The top 10 and top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball are in the bag, along with the top 20 catchers and your receipt for a $30 massage valued at $50. Thanks, Groupon! Today, Razzhands, we look at the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball. All this shizz can be found under the 2012 fantasy baseball rankings. Don’t believe me? Click the link. This top 20 list of 1st basemen is bursting at the seams like you at a Hometown Buffet. Speaking of gorging yourself, I’d like a top 1st baseman on my team in 2012, but it’s a little different year than last year. There’s actually only 5 top first basemen then caveats on number 6 (Te(i)x) through 9, then there’s some interesting flyers a bit later. I have a feeling 2013′s rankings are going to see major shifts with some guys that are lower on this ranking sheet moving up. Should be a fun year for first basemen and one where you can take a bit more risk than previous years. This list will get additional 1st basemen added to it in the way of sleeper posts. As with the other rankings, the first basemen are broken up into tiers with my projections included. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2012 fantasy baseball:
1. Miguel Cabrera – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Miguel Cabrera’s projections.
2. Albert Pujols – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Albert Pujols’s projections.
3. Joey Votto – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Joey Votto’s projections.
4. Adrian Gonzalez – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Adrian Gonzalez’s projections.
5. Prince Fielder – See top 10 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Prince Fielder’s projections.
6. Mark Teixeira – See top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball for Mark Teixeira’s projections. This is actually a new tier. This tier goes from here until Michael Young. I call this tier, “Caterpillars. Tier name will be explained in the Young blurb. Feel free to read Young’s blurb then return here. Hey, back already?! Awesome! I missed you. Do you enjoy cuddling?”
7. Paul Konerko – He’s been wildly consistent. In 2008 when he hit only 22 homers, it looks like the anomaly. If I were to say 2012 is the year he gets old and it all falls apart, I’d just be guessing. Last year he hit hardly any doubles, more line drives and singles, but he’s also getting smarter cutting his K-rate and increasing his walk rate. The biggest hurdle Konerko is going to have this year is keeping his will to play as the team folds on Opening Day. Maybe Hawk can work in some of his positivism in the negativity. “This is the fastest a team has ever been out of contention! You can put it on the board… We gone!” 2012 Projections: 85/29/100/.290
8. Lance Berkman – Let’s see if you can pick out the number that doesn’t belong, these are his homer totals from 2009 to 2011 — 25, 14, 31. If you said 14, you’re a believer. Feel free to draft Berkman. If you said 31, you’re in my camp. We will not be drafting Berkman. If you said 27, that wasn’t a choice. Berkman didn’t necessarily have an odd year for homers per fly balls. He made solid contact, reducing his ground balls, but he’s 36 years old and missing Pujols. That’s enough for me to avoid. 2012 Projections: 80/24/95/.275/3
9. Michael Young – This tier is filled with some older shorties, huh? Go, shorty, it’s your 35th birthday; we gonna party like it’s your 35th birthday! As I kinda said in the opening paragraph, the 1st basemen in 2012 are about to go caterpillar up in here and morph into a butterfly, but with that butterfly emerging from its cocoon Don Ameche-style, it needs to shed its caterpillar skin (can you tell I did well in my college science courses?). This tier is gonna leave behind some caterpillar skin that will be released into the garden and turn into a new plant and/or Eric Hosmer. (Again, not a science major.) To explain all of this without the confusing metaphor, guys in this tier are getting old and will make way for guys in the next tier for next year. As for Young, I don’t like him because he only gives average, and, while that’s been consistently solid in his career, he still got lucky last year and he’s due to hit a lot closer to .300 than .340. Projections: 75/15/90/.310/5
10. Carlos Santana – Here comes the fun! Can you feel the excitement? It’s like that time we got together and did the crab circle dance in the pool in Cabo San Lucas and all our roommates were there except Zach and Ashley — but who needs them anyway?! This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Butler. I call this tier, “The crab circle in Cabo San Lucas.” Is that too specific a reference? You guys and three girl readers get it. See the top 20 catchers for 2012 fantasy baseball to see Carlos Santana’s projections.
11. Eric Hosmer – I’m ignoring sophomore jinxes like I ignored when my whole sophomore class saw me get depantsed and I had on dirty tightie-whities. I continue to stress that they were once all brown underwear that got bleached. Hosmer is going to be special, and even if it’s not this year, he’s going to hold trade value through the season unless his bottom really falls out, which I don’t envision happening. His commitment to stealing around ten bases will keep him from totally flopping. He will be Joey Votto-lite this year. How lite is the only question. I don’t think it’ll be that lite. BTW, you know who’s Billy Butler-lite? Kirstie Alley. 2012 Projections: 85/25/95/.280/10
12. Michael Morse – I think Morse just had his best season, but I also don’t think he’s gonna fall like, say, Ryan Ludwick of a few years ago, to mention a player that was old for a prospect, broke out then went back to obscurity. Speaking of which, when you get robbed in a parking garage and the security guard tells the police they didn’t hear anything, you tell them they’re more like obscurity! Store it away for when it’s applicable. Morse had the trappings* of a breakout but his health always got in the way. I’m excited to watch the Nats this year and Morse should be smack dab in the middle of it. *I have no idea if I used trappings right but it sounded pretty cool the way I just threw it out there, right? 2012 Projections: 80/27/90/.275/3
13. Michael Cuddyer – Gets away from Hubert H. Homerfree Dome and goes to Coors. Boom goes the dynamite! Or does it? Cuddyer just had a solid season, and terrific when compared to the team around him. Jack Wilson would’ve looked good in that Minnesota mucky muck last year. Cuddyer hits a ton of ground balls and he’s not a huge homer threat. I’d say if he repeats his 2011, it’s a win for him and his fantasy owners, especially since he has 2nd base eligibility in some leagues (17 games). Check your rules first before you draft him for 2nd, then think about how you’re checking rules for fantasy baseball. And you wonder why you have no success with the ladies. 2012 Projections: 75/22/85/.275/5
14. Mark Reynolds – His K-rate is kinda comical. He’s a terrible real baseball player. But real baseball is for real athletes. What kind of crap is that?! Give me a computer, an ergonomic chair and some Doritos, I’m playing fantasy baseball! As long as Mini Donkey continues to hit 35 homers and steal 7-10 bases, he has solid fantasy value, just don’t draft Krispie Young, Adam Dunn or any other low average guys with him. Actually, don’t draft Adam Dunn at all. 2012 Projections: 75/35/90/.230/7
15. Adam Lind – The reason why I still go back to Lind no matter how many times he kicks my metaphorical puppy is because he’s capable of 35+ homers. Also, he got a bad rap in 2010 for being a guy that comes with a poor average, but he’s not that, y’all! He’s around a .260 guy with neutral luck. That’s a’ight, and a’ight is better than just a’ight but not quite a’ight a’ight. Want a silly prediction that has no basis in science or fact? Lind’s gonna be a top three finisher in 2012 for MVP. 2012 Projections: 90/32/105/.270 (<–crazy optimistic, but whatevs)
15 1/2. Billy Butler – I gave Butler a half ranking because he only has 11 games at 1st base. In Yahoo leagues, you can place The Moob Man at 1st. I’d use two hands so one moob doesn’t feel neglected. Yes, Butler’s in the exciting tier, but I worry that Butler will only get 17 or less homers with a bad case of blimpotence. But II, The Return of But, at 26 years old I think we can trust he’ll hover closer to 20 ding dongs. Butler, “Did someone say ding dongs?!” 2012 Projections: 90/20/100/.300
16. Ryan Howard – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until the end of the list. I call this tier, “Some major question marks, but a chance for nice dividends.” Howard will move in the rankings at some point in the preseason when we know exactly when he’s gonna return. If he’s back by the end of April, he hits 25-30 homers and is worth stashing. If he’s not due back until midseason, I wouldn’t even bother drafting him and would drop him off this list completely. I don’t believe in DL’ing players for months in redraft leagues. For example, think about how many years you drafted Brandon Webb waiting for him to return from injury. Yeah, that worked out well. 2012 Projections: 70/28/100/.260 (returning on May 1st)
17. Mike Napoli – See the top 20 catchers for 2012 fantasy baseball to see Mike Napoli’s projections.
18. Ike Davis – Last year, Ike took so many hits on the DL; somewhere Tina Turner was smiling. Davis says his ankle will be good to go for Spring Training. I say, just keep him away from the Mets doctors. From this tier, I’d say Davis has the biggest chance to shoot up the rankings for next year. Or he could have one setback and miss another three months. 2012 Projections: 85/22/90/.280
19. Mark Trumbo – When I went over Albert Pujols’s signing, I also covered Trumbo’s question mark. As long as Abreu, Double I and Kendrys are shooting the shizz and talking about the good old times, Trumbo’s either playing 3rd or in trouble of losing playing time. 3rd base would be great, but his defense might give Scioscia the gas face. I really can’t see someone who gave Jeff Mathis 1360 plate appearances in 5 years playing Trumbo at third. That’s a huge question mark. If Trumbo can get 500 plate appearances, then I’d happily draft him. Remember a platoon player at catcher is doable for fantasy, but at 1st or even at corner you need stats. Projections: 60/25/75/.260/7 (500 PAs)
20. Paul Goldschmidt – I already went over my Paul Goldschmidt fantasy. I wrote it while rooting for Garfield from Parking Wars to boot a car. 2012 Projections: 75/27/85/.245/7
After the top 20 1st basemen, there’s a lot of names but these stand out:
Kendrys Morales – Might not be a bigger question mark on this entire list. Ryan Howard could be out for a while, but if he returns, you should get decent production. Kendrys might return and still be crizzap. Or he might return and platoon with Abreu or Trumbo or Wells. Or he might return and be valuable. You got more variables than an episode of Mythbusters. Boom! I’m bigger on basic cable than Chumlee! 2012 Projections: 65/22/75/.290
Justin Morneau – This is one question mark that I’m not drafting anywhere. This schmohawk can come to my house and make me a perfectly medium-rare steak with the most amazing compound butter and I won’t go near him because, after last year, his steak will probably give me an immediate heart attack. 2012 Projections: 60/17/75/.285
Gaby Sanchez – He (she?) can give you modest power and solid counting stats. Plus, you can pretend you have a girl on your team. You ask why he’s not ranked and I answer that he is. He’s ranked just after Morneau. Him and Morneau are a bit of a toss-up, but Morneau has an outside chance at bigger power numbers. Gaby has a better chance of actually playing a full season. 2012 Projections: 65/20/85/.265/3
Freddie Freeman – I don’t look forward to drafting Freeman. So much so, I won’t draft him. So much so much so, I didn’t even rank him. He’s not ranked. He’s just blurbed here. He’s too much James Loney for my taste. He has a slightly off year on power and you’re gonna be lucky to get 17 homers. Belch called and said burp. 2012 Projections: 60/19/75/.280/3
Yonder Alonso – I took all the prospect reports on Alonso and put through my supercomputer and out came, “Should develop into a 20+ homer hitter with a great eye. Padres TV can save time by eliminating instant replay because he runs like he’s in slow mo.” I liked Yonder a lot more when he was on the Reds with no starting job than on the Padres with a starting job. It’s just so hard to get excited about a hitter’s upside in Petco. 2012 Projections: 55/16/70/.280
Justin Smoak – I’m letting someone else take the Smoak gamble this year. Until he hits 25+ homers, I don’t want to mess with his .240-ish average. Call me crazy. You, “Crazy.” 2012 Projections: 55/18/65/.245
Carlos Pena – Looking for someone this year that can do what Adam Dunn did last year? Look no further! He signed with the Rays, but it doesn’t matter. He is what he is everywhere he plays. I will now slap myself hard across the face for saying a variation of “it is what it is.” 2012 Projections: 55/25/75/.210
Adam Dunn – Everyone seems to think Dunn is not, um, done. Correction: Everyone that did not own him last year. I guess they want a piece of the frustration that others felt last year. That’s like standing at the craps table and watching roll after roll where people lose and you’re like, “Now is the time to get in!” No, it’s not. There’s no reason why the table is going to turn for the better. The big-bellied age quickly and poorly. Don’t go near Dunn just because you lucked out not owning him last year. And, if you did own him last year and want more, then you’re like Homer grabbing the donut no matter how many times the electrical current shocks him. 2012 Projections: 55/22/80/.220 (<–actually optimistic)
Anthony Rizzo – Because I couldn’t end the post on a sour note with Adam Dunn, here’s R to the izzo. I already went over my Anthony Rizzo 2012 fantasy. I wrote it while huffing. It was also written before the trade to the Cubs, so the end about how I wanna take a chainsaw to Petco is irrelevant. I don’t think we’ll see Rizzo until June at the earliest so in redraft leagues, I’d ignore him, but in keeper leagues I’d stash him. He could hit 25 homers as soon as next year. If he breaks camp with the Cubs, then it’s on like Steve Wiebe playing Donkey Kong. 2012 Projections: 30/10/45/.250/4 (in 300 ABs)
Brandon Belt – Okay, one more! This is it though. If Belt were guaranteed everyday playing time, I’d place him between Napoli and Davis. Around 16 and a half. Belt is capable of 25/10/.280, which would have him poised to be a top 5 1st baseman next year. The problem is Bruce Bochy has a gigantic head, but a very small brain. Hopefully he realizes Belt ties the entire Giants outfit together. 2012 Projections: 70/24/80/.280/10 (in 500 ABs)