When looking at 1st basemen based on 2015 statistics, it is easy to see this position is elite when it comes to Spread (again Spread= OBP minus AVG). In fact, the average Spread for all 1B who had over 400 ABs in 2015 was .081, which would be near elite at most other positions. Taking that figure into account, I will show you the risers, fallers, targets, and sleepers for this rather shallow position.
(Keep in mind, the format is 12-team 5×5 OBP)
Carlos Santana (15th Round, OBP Value= 6th Round)
Why is Carlos Santana a good fantasy option? “He gets on base a lot. Do I care if it’s a walk or a hit?” (Shitty Moneyball quote #2). In fact, Carlos Santana pondered retirement last year to be the lead doctor at a rehab center to teach people how to walk. I mean, this guy gets more steps in than when I strap my Fitbit to my dog for the day. Just how much does he walk? Well, let’s take a look:
Now I know Joey Votto might walk more, but in standard 5×5 leagues, Votto is still a legit 2nd rounder. What makes Mr. Caaaloss Santanaaa great, and somewhat of a sleeper for OBP newbs, is that the one category that Santana kills you in (AVG) is nonexistent in this format. In fact, his .365 OBP is really, really good. Add that together and you have yourself a legit 6th rounder in a position that lacks depth. Sadly, everyone who has a clue probably knows that Santana is a semi-beast in OBP style leagues as well.
Jose Abreu (2nd Round, OBP Value=3rd)
First Base is hard to choose an ideal faller because nearly all are above average when it comes to getting on base (when compared to other positions). That being said, Mr. Abreu has yet to impress when it comes to taking walks. Which is especially surprising in a lineup that scored less in 2015 than me in my college years. Sure the addition of Todd Frazier might boost his power numbers, but don’t be too surprised to see Abreu’s OBP continue to hover around 60 points above his average. That spread alone shouldn’t scare you off enough to put him on your “do not draft” list, but it does drop him a peg or two. Abreu’s value shifts just a bit- from a middle of the 2nd round pick to a middle of the 3rd round pick.
Lucas Duda (13th Round, OBP Value=9th)
If you owned Duda last year like me, you remember about a ten day stretch in particular where the dude(a?) hit literally like two bombs a day. And if you were like me, you made sure to annoy the absolute shit out of everyone in your league with terrible Duda puns, knowing that you only had about one week to bask in his glory. Well boys and girls, it’s time to bask in the Duda once again!
What makes Duda the target for you in an OBP league, is that he is someone everyone will forget about. As your friends draft the sexy names in the middle of the rounds, you do you, and stick with the numbers. And as far as number go, Duda slashed a .387 OBP in the months of August and September when he was playing alongside Yoenis Cespedes. That being said, you should be able to snag Duda with a 9th or 10th round pick, but it could be even later…
Chris Carter (Undrafted, OBP Value=22nd)
Buyer beware…this guy was on my list last year too. In fact, good old Chris Carter is the worst baseball player I have ever loved (and I was a Royals fan thru the 2000s). With Carter, you pretty much know what you are gonna get…lots of terrible ABs, lots of power, and most importantly- lots of walks.
Just two years ago, Carter hit 37 home runs in 145 games played, proving that he does indeed have 40 HR power. The shift to the Brewers won’t help his RBI totals much, but it should solidify him with full time duties at 1B-something he didn’t have with the Astros.
Because I love blind tests, let me give you one. Here are average stats over the 2014 and 2015 seasons for two players:
Player A: 148 G, 28 HR, 89 RBI, .310 OBP
Player B: 137 G, 30 HR, 76 RBI, .307 OBP
Player A is Adam Jones, Player B is my main man, Chris Carter. And because he will only cost you a late round flyer, I am all-in on Tha Carter in 2016.