

Aaron Hill

Howie Kendrick

Tier 4

Blake DeWitt

Ian Stewart

Jose Lopez

Asdrubal Cabrera


Tier 1

Hanley Ramirez

Troy Tulowitzki

Tier 2

Jose Reyes

Starlin Castro

Derek Jeter

Jimmy Rollins

Tier 3

Stephen Drew

Alexei Ramirez

Elvis Andrus

Rafael Furcal

Tier 4

Yunel Escobar

Miguel Tejada

Jhonny Peralta


Tier 1

Joe Mauer

Brian McCann

Tier 2

Buster Posey

Victor Martinez

Tier 3

Geovany Soto

Jorge Posada

Russell Martin

Kurt Suzuki

Tier 4

Matt Wieters

Carlos Ruiz

Carlos Santana

Yadier Molina

A.J. Pierzynski

Miguel Montero

Ryan Doumit

Are you scared yet?

If you were thinking about drafting one of these positions in the very last rounds, you should be.

There is a noticeable drop-off in talent after the second tier in each position.

Ignore this warning and you will find yourself scrambling throughout the whole fantasy baseball season trying to find a player who can meet your standards.

The same can't be said about selecting a first baseman because any of those players can have an offensive explosion this year.

Albert Pujols is a phenomenal player.

It would appear to be foolish to pass up on a player who contends for the Triple-Crown nearly every season.

But, like every sport, fantasy baseball is a team game.

Every player has to contribute and they have to make an impact for your team in order for you to win.

You must make sure you showcase the best team possible.

It doesn't mean you just have to have the best player.


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