My prior, uber, hard-line stance has been that you with that one hair wrapped around your head acting as a hairstyle don’t want to draft a sleeper 1st baseman. By the by, I tried to replace Uber with Lyft in the previous sentence, but it didn’t make sense. My wokeness has failed. Previously, I’d tell you to go to my top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all) and draft some top guys and stop fooling around with sleepers at this position. Of course, I’m malleable like Gumby and this year there are no top 1st basemen *ducks head*. Whoa, someone threw a wrench into this! Fine, Pete Alonso and Matt Olson get nethers ablaze, but 1st basemen dry up quick. As with other positions like the catchers to target (again, not clickbait), these are 1st basemen that are being drafted late. For the 1st basemen, I’m going with an ADP of 150 or later, so you should have a 1st baseman already, and these are more corner infidels or utility guys. Anyway, here’s some 1st basemen to target for 2020 fantasy baseball:
Danny Santana (192 ESPN, 189 Yahoo) Haven’t mentioned this yet, so what better time than now? (No better time, that’s the answer, my dude.) ESPN’s rankings are goofy. NFBC has Antana going off the board around 131 overall. I’ve ranked him around 140th overall. So, I guess there’s a chance you’re playing against all schmohawks who use ESPN’s rankings and type with their elbows and chew with their mouth open and insist Klara Bell’s making sense in his rankings, but, for the most part, Antana won’t be available. Any hoo! Antana, by conservative projections, is going to go 20/19/.242, and by conservative I mean our Steamer projections. Those numbers alone would make him around 120th overall in value. And, again, in case you missed it, that’s conservative.
Christian Walker (199 NFBC, 175 ESPN, 260 Yahoo) As I mentioned previously this preseason (and sorta 150 words ago in the opening), I didn’t used to write 1st basemen sleepers, but in this post alone there’s two. So, you can check out my Christian Walker sleeper, if you so desire. (Saying the word “desire” out loud automatically makes you creepy. It’s impossible to give an example where it doesn’t make you creepy. You trying to explain how it doesn’t make you creepy to say “desire” actually makes you more creepy.) You know what Christian Walker screams to me? DESIRE! Kidding, he reminds me of a guy we look back on in September and think, “How on earth was he undervalued in the preseason? He was good in 2019 already. There was no surprise here. What the hell was I thinking in March not drafting him?” I don’t know, to be honest. I knew Walker would be a sleeper and undervalued, but I never really wrapped my head around why. He was good for a full year already.
Hunter Dozier (208 ESPN, 202 Yahoo) Very similar to what I said for Walker — also, you check out my Hunter Dozier sleeper too — Walker was already good. Are people just fading these guys because they’re 28 years old? Is age why people are fading Dannys Antana too? What, are you guys Hollywood producers trying to find a date? What do you care if they’re 28 years old? You’re not interested in their ovaries. You’re trying to get one year of production from them! By the way, I wrote this post about a week ago, but am editing some of the draft slots for ESPN and Yahoo now and they’ve all moved up dramatically. Last week, ESPN and Yahoo had Dozier about 30 picks later. Don’t worry, ESPN still has Votto and Hosmer about 40 spots higher than any of these guys. What a jizzoke.
Michael Chavis (235 NFBC, 232 ESPN, 270 Yahoo) The hesitation with Chavis is obvious, and why he’s ranked and/or being drafted after the top 200. He’s not a clearcut breakout waiting to happen. He’s…well, I don’t know what he is, and most don’t, if ADP is accurate. Last year in 347 ABs, he hit 18 homers with a 23.1% HR/FB and 35.5% fly ball rate. That’s not a straightforward uppercase yay. His exit velocity was kinda meh, but he did average 419 feet on his homers, so Chavis wears Big Boy pants. He looks a little like he could be Rhys Hoskins — think 30 homers, .240 average — but Fenway might help his BABIP and average. It wasn’t by accident he had an xBA of .222; it was by sheer luck he hit .254. With all that said (wrap this puppy up, Grey!), at his price, Chavis is well worth the flyer.
Renato Nunez (276 NFBC, 226 ESPN, 311 Yahoo) Does drafting and liking Nunez hurt or help Mountcastle? I’m not sure. Are the Orioles really going to play Chris Davis and Rio Ruiz? Don’t answer that if you’re near an Orioles fan; you will make them openly sob, which isn’t cool.
Evan White (378 NFBC, 281 ESPN, 373 Yahoo) This is the first time ever ESPN is the highest ranker for a rookie. Okay, I’m not sure if that is true, but I’m saying I think it’s true, and those two things are the same. ESPN still has Votto in the top 160 and thinks Kole Calhoun and Kevin Pillar are top 120 overall hitters, so the bar is super low to be impressed by them, but I’m so shocked they are high man on White. But, when I see my projections for White, and how he’s a 15-homer guy with a possibly okay average, I sorta understand ESPN’s ranking of him more. They look at projecting Votto with 15/5/.265 and think that White’s great like an end-of-summer P. Diddy Hampton party.
Ryan Mountcastle (450 NFBC, unranked ESPN, unranked Yahoo) It’s absolute crickets on Mountcastle early on in draft SZN. (Did I do that right? Abbreviating it SZN? Prolly not.) Maybe now that Trey Mancini is out for “who knows how long” with “no one has any idea what he has,” people will be clamoring for Mountcastle, but I haven’t heard a chirp about him. Perhaps I like Mountcastle because I’m just a huge fan of anything that sounds like a British detective drama, and nearly drafted Jose Broadchurch in one league, but Mountcastle at 450th overall? Possibly it’s his lack of walks, but in standard 5×5 he shouldn’t be off the board for free. Why exactly is he not breaking camp with the Orioles and getting 500+ ABs? He hit 25 HRs and .312 last year and absolutely murdered the ball. British detective, “Mountcastle murdered the ball, but what if…there were two balls and they both had the same father?!” That’s Jose Broadchurch flipping through Mountcastle’s family album. I’ve already talked about him at length in my Ryan Mountcastle fantasy. There’s no guarantees with him, but, at his price, there’s nothing but upside from Mountcastle, coming this summer on the BBC.