The Educator here, and I’m dealing from the corner.  And with my first sentence, I mix drugs and school. Solid start.

First base rankings, right here.  This is an initial ranking, based on some weird thoughts I have which I will detail.  I’m mainly going to focus on the ranks that I have that are significantly different than the general consensus.  I very well could be wrong, but since it’s going to happen all year that doesn’t matter because nobody will remember how high I was on Andrew Vaughn or low I was on Nathaniel Lowe.  

I never rank first basemen including steals.  They are so low, and so variable, that you should be focusing on them elsewhere.  I look for four category contributors (R, RBI, HR, AVG) but use OPB and SLG as indicators of ability, if not the category in your league’s scoring.  I also as a rule prioritize upside after the first two rounds.

First of all, here’s a list of the ranks for those who don’t want to read.  I’ll explain the tiers after this initial ranking list.  Contractual obligations stipulate that I only rank 25. Visit Grey’s Top 20 First Basemen, it’s another ranking from this esteemed site and Grey is my boss, so they are way better than my rankings, like for sure totally.  It also lists fifty people in his top 20 ranks.  I am not that motivated so you get the top 25.

  1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr.
  2. Freddie Freeman
  3. Pete Alonso
  4. Paul Goldschmidt
  5. Matt Olson
  6. Jose Abreu
  7. Andrew Vaughn
  8. Anthony Rizzo
  9. Rhys Hoskins
  10. Vinnie Pasquantino
  11. Ryan Mountcastle
  12. Nathaniel Lowe
  13. Ty France
  14. Rowdy Tellez
  15. Christian Walker
  16. Luis Arraez
  17. Trey Mancini
  18. Brandon Drury
  19. Miguel Vargas
  20. Triston Casas
  21. Yuli Gurriel
  22. Spencer Torkelson
  23. Seth Brown
  24. Josh Bell
  25. DJ LeMahieu


Here they are in tiers, not ranked by numbers.  Tiers are the way.  I have spoken.

Top of the Barrel:

Vladimir Guerrero Jr, Freddie Freeman

I know they aren’t perfect, and should probably be taken late in the first or early in the second.  Compared to the other first baggers, these guys have the ceiling (Vlad) and the floor (Freeman) to justify a high ranking.  Safety, and they would be great cornerstones for any team.

Hanging on to the side of the barrel but not quite on the top of it:

Pete Alonso, Paul Goldschmidt, Matt Olson

I love the stability of Alonso, unless you’re in a H2H league in which case the streakiness may win and lose weeks.  

Matt Olson I’m purposely putting lower because of the batting average issue.  He’s more of a .240 hitter, with great counting stats, but that .271 from 2021 is a ceiling, not the floor.

Is it Old or is it a classic?  Is it the first six seasons of The Office or the last two?:

Jose Abreu

I guess if the discount is enough I would draft Abreu because weird things happened in Chicago power wise last year.  If anyone can unlock Jose, it’s probably the Astros.  If not, then he’s done.  Huge variance 

I Just Believe:

Andrew Vaughn, Anthony Rizzo, Rhys Hoskins

Anthony Rizzo hit an expected .260 with the now abolished shift.  Anthony Rizzo also hit 32 HR.  Anthony Rizzo hitting .260 with 32 HR is the 8th ranked first baseman.  I believe, I believe.  

I also believe in Andrew Vaughn for different, nonstatistical reasons.  He’s now focused on playing his natural position.  Guy won’t be out running around in the outfield looking like a natural first baseman pretending to be an outfielder.  Oh, the embarrassment!  The indignity!  The pure meanness of Tony LaRussa!  I think he’s got a .280 average with 30 bombs in that bat of his.  

I Want to Believe So So Badly:

Vinnie Pasquantino, Ryan Mountcastle, Ty France

Vinnie P with the small, albeit solid, sample size, just needs to do it again and he’s up two tiers

Mountcastle has a cool name and a solid game.  Will the contact improve and the power output go up?  Is Camden just too spacious for a guy to be more than just a guy?  Will Janine and Gregory ever get together?  Do you understand that last reference?

Can Ty France ever stay healthy?  Was health the reason he went from a .319/.393/.480 slash in the first 69 games or is he more the .234/.286/.396 in the last 71?  Was it health or, as France says, an adjustment he needs to make and knows how to make?

This is Not For Me:

Nathaniel Lowe, Christian Walker, C.J. Cron

Lowe had a breakout, but if you’re drafting him for a .300 AVG you’re doing it wrong.  More like a .250 with 25 dongs and 70 runs and RBI.  I’m not buying him at the price he’s going. BABIP isn’t perfect, but a .363 like he had last year is probably 30 points high.

Walker is the same thing.  He’s not going to hit 34 HR again.  Just stop with that nonsense.  I’m always out on 31 year olds after career years.  Just look at his 2021 stats and that’ll cure what ails you.  .244 with 10 HR.  That was like literally a year ago.  That’s forever in post pandemic times.  So take my advice, and get out of the Walker business.

If you can get CJ Cron in Coors only, he’s a top five.  .257 with 29 HR and 100 RBI is valuable overall.  Probably I have him too low but I’m only 729 words into this bad boy and don’t want to edit it yet.  But at home, he was .314 with 22 HR.  Oh my gosh, that’s good!  Road was .214 with 7 HR.  That’s worse than Walker.  Then you factor in a .197 AVG in the second half and I’m out.  One issue is that you need another bat to replace him on the road, where he’s unplayable.  Another is that he’s not a good real-life player and could/should be replaced as soon as someone else comes available.  He’s my number one avoid guy in this position.

Change of Scenery Guys Who Will Help:

Luis Arraez, Trey Mancini, Brandon Drury

With the league batting average now in the .240s, Arraez was crazy valuable for his league leading average.  Put it this way:  I’m in three leagues that I care about.  I won all three.  Arraez was my third baseman for all 3.  Of course, there are health and power issues, but as a later pick, I’m all over Arraez.  A guy with an over .300 projected average coming off of a .314 season has value.

I like Mancini to repeat his Orioles season in the North Side.  25 HR and a .260 average, and there are more at-bats than you think.  I like Mancini to be a regular fixture in the middle of the order, garnering at-bats at first, DH, and the corner outfield spots.  He was absolutely solid (.268/.347/.404) until he went to Houston, where he became the rare player to go to the Astros and get worse because he refused their devil juju.  He could, since his health has returned, continue to regain strength and put it together.

All of these guys are projected to be regulars at some point this year.  Don’t pay attention to the main prospect rankings for first basemen, people!  They take into account defense and real baseball stuff like that.  We just want bats.

Vargas has a job already to lose, as do Casas and Torkie.  Mervis probably will as soon as the Cubs don’t need to worry about service time and things like that.

I love these guys’ bats, and I think they all get a starting role by mid-season.  Kyle Manzardo might not be up that soon, but I wanted to expose you guys to the next Freddie Freeman.

My main goal for these guys is to get their names in your head.  They are ranked but not aggressively above.

More guys you could draft for some reason:

Seth Brown, Josh Bell, Wil Myers, Jake Cronenworth, Josh Naylor, J.D. Davis

Depth bats.  That’s it.  

That’s not actually true.  These guys all have the potential to be your corner infield bat.  I’m wondering if you can get some of the wire in a shallow league later, but you won’t be excited by these guys in the later rounds.

This type of thing is very difficult to type without Razzball’s tools.  You can subscribe by clicking HERE

Thanks for the honor of reading my stuff, and we’ll do the third base ranks next week.  

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14 days ago

:) Never mind! I somehow missed the comment.

14 days ago

:) Fun read.

Why no C.J.?? I’d have him ranked somewhere between Hoskins and Arreaz & I’m targeting him in my auction. Is there something I should know?

Ace of Spades
Ace of Spades
15 days ago

Which tier does Rowdy Tellez belong in?

15 days ago

Good stuff, El Educatór!

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
15 days ago

Mancini is also available. If I can’t get Rizzo. Mancini or Grissom?

Norman Ginsberg
Norman Ginsberg
15 days ago

a. How concerned are you with Rizzo (back aches -> days off). I need a DH, and I currently have Vaughn Grissom. Rizzo or Grissom? Note. Possibly only for 3 weeks since I have Tatis.

b. Grey expressed concern with Drury no longer in the Cincy American Ballpark. Di you also have this concern?