Top 20 First Basemen – Fantasy 2017
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These rankings are for standard 5×5 rotisserie leagues, enjoy!
Updated April 21st, 2017. Overall Rankings can be found here.
‘Movement’ column signifies the change in rank at this position, from the last update (April 1st, 2017).
My thoughts preseason…
Hanley & DH’ing
One player that will stand out to you compared to other ADP aggregators is Hanley Ramirez as a top seven first basemen. While I don’t feel there’s a shortage of believers like myself in the industry, I had some trouble pining precisely how high my internal helium could take me. Clearly ahead of Myers, Abreu, and Hosmer was the sweet-spot – hence my tiering above. Ramirez and his health have always been an issue; he hasn’t played 120+ games in back-to-back seasons since ’09-’10. The difference? He’s now at DH, and manager John Farrell seems confident the one time 30/30 prospect will have very steady playing time (Ramirez will be in the lineup as a DH against almost all RHPs). Hanley won’t be impenetrable to a nagging injury here and there, but DH’ing a guy who has see ABs lost due to aimless roaming around the outfield helps. 30 homer, 90R/90RBI season with a high .280s average is my expectation. If he repeats last year, which isn’t far off from this line, we’re in for another top 50-60 finish from the new Sox vet.
Safety & Upside with Cron, Bour
I wrote a nice spread about C.J. Cron for one of my other outlets, Razzball. Synopsis? Cron is very good, just turned 27, and is destined for a .280+, 25 homer season if he can log 550 ABs. Salivating for players like Cron who have put together great stretches in the past, but have lapsed in producing for a whole season do to any number of factors, is very easy to do. So why don’t more people do it? Well, as we saw with Ramirez, and will see with Bour, the second a player on the verge of their prime runs into a few fluke injuries, skepticism snowballs into the main talking point. Throw that storyline aside and enlighten your mind to safety embedded in a player like Cron if he is simply healthy. My minor belief in the Angels putting a ‘Phillies circa 2016’ style run first half run together helps the Cron case as well. Add to that Cron’s opportunity for 80 RBIs easily hitting in the top four in an order that includes the titan himself, Mike Trout, and you have one of my favorite late round options.
Justin Bour gets my love due to the ‘everyday playing time’ the endorsement by manager Don Mattingly. After a season of meddling production from Chris Johnson, and bits of a rehabbing Bour, the first basemen’s impact on the Marlins’ lineup is something that will shock the city of Miami, in a good way for once. In 2015 over 450 plate appearances Bour put together 72 RBIs and 23 home runs. Now 28, with improved plate discipline and contact skills after an injury plagued 2016, that plate appearance total can eclipse 500 easily. The Marlins attempt to desperately contend while the window is cracked slightly open will rest on the heels of their offensive production. Bour will be a darkhorse centerpiece to any momentum they build. Steamer is only giving him 480 plate appearances and still expecting 19 homers with a .835+ OPS. Give me the over on the plate appearances once Mattingly & Co. get a look at his sparkling 10% walk rate and declining strikeout issues. That will boost everything Bour does, especially his draft stock from 300 overall as owners realize what he is bringing to the table.[hr]
Photo via the Flickr creative commons, thanks to jnashboulden for the shot of Goldy!
Statistics from Fangraphs.com.