Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Fantasy Man's 2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings - First Base

The Fantasy Man's 2013 Fantasy Baseball First Baseman Rankings

1. Albert Pujols
2. Prince Fielder
3. Joey Votto
4. Adrian Gonzalez
5. Mark Teixeira
6. Billy Butler
7. Paul Goldschmidt
8. Paul Konerko
9. Ike Davis
10. Edwin Encarnacion
11. Freddie Freeman
12. Justin Morneau
13. Kendrys Morales
14. Ryan Howard
15. Buster Posey
16. Carlos Santana
17. Allen Craig
18. Mark Trumbo
19. Adam LaRoche
20. Eric Hosmer
21. Anthony Rizzo
22. Mike Napoli
23. Michael Young
24. Joe Mauer
25. Nick Swisher
26. Adam Lind
27. Mark Reynolds
28. Chris Carter
29. Chris Davis
30. Bryan LaHair
31. Brandon Belt
32. Yonder Alonso
33. Carlos Pena
34. Garrett Jones
35. Justin Smoak
36. Brett Wallace

Probable Overhyped Magazine Sleeper: Anthony Rizzo
Last Years Overhyped Magazine Sleeper: Eric Hosmer
The Fantasy Man's Sleeper: Justin Morneau
The Fantasy Man's Super Sleeper: Chris Carter
Bust Candidate: Edwin Encarnacion - Don't read into it, just a hunch

Analysis:  WOW! Talk about deep.  If there was ever a year where you could wait on 1B or CI, this is the year.  The big takeaway here is the players that qualify for 1B with just over 20 games like Billy Butler, Joe Mauer, Mike Napoli, Buster Posey, Mark Trumbo and Michael Young really strengthen this list.  This gives the list a bit more versatility and options come draft day and also has huge implications in keeper leagues.  Personally, I'll pass on a $35-$40+ Adrian Gonzalez (in a typical $260 mixed auction league) if I can get say Ike Davis for $15-$20.  I can't see Gonzalez out homer-ing Davis by much, or at all.  Its just a matter of whether or not you think the extra BA and RBI is worth the extra $20.  I don't.  Want nice value? Look to 1B for sure.

As for drafts, I typically like to stay away from drafting a catcher like Joe Mauer, Buster Posey or Carlos Santana at 1B or CI. They're way more valuable drafted at they're primary position where as the extra versatility is a bonus. If you draft Mauer as your starting 1B, typically a power position, you're going to be kicking your self come May, and forget about September!  However, come a situation half way through the draft and your in the 12th round and Mauer or Michael Young is still there, by all means, scoop them up.  Both likely gone by then but point is if you can grab them in a value spot, then it makes sense to take them. You just don't want to draft Mauer or Young for example as your primary 1B where you'll still need to look for power elsewhere.

As for my rankings, 1-11 are pretty much no brainers and the safest picks so choose them where you desire.  I rank Goldschmidt up there above some big power guys because he has a lot going for him, developing power, hits for average (hit .286 last season) and steals bases (18) in which he narrowly missed a 20/20 season (20HR) and he's only 25. Obviously he's my big value play for 2013. Billy Butler, Freddie Freeman, Ike Davis and Allen Craig round out my 1B value wish list.

The next group, 12-20 or Morneau - Hosmer all offer big questions marks where you can really mix and match that group based on your particular league settings. So, if anyone disagrees with where I ranked that group.... oh well.  Mourneau I ranked highest because he made it through a full season somewhat healthy and I'm expecting the concussion symptoms and the worry to be gone, so I see Morneau as having a bit of a come backer this year.  Same can be said about Morales. Full season after a lost season so spring training is all about getting into game shape and keeping up strength and timing rather then finding strength and timing.  With Howard, I expect an up and down year and more of a Morneau/Morales type 2012, plus, he can't hit lefties.  Posey and Santana as I mentioned above, Craig has a ton of upside but he's always hurt, can't overlook Ike's first half last season but still much to like, LaRoche is pretty safe but doesn't offer upside, and Hosmer was a complete bust last season but still offers upside. I'm looking at Morneau, Ike and Craig from this group.

With the rest, there's things to like and dislike.....  You like Anthony Rizzo's potential and probably worth moving him up a few slots as the spring shakes out. You dislike the performance of Belt and Alonso last season. You like the emergence of Chris Davis and Bryan LaHair but you dislike the fact that LaHair completely fell off after his early - mid season explosion.  You like the power potential of Chris Carter but your scared shitless to choose him. Lind, Reynolds, Pena, Jones, Smoak.... we know what they are so no need to overpay. Mauer and Young I mentioned above have that versatility but don't make great primary fantasy 1B's. I'm a big believer in drafting power hitters, love to hoard HR so naturally Chris Carter is on my list. I think of him as a Carlos Pena without the defense but with some hope he can put together at least a .260-.270 BA with 30HR. My guess is you'll want to draft him for the second half of the season. So Carter has my "sleeper" tag. Really a super sleeper. He'll either be Carlos Pena or he'll be Ryan Howard. Its a coin toss.

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