In conjunction with our First Base Primer, Yahoo! experts Brandon Funston, Brad Evans and Scott Pianowski offer their top-5 takes on the first base position. Topics include first basemen to seek or avoid, rookies and a nod to the past.
|Top 5 first basemen you’ll reach for
- Mike Morse – One of only 12 players with 30-plus doubles and HRs in ’11.
- Paul Goldschmidt – Could very well be the cheapest 30/100 producer in ’12.
- Michael Cuddyer – Outhouse to penthouse: Coors tops for RHH, Target Field No. 20.
- Ike Davis – Very cheap ADP considering his legit .280/25/90 potential.
- Adam Lind – See above (deduct a few BA points, add a few HRs).
- Paul Goldschmidt – ISO during brief run with ‘Backs suggests a cheap version of Mike Stanton.
- Ike Davis – Healthy. Citi fences moved in. Power on the rise. 25-30 homers coming.
- Freddie Freeman – Difference between him and pricier Eric Hosmer practically neglible.
- Mark Trumbo – 22-27 bombs likely with 450 at-bats. Quality later round buy.
- Mike Morse – Immersed in power prime. Affordable middle of the order producer.
- Freddie Freeman – Matched Hosmer’s debut but didn’t get the same pub.
- Michael Cuddyer – Thin air, position flexibility – count me in.
- Howie Kendrick – Some of the doubles are finally turning into homers.
- Mark Teixeira – Perfect environment, has been a little unlucky with average dip.
- Edwin Encarnacion – Was terrific in second half of ’11, and still just 29.
|Top 5 first basemen you’ll try to avoid
- Paul Konerko – Soon-to-be 36. We’re in borrowed time territory.
- Eric Hosmer – Near top 50 ADP is crazy for 1B with limited power upside.
- Lance Berkman – Plenty of turnoffs: Age, health history, Pujols gone
- Billy Butler – We can now safely say that his power tops out at 20 HRs.
- Carlos Lee – Like Konerko, Berkman, age a big concern. As is Astros awful lineup.
- Justin Morneau – Still experiencing numbness in left hand. Rodeo clowning less risky.
- Ryan Howard – Slightly ahead of rehab sched, but how much impact will long layoff have?
- Mark Teixeira – Applaud his efforts in HR, RBI and runs, but, damn, that BA blows.
- Eric Hosmer – Still developing power, but underlying profile says more 20-25 HR hitter.
- Todd Helton – Once roamed with triceratops, he is completely avoidable at advanced age.
- Justin Morneau – Body in revolt. Target crushes left-handed power.
- Paul Goldschmidt – Hate to pay expectant price for low-experience player.
- Adam Lind – Can’t hit lefties. Needs platoon partner.
- Brandon Belt – Love the player, but don’t trust Bruce Bochy.
- Eric Hosmer – Dig him, but I won’t price assumed improvement into my rank.
|Top 5 late-round lottery tickets
- Lucas Duda – The Dude abides with an ADP of 227 despite .280, 20-25 HR potential.
- Mike Carp – Reported to camp in outstanding shape after ’11 mimi-breakout.
- Adam LaRoche – Will go undrafted in many leagues despite avg. of 26 HRs, 89 RBIs from ’06-’10.
- Justin Smoak – After showing flashes the past two years, it’s now or never.
- Mitch Moreland – With regular playing time, not hard to produce in Texas lineup.
- Mitch Moreland – Breakout age? Check. Regular ABs in explosive lineup? Check. Bargain? Triple-check.
- Adam LaRoche – Only a season removed from .251-25-100-75 with the Diamondbacks.
- Bryan LaHair – Clubbed 38 HRs at Triple-A Iowa last year. Nice late flier.
- Chris Davis – With 500 at-bats, 30 HRs not unrealistic. Still a pup at 25.
- Jesus Guzman – Alonso breathing down neck, but showed nice upside with Pads last year.
- Adam Dunn – Too young to completely give up on yet.
- James Loney – Quietly rocked a .320/.380/.534 line in second half.
- Chris Davis – Has starting gig for the moment, and a good stroke for Camden.
- Justin Smoak – Karma hates him but don’t ignore the pedigree.
- Bryan LaHair – He’s no pup at 29, but grabbed MVP in the PCL.
|Top 5 rookie first basemen
- Yonder Alonso – Change of venue not ideal, but at least he finally gets his shot.
- Matt Adams – With Pujols gone, his 32 HR in 115 AA games has greater significance.
- Anthony Rizzo – Big power, but will have to battle LaHair and post-hype label.
- Chris Parmelee – Not huge power, but his plate approach offers staying power.
- Chris Marrero – A post-AS solution if LaRoche hasn’t found his groove by then.
- Matt Adams – With Pujols no longer in the picture, STL could call soon.
- Yonder Alonso – No longer trapped behind Votto, but Guzman no pushover in SD.
- Chris Marrero – If LaRoche struggles or is injured, he could seize opportunity.
- Anthony Rizzo – Likely to start in Iowa, but potential late-season impact player.
- Chris Parmelee – Former first-round pick could be Gaby Sanchez-like with Twins.
- Yonder Alonso – Gets the gig, but what’s his HR upside in Petco?
- Chris Parmelee – Snappy 2011 audition and Morneau seldom healthy.
- Chris Carter – Crazy gridlock in Oakland. Will they give him a shot?
- Anthony Rizzo – I’m still expecting great things … someday.
- Jordan Pacheco – Won’t be a regular unless others get hurt.
|Top 5 favorite first basemen of your lifetime
- Alvin Davis – ’84 AL ROY one of first reasons for an M’s fan to be excited.
- Fred McGriff – 30 HR with 5 different teams. Great smile. Great nickname. Legit HOF case.
- Cecil Fielder – Hitting a juice-free 51 HRs in ’90 was a big deal.
- John Kruk – His ’93 All-Star AB v. Randy Johnson was pure comedy.
- Steve Garvey – Mr. Clean was about as steady and dependable as they come.
- Mark Grace – All time hits leader of the 1990s. Party animal. Humorist.
- Fred McGriff – Crime Dog was a quiet assassin at the dish.
- Don Mattingly – Keith Hernandez gets credit for best ‘stache in Big Apple, but Mattingly’s truly put his to shame.
- Frank Thomas – Once blocked for Bo Jackson at Auburn. Obliterated pitches in Bigs.
- Kent Hrbek – He had herculean power. King of the half-swing homer.
- Darin Erstad – Gold Glover at two positions, gamer, great punter.
- Will Clark – Intense. Tough. Clutch.
- Adrian Gonzalez – A sweet swing, and a complete class act.
- Dmitri Young – Frozen-rope machine, the precursor to Kung Fu Panda.
- Prince Fielder – Big swing, big appetite, big smile.