Fantasy Baseball Top 15 First Basemen for 2011: An Extremely Early Look

Eric StashinSenior Writer IJune 15, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 20:  Miguel Cabrera #24 of the Detroit Tigers hits a two run home run in the fifth inning of their game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on May 20, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Yesterday we took a look at the Top 15 Catchers for 2011 (click here to view) for those of you who are already looking to build your team for next season.

Today, let’s take a look at the Top 15 First Basemen:

  1. Albert Pujols - St. Louis Cardinals
  2. Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers
  3. Mark Teixeira - New York Yankees
  4. Prince Fielder - Milwaukee Brewers
  5. Adrian Gonzalez - San Diego Padres
  6. Justin Morneau - Minnesota Twins
  7. Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies
  8. Kendry Morales - Los Angeles Angels
  9. Joey Votto - Cincinnati Reds
  10. Kevin Youkilis - Boston Red Sox
  11. Billy Butler - Kansas City Royals
  12. Adam Dunn - Washington Nationals
  13. Paul Konerko - Chicago White Sox
  14. Lance Berkman - Houston Astros
  15. Ike Davis - New York Mets

Thoughts

  • We all know how good Mark Teixeira is, so a bad two months or so shouldn’t be enough to seriously downgrade him. Sometimes bad years happen, but he’s still a first round pick in my book.
  • The group of Prince Fielder, Ryan Howard, Adrian Gonzalez, and Justin Morneau is likely to move around a lot between now and the beginning of 2011. Fielder is having the worst season of the four, but I’m holding on to him at the fourth spot for now. Sooner or later you have to think things are going to click, and the RBI will come in droves. 
  • Can you imagine if Gonzalez were in a hitter's ballpark? His numbers could be scary.
  • Kendry Morales’ injury is a big blow to teams in 2010, but he proved that 2009 was no fluke before he got hurt. He’s a tremendous option in all formats, so all you can do is stash him away and use him to help dominate your leagues for many years to come.
  • The power is there for Mark Reynolds, but he’s showing just how bad his average could be (currently hitting .215). Plus, you have to factor in your league’s rules. Thus far he’s played just four games at 1B, so his long-term value at this position is quickly diminishing. If he’s eligible he’s going to have value here, but if you are planning on him being your 1B for 2011, you may have problems. At this point I am going to leave him off the rankings, as many formats require 20 games at a position the prior year to be eligible.
  • I know Billy Butler hasn’t taken that next step in the power department as many hoped, but I am still a believer. He’s an average machine and continues to hit plenty of doubles. Sooner or later, the fly balls will come, and the home runs will follow. Even if that doesn’t happen, I’m high on him. If he does, he could be a top-seven option.
  • Pablo Sandoval has played just three games at first base this season, meaning he could quickly lose his eligibility at the position. If he keeps it, he’s a solid option, but keep a close eye on that. Like Reynolds, he’s being held off the rankings for now.
  • While Justin Smoak has struggled in his rookie season, there’s little question that he’s the long-term solution for the Rangers at 1B. He’s also starting to come around, hitting .421 with two HR and seven RBI over 19 AB in June. Still, at such a deep position, he falls just short of this list. By the end of the year, though, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him jump over Ike Davis (who has an edge being the Mets' cleanup hitter).
  • Lance Berkman and Paul Konerko continue to be solid options, but exactly how much do they have left? That certainly suppresses their value for dynasty league owners, but for 2011 they will continue to have value.
  • Others who just missed include Jorge Cantu, Carlos Pena, Troy Glaus, and Adam LaRoche. It’s amazing how deep this position is, isn’t it?

What are your thoughts on these rankings? Who is being overvalued? Who is being undervalued?

Make sure to check out our other extremely early 2011 rankings:

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