2012 National League Fantasy Baseball Sleepers: First Base
Paul Goldschmidt 1B ARZ – Goldmember in Austin Powers used to say, “I love gooooooold”. Well, in 2012 NL fantasy owners will be saying, “I love Goldschmidt!”. 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. I have Goldschmidt as my # 6 first baseman going into the 2012 season. Ahead of both Freddie Freeman and Lance Berkman. And you guys remember from last year I’m a believer in Berkman. I just think Goldschmidt will be better then those 2 guys in 2012.
Kyle Blanks 1B,OF SDP – 2010 was supposed to be Blanks’ big break out year after a solid rookie season in 2009 in which he hit 10 home runs in only 148 at bats. Unfortunately for Blanks and fantasy owners who invested in him he got off to a terrible start to that season, and then had to undergo the dreaded Tommy John surgery on his elbow. The surgery ended up costing Blanks most of the 2010 and 2011 seasons. But he came back last year and showed he still has his power intact belting 7 home runs in 170 at bats. Anthony Rizzo and Jesus Guzaman are going to have quite a spring training position battle to determine who will be the Padres opening day 1B. But as of right now Blanks is slated to be the teams starting left fielder. If he can keep the job and stay healthy, 350 at bats will net 20+ home runs and hopefully a modest .250 – .260 batting average.
Yonder Alonso 1B,OF SDP – 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 and let their other top prospect Anthony Rizzo, who’s 21 years old some more time to develop in the minor leagues. The only downside I can see for Alonso is he’s moving from one of the best hitting parks in the National League to the worst. But the fact that you know he’s going to be on the field everyday is a plus.
Mat Gamel 1B,3B MIL – 2009 was supposed to be the year that Gamel broke out and took the reigns at 3B for the Brewers for years to come. But a slow start combined with the sudden emergence of Casey McGehee sent the highly touted Gamel back down to the minors for a couple of years. in 2010 while in AAA Gamel posted a decent .309-13-67-3 line in 359 AB’s. But in 2011 he had a power explosion hitting 28 home runs with a .310 batting average. Along with the great offensive season Gamel also changed positions moving from a 3B,OF type of player to playing almost exclusively 1B. It was clear that the Brewers knew they had little to no shot at keeping Prince Fielder, and Gamel would be his replacement in 2012. The job is Gamel’s to lose, so hopefully for him personally and the fantasy owners who draft him he can make the most of it. At the very least he’s going into a great hitting “environment” in Milwaukee.