This top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball goes to about forty-three. Every time I thought I was out, I looked at another 1st baseman that pulled me back in. Unlike any other position, there’s a few guys that can give you some huge numbers, then there’s about 25 players that can give you roughly the same stats. Unlike years past, I’m not going to tell you to either draft a top 1st baseman or insist you remove my name from your Trapper Keeper. We can still be BFFs without the drafting of Pujols, Fielder or Votto. For the first time in a while, I could see myself drafting any of the top 20 1st basemen. (That’s the actual top 20 1st basemen not the 42 or so that are on this list; shizz gets a little wonky further along the list.) The first basemen position is going through a serious transition. Right now, vets like Howard, Konerko and Te(i)x could still be valuable, but they have some major question marks. Then there’s guys like Trumbo, Davis or even Hosmer that have a different set of concerns. By next year, I have a feeling we’ll see that the next class of 1st basemen move up while the vets continue to fade. But, for now, it’s not clear. As always, for each player there’s my projections and where I see tiers starting and ending. There’s the position eligibility chart for 2013 fantasy baseball, and all the 2013 fantasy baseball rankings are under that linkie-ma-whosie. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2013 fantasy baseball:
1. Albert Pujols – I went over Pujols’s projections at the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
2. Prince Fielder - I went over Fielder’s projections at the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
3. Joey Votto - I went over Votto’s projections at the top 10 for 2013 fantasy baseball.
4. Paul Goldschmidt – I went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
5. Adrian Gonzalez - I went over his projections in the top 20 for 2012 fantasy baseball.
6. Edwin Encarnacion – This is a new tier. This goes from here until Butler. I call this tier, “I fully admit that if you don’t get Votto or Goldschmidt, you can draft a 1st baseman from anywhere in the next twenty-five names and be relatively fine.” As for Edwin, the former Blue Jays hitting coach, Dwayne Murphy said this, “I am the king of all batting and can make a 54-year-old John Olerud a 40-homer hitter if I so choose. What I have done new batting coach, Chad Mottola, cannot undo!” I’m scarred by Jose Bautista’s 2011. We both know that Bautista was coming off a huge 2010 and pegged by yours truly to collapse in 2011. Bautista went on to laugh maniacally while Dwayne Murphy farted in my general direction. That’s why I’m not dropping Encarnacion further than this. I’m being a bit chicken shizz with this ranking. There’s little chance I draft him this late, but I’m also not telling you to avoid him. As an immodest landscape architect would say, it’s the hedge of all hedges! By Murphy changing Encarnacion’s approach at the plate, it resulted in 12 homers to center field. He hit 11 homers to center in the previous three years combined. As long as Edwin doesn’t fall back on old habits of pulling everything, he should be a safe bet for 30 homers. 2013 Projections: 87/30/98/.269/7
7. Buster Posey - I went over Posey’s projections at the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball.
8. Billy Butler - You know what I want to see? Of course you do. I want to see Billy Butler celebrate every home run with The Truffle Shuffle. The top of the Royals order looks like it could have #2012oriolesproblems, which, as we saw with Adam Jones last year, hurts Butler. Also, Butler looks closer to a 24-27 homer guy than a 29-32 homer guy, and he only gets a steal when everyone on the field thinks time has been called even though it hasn’t. Butler moves up a bit if you have a category in your league, “Ability to fill out a bikini.” 2013 Projections: 75/26/95/.309/1
9. Ike Davis – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Freeman. I call this tier, “Not as exciting as the above tier or the tier below it, but should be safer. Yay, safety!” I already went over my Ike Davis 2013 fantasy. It was written in Wingdings font then translated back by someone fluent in Wingdingian. 2013 Projections: 76/34/102/.259
10. Allen Craig - I’m preparing myself for moving Craig down the rankings when he gets hurt in Spring Training. If he stays healthy, he’ll give you exactly the same season as Moobs Butler with maybe three more steals. There’s no way he stays healthy, so then you have to ask yourself how deep your league is and whether or not you can replace him for all three of his DL stints. Use your internal monologue to ask yourself, I’m trying to read. Yes, Craig’s in a “safer tier,” but he’s only safer if he falls this far down the rankings. I guarantee he’ll be off the board by the time you get to him in my rankings. That guarantee comes with a firm handshake. (On a side note: A Cardinals minor leaguer is hoping to send 1000 baseball gloves to overseas troops by Spring Training. Go there for the details, and send him a baseball glove.) 2013 Projections: 67/23/83/.315/3
11. Carlos Santana - I went over Santana’s projections at the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball post.
12. Freddie Freeman - Member when you were a kid and trying not to step on any cracks for fear of repercussions about someone else having their back broken? Instead of taking a regular step forward, you’d take a measured half step forward which landed you in a safe spot. That’s the kind of step forward Freeman took last year. At 23 years old and going into his third full major league season, there’s a chance for a larger step forward, but I expect another small one. 2013 Projections: 90/25/98/.267/2
13. Mark Trumbo – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Frazier. I call this tier, “Two of these guys will be good value, two of these guys will be terrible value, one of these guys will be great value, one of these guys will just recoup their value… Wait, how many guys is that?” This is where the 1st basemen rankings get confusing, hence the tier name. The next tier have names everyone knows but are on a serious downturn of their career. This tier is filled with guys that are high risk and high reward that could easily outperform the above tier, and, according to our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater, some already did outperform them last year. Now, how did Pujols, Trumbo and Morales all get 1st base eligibility on the same team? Did they have two 1st basemen on the field at once and no 3rd baseman or left fielder? Yes, but technically only one of them was playing 1st at any given moment. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Trumbo have a three homer, .205 month of April and lose a starting job to Vernon Wells. Remember, Trumbo’s 2nd half last year was .227 with 10 homers, where he sat out 7 times in the final 30 games. 2013 Projections: 62/28/82/.258/5
14. Anthony Rizzo - A to the nthony could easily outperform AuShizz; there’s a sample size concern to Rizzo’s major league numbers. Do we reject the notion of a sophomore slump after we’ve seen notable cases like Heyward, Lawrie and Hosmer succumb to it the last two years? Do we reject the notion of Rizzo’s 16 homers, .245 over 136 major league games is terrible even if his 2012 was solid? Do we reject the notion that he can’t hit lefties (.208 against)? Do we say ‘reject the notion’ if we’re not trying to sound pompous? *pounding gavel* I’ve got questions, y’all! I don’t think I’m going to be owning Rizzo in 2013, depending on his ADP. Blame Hosmer last year. Shoot, I’ve blamed him for everything else rotten in my life. 2013 Projections: 74/24/86/.259/6
15. Chris Davis – Last year, he had a 30.1% K-rate and a .270 average. Out of the 12 guys with a K-rate 26.4% and more, the next best average was .253 by Kubel at 26.4%. Since 1980, there’s two guys with a K-rate above 30% with a .270 or better average. Davis and Jose Hernandez, who hit .288 in 2002 with the help of a .404 BABIP. Chris Davis either has to make adjustments or he will hit .240. 2013 Projections: 66/28/82/.251/2
16. Eric Hosmer – I already went over my Eric Hosmer 2013 fantasy. I wrote it while trying to figure out why the movie Flight wasn’t called Leaving LVS. 2013 Projections: 75/22/90/.280/12
17. Todd Frazier – I already went over my Todd Frazier 2013 fantasy. There’s so much drool on that post you would think I was splitting his first name in half and writing, “An Ode To DD’s.” 2013 Projections: 72/29/89/.268/5
18. David Ortiz – This is a new tier. This tier goes from here until Teixeira. I call this tier, “Cougar Love.” Young Money the Mafia that’s word to Lil Cease, I’m in The Dominican, Big Papi Ortiz. In ESPN, he’s without mobility. I’m playing in Yahoo, Big Papi Ortiz has 1st base eligibility. This ranking is for ESPN. In Yahoo, I’d move him up to right above Ike Davis. OPS Tom went over his David Ortiz fantasy. 2013 Projections: 82/28/98/.279
19. Ryan Howard – Member when Ryan Howard was a top 1st baseman? We were younger then. You and I. You were still investing in real estate and I was living on your sofa. Now you’re sleeping on my old sofa and my old sofa is in an alley behind a Quiznos. Howard finally returned from Achilles surgery, had a miserable half year, and then his season ended abruptly when he dropped a warmup bat on his toe, breaking it. The only thing surprising about his last injury was Chase Utley didn’t pull his hamstring grimacing from Howard’s pain. Howard says he’s dropped considerable weight this offseason. Hopefully, he didn’t drop it on his other toe. 2013 Projections: 79/30/98/.245
20. Kendrys Morales - When he went to Seattle, I wrote up a whole post on my Kendrys Morales 2013 fantasy. It’s silly enjoyable. Silly, I tell ya! There was also a Kendrys Morales sleeper post. Kendrii’s getting some love! As for the trade of Morse to Seattle, I think Morse will play the majority of his time in the outfield when the M’s see Jason Bay and Raul Ibanez trying to play the field while avoiding The Grim Reaper, and Kendrys’s (man, his extra S is annoying) playing time will remain relatively fine if he hits. 2013 Projections: 77/26/89/.272
21. Michael Cuddyer – Okay, the first four of this tier could have solid bounce back seasons. I like the idea of taking a flyer on a forgotten guy on the Rockies that should be a middle of the lineup hitter. Don’t worry if you draft Cuddyer and then yawn. No one gets excited by the Cuddyer draft pick. Balloons will not drop from your ceiling. 2013 Projections: 71/22/84/.271/9
22. Joe Mauer - I went over Mauer’s projections at the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball post.
23. Paul Konerko – He will be 37 years old at the start of the season. He must suffer from Mike Lowell-itis, because Konerko looks old enough to be my dad. Hang out with Konerko for longer than twenty minutes and I bet he starts talking about Law & Order reruns. Just like my dad! ”Hey, Grey, you ever see the episode where they pulled the case right from the headlines?” ”That’s every episode, Konerko.” ”Eh, guess you’re right. Now, where’s your Mom at with dinner?” 2013 Projections: 72/25/84/.277
24. Adam LaRoche – Another 1st base youngin’! I will now call first base, CBS, the Tiffany Network. Here’s you deciding about which guy to draft in this tier, “Do I go with 60 Minutes or a CSI: Some City repeat?” 2013 Projections: 73/25/95/.260/1
25. Mark Reynolds - Hey, it’s Mini Donkey! Another guy that technically isn’t that old compared to the rest of this tier. He’ll only be 30 years old this year. Oh, crap, I used to think 30 years old was old. DAH, I’M GETTING OLD! 2013 Projections: 79/29/88/.226/6
26. Adam Dunn – The reason why I’m not saying much about these guys is because if you don’t know about the guys in this tier by now, I can’t help you. Now get off my lawn! 2013 Projections: 82/35/95/.212/1
27. Nick Swisher - Swisher started shaping his sideburns before Luke Perry. Should give you an idea how long this guy’s been around. 2013 Projections: 72/24/85/.261/2
28. Kevin Youkilis – When he signed with the Yankees, I said this, “Youk to the Yanks. Or as The NY Post should’ve called it, “O, Yuk.” The 3rd base free agent market looks like one of those Day-After Christmas Sales when the sales girl says, “Um, yeah, I think we have mittens…Have you tried under that giant pile of picked-through clothes?” And Youk is a set of mismatched mittens under the picked-through clothes.” And that’s me quoting me! 2013 Projections: 74/20/88/.259
29. Lance Berkman – You know you belong in the Cougar Love tier when your player page picture has you with gray hairs coming through your beard. 2013 Projections: 64/19/77/.279/3
30. Justin Morneau - Hey, it’s Grandpa Simpson playing 1st base! “I got a funny story about that. Well, it’s not so much funny as it is long.” 2013 Projections: 70/24/78/.265/1
31. Mike Napoli - I went over Napoli’s projections at the top 20 catchers for 2013 fantasy baseball post.
32. Adam Lind – Well, I’m not going to predict MVP consideration this year for Lind. I won’t even mention that I predicted that last year. Doh! 2013 Projections: 61/24/73/.254/1
33. Michael Young – When he went to the Phils, I said this, “Ironically, the Young move makes it seem like the Phillies are trying to get older. We’ll call them the Out of Gas Gang. “Yo, Utley, did you do my TV Guide crossword?” “Sorry, I was just gonna fill in ‘Tool Time’ and one thing led to another.” Charlie Manuel received the Young news enthusiastically. At least, we think it was enthusiastic, no one’s 100% sure what he said. One thing that Young gives that can’t be said for the rest of the aging Phils, he stays healthy. Only once in the last 11 years has he failed to reach 600 plate appearances. Unfortunately, he’s on the downward slope of his career. Now, if he passes ten homers and .300, it would be seen as a pleasant surprise.” And that’s me quoting me! 2013 Projections: 76/7/70/.272/2
34. Carlos Pena – When he signed, I said this, “Will be the Astros DH. Finally, the Astros figured out how to end their rallies! Phew, before this signing, I thought the Astros might bat around in the 1st inning of the 1st game of the season and keep batting around for the next six months never getting through one game.” And that is still me quoting me! 2013 Projections: 64/24/83/.211/2
35. Corey Hart – Out until mid-June at the earliest and mid-whenever at the latest. With Corey Hart’s absence, no word yet who will replace him as the opening act for Flock of Seagulls. Fingers crossed for Kajagoogoo. 2013 Projections: 54/18/64/.277/2
36. Mark Teixeira – On one hand, I wouldn’t be surprised if Te(i)x is this year’s Zombino, making the Cards wish they traded for him like Berkman in 2011 and Beltran last year. On the other hand, I also wouldn’t be surprised to see him miss forty games and hit .240. On the third hand that is actually a mechanical claw that lazy people use to pick up their remote control, I probably won’t own him ranking him this low. UPDATE: He’s out for 8 to 10 weeks as the Devil finally comes to collect an old Yankees tab. 2013 Projections: 57/17/65/.249
37. Mike Olt – Thank my Beejujubees we are out of that last tier! Finally, some exciting names. This tier goes from here until Yonder. I call this tier, “You might end dropping one of these guys by April 15th, but at least you’re trying for upside. Can’t we all try a little?” I already went over my Mike Olt 2013 fantasy. There were seven typos. A record best! I ranked him above the other guys in this tier even though his projections say different because Olt has the most upside, and this late you want upside. 2013 Projections: 28/16/44/.245/1 in 250 ABs
38. Brett Wallace - I already went over my Brett Wallace 2013 fantasy. There were eight typos. A new record! 2013 Projections: 62/19/82/.263/1
39. Brandon Belt – He only hit seven homers last year in 472 plate appearances. The good news is he once hit 10 homers in High-A. Okay, I’ve heard better news. He has solid speed for a 1st baseman (12 steals last year; 18 one year in the minors), and shouldn’t hit for a miserable average. He’ll be 25 in April, and if he’s going to even resemble a useful 1st baseman for mixed leagues, this is the year. I wait with bated breath for Brandon Belt. Say that fast 117 times! 2013 Projections: 60/14/74/.262/10
40. Yonder Alonso – Okay, maybe I shouldn’t say exciting about this tier. Here’s some young players! That’s more accurate. Yawnder doesn’t have much power even if the Padres bring in the fences to just behind 2nd base. Looking at Yonder’s stat sheet reminds me of Yunel Escobar during a good year. I can’t believe I just wrote that. I’m gonna now wash my computer out with soap. ohhhh i baroque my’d keyburd… 2013 Projections: 65/16/74/.281/4
After the top 40 (?!) there’s still more names, but here’s a few that stand out:
Brandon Moss/Chris Carter – Chris Carter is Ryan Howard in a young man’s body but can only hit lefties… Brandon Moss is a non-descript white man but can only hit righties… Together they are… The Fantasy Platoon! In a world like you’ve never seen before… One man’s quest to build a perfect 1st baseman leads him through trial and error to start one man versus…LEFTIES! Another man versus… RIGHTIES! Those in daily leagues prosper by swapping guys out depending on their… OPPONENT! Until they realize they are really brothers and have to drive cross country with Barbara Streisand. ”Oy, Brandon, it’s hot. Are the windows open?” Hijinks! Pratfalls! Home runs! UPDATED: As Moss drove across country, he lost Chris Carter in Houston. Now, the once brothers from different mothers are forced to play against each other as divisional rivals…. Ha! Houston hasn’t been a division rival with anyone since Warren Moon retired. Carter should now be an everyday player while Moss will still be platooning in Oaktown with just about everyone on their team. Brandon Moss’s 2013 Projections: 45/19/58/.274/2 Chris Carter’s 2013 Projections: 59/24/71/.244/4
Garrett Jones - In a world where there is no platoon partner but one is needed… But, wait, there’s Gaby Sanchez! In a world where there’s a man named Gaby… Okay, enough of that. Jones hit .189 vs. lefties with 2 homers last year. I’m all for starting him vs. righties, but you need to platoon him in and out of your fantasy lineup. 2013 Projections: 59/22/65/.267/4
Logan Morrison – It was merely a year ago I was touting how Logan Morrison could break out… And let’s never speak of that again. Unless he does break out. Then speak of it, please. I think the most likely scenario is he tweets something idiotic with a hashtag, the lone remaining Marlin fan protests by turning his chair away from the field and Logan is traded. All the while he is still dealing with knee pain. Logan, not the Marlin fan. 2013 Projections: 67/19/78/.240/2