2012 National League Fantasy Baseball First Base Rankings: Top 40

Rankings: C 1B 2B3BSS OF SP

The first base position is a very important one in my opinion if you want to win your NL fantasy league.  The strategy that has always worked best for me is to load up on outfielders and corner infielders early in your draft.  In most leagues your going to need some guys that can hit home runs and drive in RBI’s to succeed throughout the season.  If your in a deep NL league with 4 or 5 outfielders along with a 1B,CI and UTL spot, I think its a good Idea to grab a top 10 first baseman at the very least.  You don’t want to be the manager who has Erik Hinske as his starting first baseman.  That manager doesn’t win your league.  Take a look at the managers who did well in your league last season.  I bet they had solid corner infielders and outfielders.  Eligibility for a position was determined using the Yahoo! Fantasy Baseball rules of 5 starts or 10 games played from the previous season.  Your league might determine position eligibility differently. Espn.com fantasy baseball rules state, A player must have played in a minimum of 20 games in a position to be eligible for that position. The exception is rookies, they will be eligible for the position in which they begin the season.   MLB.com fantasy baseball mandates 10 games played from the previous season.  So some of the players on this list will not be eligible at this position in your league.  Here is my list of top 40 first basemen as of 01/23/2012.

1. CIN Joey Votto 1B – With both Pujols and Fielder headed to the AL in 2012 Votto is the clear cut # 1 first basemen.  Might be worth the top spot overall.

*2. SFG Pablo Sandoval 1B,3B* – Only started 6  and played in a total of 6 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues. Sandoval is one of those guys who doesn’t strike you as a power hitter.  Then you look at his stats and say, “Damn he had 23 home runs?!?”  A fun player to watch, but make sure he’s in shape this spring.

3. PHI Ryan Howard 1B – I really wanted to put Mike Morse here.  But honestly, your going to take Mike Morse over Ryan Howard?  Howard had 33 home runs and 116 RBI’s in what you could argue was his worst year as a pro.  Now if he has a setback from his injury or it looks like he’s going to miss significant time then all bets are off.  But for now, I’m going to leave Howard at # 3.

4. WAS Mike Morse 1B,OF – Morse was on a lot of sleeper lists last season but damn! who really saw that coming!? .303-33-95 is a monster year for a guy getting his first starting gig at age 29.  Obviously repeating will be hard, but I think he can come pretty close to it. Something like .270-27-90 sounds about right.  Oh, and that OF eligibility is a nice thing to have.

5. ATL Freddie Freeman 1B –  Minor league stud didn’t disappoint .282-21-76-4.  Remember before the 2011 season when the argument was Freeman vs Brandon Belt.  Yeah, Freeman scored a first round KO in that one.

6. ARZ Paul Goldschmidt 1B – SLEEPER!!!!!!!!!!!  This guy is a straight BEAST!!!  He hit the furthest home run I’ve even seen at AT&T park in San Francisco last season. ( and off Tim Lincecum no less) His minor league stats in 2011 looked like a video game .306-30-94-9 in 366 at bats. Then went straight from AA to the big leagues and held is own with a .250 batting average and 8 home runs in 156 at bats.

7. STL Lance Berkman 1B,OF –  My sleeper pick from last year payed off huge for people who drafted him. (I got him in round 10 in a deep 12 team league)  I predicted .274-25-80-7 for Berkman in 2011 and got laughed at. Sorry I was wrong, .301-31-94-2 was what he did.  Only blemish was 6 caught stealing in 8 attempts.  Lance stop running, your not fast any more.  Won’t repeat his terrific 2011 but has shown he still owns some skills.

8. NYM Ike Davis 1B – .302-7-25 in 129 at bats before he got hurt.  I like him more then Gaby Sanchez of Miami. Hey, the Mets are moving the walls in!!! Can’t hurt.

9. MIA Gaby Sanchez 1B – back to back years of 572 at bats and 19 home runs.  Its actually pretty amazing how consistent he’s been. my 2012 prediction…… 19 home runs in around 572 at bats.

10. COL Michael Cuddyer 1B,2B,OF – Love the versatility combined with .275-20 potential.  Colorado seems like a better place to hit then Minnesota.  A lot to like here.

11. SDP Yonder Alonso 1B,OF – SLEEPER!!!!!!! Major piece of the deal that sent Mat Latos from the San Diego Padres to the Cincinnati Reds.  Alonso can hit but the knock on him has always been his defense.  I would expect the Padres to start the 25 year old Alonso at first base for the 2012 season.

12. HOU Carlos Lee 1B,OF –  The old bat is beginning to slow down, but he’s still basically the same guy as Gaby Sanchez.  And you might be able to get him a little later in your draft.

*13. PHI John Mayberry Jr. 1B,OF* – Only started 10 and played in a total of 18 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.  Maybe the opening day LF for the Phillies?  If Ryan Howard is slowed by injury maybe Mayberry can help fill in over there.  There are a lot of unknowns for Mayberry going into 2012.  But one thing I know for sure….  he hit .273 with 15 home runs in 267 at bats last year.  Also sprinkled in 8 stolen bases, so if he can get on the field he can fill up the stat sheet.

14. NYM Daniel Murphy 1B,2B,3B – Maybe a little high, especially coming off a torn MCL.  But I just remember how much I wanted Murphy on my team last year.  seemed like he was going 3 for 4 every night. Finished the season at .320 with 6 home runs in 391 at bats.  The health issues aside, I think .300 and 15 home runs is a legit possibility for Murphy in 2012.  but obviously most of his value is as a 2B.

15. NYM Lucas Duda 1B,OF – .292-10-50 in 301 at bats ain’t bad.  Looks to have the inside track at the starting right field job.

16. MIL Mat Gamel 1B,3B – SLEEPER!!!!!!!   He’s going to have canoe size shoes to fill playing 1B for Milwaukee in the post Prince Fielder era.  But I think he can hold his own.

17. Brandon Belt 1B,OF – San Francisco 1B position is a bit crowded with Belt, Huff and Posey all expected to see some time there.  But Posey should be catching most of the time and Belt has more upside then Huff.

18. PIT/FA Derrek Lee 1B – Wouldn’t be all that surprised to see him back in the black and yellow in 2012.

19. LAD James Loney 1B – .288 with 12 home runs looks pretty decent to me.  But Loney seems to be falling out of favor in LA.

20. PIT Garrett Jones 1B,OF – Looks to be a .245 hitter with 16 – 21 home run type pop.  Pirates outfield is more stable then in previous years.  So it looks like Jones will platoon with newly acquired Casey McGhee at first base.  Assuming Pittsburgh doesn’t bring back Derek Lee who is still a free agent.

21. WAS Adam LaRoach 1B – Major bust from 2011, as predicted by this site.  Keep an eye on where Mike Morse is playing this spring.  If he’s out in left field then LaRoach could get some at bats.  Especially with Chris Marrero’s leg injury.

22. SFG Aubrey Huff 1B,OF – Horrible 2011 season from Huff.  Giants are paying him $11 million dollars in 2012 so they might want to try and salvage their investment and give Huff every opportunity to win the first base job this spring.

23. LAD Juan Rivera 1B,OF – .289 career batting average against left handed pitchers.  Daily league owners can draft him late, stash him on the bench, and when the Dodgers are facing a lefty throw him in there and let him rake!  Still the $4.5 Million dollars the Dodgers gave him is way to high.

24. COL Todd Helton 1B – BUST!!!!! .302 with 14 home runs in a nice little bounce back year for Helton.  My guess…. he bounces back the other direction in 2012 as the Rockies try and find their 1B of the future come September.

25. CHC Bryan LaHair 1B –  If the Cubs decide to give newly acquired Anthony Rizzo some more minor league seasoning, then LaHair can see some starts at first base.

26. PHI Ty Wigginton 1B,3B,OF – Placido Polanco insurance???  Wiggy is always a nice guy to have on your fantasy bench because he is eligible at so many different positions.

*27. SDP Kyle Blanks 1B,OF* –  Only started 10 and played in a total of 13 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.   Has tons of power, but also looks like a .245 -.250 type hitter.  With the acquisitions of Carlos Quentin and Yonder Alonso, Blanks doesn’t really have a place to play.

28. CHC Anthony Rizzo 1B – Super prospect struggled in major league debut season.  Trade to Chicago is a positive for him you would have to think. Cubs say he’s going to start 2012 in the minors.

*29. ATL Erik Hinske 1B,OF* – Only started 10 and played in a total of 13 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.  Always gets about 200 at bats and hits 10 home runs or so, with a .235 – .250 batting average.  A good bench guy especially if you own Freddie Freeman.

*30. COL Casey Blake 1B,3B* – Only started 6 and played in a total of 8 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.Will be 38 years old on opening day 2012 and 39 before the season is over.  Injury’s have taken there toll but still a little pop in his bat.  Likely to split time with young 20 year old rookie Nolan Arenado.

*31. COL Jordan Pacheco C,1B,3B* – Only started 10 and played in a total of 13 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.  Minor league catcher came up in September and played a super utility role for the Rockies down the stretch.  Trade of Ty Wigginton helps pave the way for Pacheco to do more of the same on a full-time biases in 2012.  Career .303 hitter in the minor leagues.

32. SDP Jesus Guzman 1B – Don’t think the Padres trade Latos for Alonso so he can sit on the bench.  Guzman will get some late game pinch hitting opportunities though.

33. COL Jason Giambi 1B – Nice little season out of Giambi in 2011. a .260 avg with 13 home runs in only 131 at bats.  I still wouldn’t draft him though.

34. ARZ Lyle Overbay 1B –  Nothing more then  left handed hitter off the bench at this point in his career.

35. LAD Adam Kennedy 1B,2B,3B – Nice blend of speed and power coming off the bench.  I kinda like Kennedy, and the fact that he’s eligible at 1B,2B and 3B is nice.  I good late in the draft bench guy for your fantasy team.

36. PIT Jake Fox C,1B – Power hitting super utility man was released by Baltimore and then quickly picked up by Pittsburgh.  I have a feeling Fox could get about 200 at bats for the Pirates next season.  If he does 10 home runs is not out of the question.

37. HOU Brett Wallace 1B – Will need an injury or slump to either Brian Bogusevic or J.D. Matinez to move Carlos Lee back into the outfield and open up a spot for him to play.  Wallace just hasn’t shown any power so far in the big leagues.

*38. SDP Mark Kotsay 1B,OF* – Only started 1 and played in a total of 11 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.  He’s still in baseball?

39. STL Matt Adams 1B – Best “in-house” first base prospect the Cardinals have. Tore it up in AA last year.  If he has a good 2012 in AAA September call-up should be likely.

*40. CHC Jeff Baker 1B,2B,3B,OF* – Only started 15 and played in a total of 19 games at first base in 2011.  Won’t be eligible at this position in all leagues.  No power to speak of, but a consistent .270 hitter with a lot of eligible positions.



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