After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball, I find myself with a group that actually really hurt or helped your team depending on how you drafted. If you went wrong with your 1st baseman, it could kill your season. Hey, Prince Fielder, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine. Please enjoy these cyanide pills I made special for you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. Last year, I said the end-of-the-season rankings of the 1st basemen was the sorriest group I’d ever seen. That remains true. Last year was sorrier. This group isn’t exactly the meow’s cat, but you didn’t lose your league due to these guys. You lost your league due to guys that didn’t make this list like Chris Davis, Mauer, Hosmer, Cuddyer, Votto, Trumbo, Allen Craig and the afatmentioned, Fielder. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2014 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:
1. Jose Bautista – I ranked Bautista about 25 spots higher than any other site. My thoughts then and still are that if he stayed healthy, he’d hit 30+ homers and there were about ten other guys the same could be said of. True then, true now, plank on that, snitches! Preseason Rank #6 for Outfielders, Unranked for 1st Base, 2014 Projections: 85/35/100/.255/5, Final Numbers: 101/35/103/.286/6
2. Miguel Cabrera – Last preseason, I said, “148 games played for Miggy (in 2013) sticks out at me. Can I ignore it? As Fonzie’s horse says, “Nay.” It could be nothing. Maybe his move to 1st base will reduce the strain on his body and he’ll stay healthy for 162 games in 2014. Maybe his lack of exercise will help him age gracefully; that’s what I keep telling my Cougar when she asks if I’m gonna sit on the couch all weekend. It works for Miggy, baby! I think 2013 might’ve been the peak for a long terrific career. Do I think Miggy completely falls off the map? Not unless the world really is flat, but then there’s some cartographers with some esplainin’ to do.” And that’s me quoting me! That was basically what happened. Miggy didn’t completely dive into the unknown, but he sure wasn’t the Miggy of old, or is the now the old Miggy. Yet, he was still the 2nd best 1st baseman. Preseason Rank #1, 2014 Projections: 97/36/112/.319/2, Final Numbers: 101/25/109/.313/1
3. Victor Martinez – I look at his preseason projections and I’m not sure how different they will be next year. V-Mart’s 2014 was an aberration wrapped in a riddle doused in chili verde wrapped in a tortilla put in one of those carnival games where you try to pick up something with a crane that is smaller than the prize. My biggest disappointment is some random blogger didn’t infer V-Mart was on steroids. Either faux journalism has gotten worse or better, depending on your POV. Preseason Rank #30, 2014 Projections: 70/15/81/.307, Final Numbers: 87/32/103/.335/3
4. Jose Abreu – The Grande Dolor dealt with learning new pitchers all year and Frank Thomas suing him for copyright infringement. The best is if you Google “Jose Abreu Frank Thomas comparisons,” then you have a serious of articles of Abreu dismissing Thomas and Thomas dismissing Abreu. It’s a war of dismissals. Around the All-Star break, Frank Thomas must’ve challenged Abreu to hit for a higher average and less power, because Abreu’s splits are just bizarre. 29 homers and a .292 average in the first half, then 7 homers and a .350 in the 2nd. Moving forward, you’d hope for some clarity as to what kind of hitter Abreu is, but after his split season numbers, I’d say the only thing that is guaranteed for next year is more people will know about him. Preseason Rank #13, 2014 Projections: 78/26/88/.268/2, Final Numbers: 80/36/107/.317/3
5. Todd Frazier – The good news is I told you to draft Frazier, as I double-dipped on back-to-back years of Frazier as a sleeper. The bad news is now when I go back to failed sleepers, I’ll have some justification. Hello, Gyorko! My apologies to people who are having Siri read this to them. Preseason Unranked for 1st Base; Ranked #14 for 3rd Base, 2014 Projections: 70/25/79/.252/6, Final Numbers: 88/29/80/.273/20
6. Albert Pujols – Saw Pujols’s potential in January and nailed it! Hmm, that sounds wrong. Well, you know what I mean. Everyone else was down on Pujols, in the non-sexual way, and I saw a guy that could produce if he played 150 games. There was a glimmer of hope in the back of my head that he had one more monster season in him, but this season is likely the end of that hope. Unless he gets in touch with V-Mart’s ‘trainer.’ Preseason Rank #5, 2014 Projections: 90/30/104/.277/4, Final Numbers: 89/28/105/.272/5
7. Adrian Gonzalez – His ranking here is really being fueled by the amount of runners he drove in. Some pithier people call that RBIs. So clever, they are, those that speak like Yoda. He’s a bad season from Dee Gordon away from being LaRoche. Preseason Rank #11, 2014 Projections: 86/20/94/.285/1, Final Numbers: 83/27/116/.276/1
8. Buster Posey – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball.
9. Anthony Rizzo – Welcome four ladies and gentleman to the 8th wonder of the world. HR to the Rizzo, for the shizzle my nizzle used to dribble down my chin when Rizzo was hittin’. Was a bit surprised Rizzo didn’t end the year higher in the rankings, but he’s being killed by being on a poor team as witnessed by his RBIs. It’s a’ight maybe we’ll get lucky and some people will overrate his lack of ribbies next year. This ain’t the Garden of Eden; his ribbies will be there. Preseason Rank #10, 2014 Projections: 82/28/92/.256/8, Final Numbers: 89/32/78/.286/5
10. Edwin Encarnacion – Had a great year, not to disparage him, but with that said (reversal time!), he produced around $20 worth of fantasy value. Think about how much you paid for him in your auction drafts. Did anyone get value from him? Sure, it was better than spending $40+ on Chris Davis, but there was no great value here. Preseason Rank #7, 2014 Projections: 87/32/97/.269/7, Final Numbers: 75/34/98/.268/2
11. Lucas Duda – A hamster died of a disease of the lower intestines. That disease is called Wet Tail. That deceased hamster was placed into a cigar box. But, before he was placed in the freshly-dug ground, a young child approached in a Duda jersey. The child opened the cigar box, kissed the hamster on his nose and placed a Duda bubblegum card in the box. Forever Duda would be known as Wet Tail. Preseason Rank #43 1/2, 2014 Projections: 47/17/52/.242/1, Final Numbers: 74/30/92/.253/3
12. Chris Carter – Putting on my old Dylan 45, “Hurry K’d Carter was falsely tried, the crime was ‘he strikes out too much’ guess who testified? Albright and you and we both baldly lied and the newspapers they all went along for the ride! How can the life of such a man be in the palm of some fool’s hand? Hey, c’mon. To see him, obviously the pitch was framed, couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land where fantasy baseball is a game!” Preseason Rank #33, 2014 Projections: 66/30/90/.215/3, Final Numbers: 68/37/88/.227/5
13. Carlos Santana – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball.
14. Freddie Freeman – I don’t want to point out what other writers say on our site as wrong, but someone mentioned in a post a few weeks ago that Freeman may not have won any leagues on his own, but also didn’t lose any. I’m gonna say he did lose some leagues. He lost me a league. Pretty resoundingly too. The hilarious thing is I remember exactly when I drafted him. I was in a hotel room with Rudy in Arizona during Spring Training. There were two picks until my pick and it was between Pujols and Freeman for me. I had drafted Pujols in another league already and really didn’t want to double up with Pujols. I preferred to spread myself around a little and draft Freeman. Though, as I told Rudy, because of my rankings, I feel obligated to draft Pujols because I had him so far above Freeman. Rudy thought this was nonsense. He told me I should just draft as I wanted, no one cared. Well, it became moot, because right before me someone grabbed Pujols and I grabbed Freeman, overjoyed that I owned him somewhere. That team did worse than any other team of mine ever. It was an NFBC team with no waivers, and it died on the vine. More because of Trumbo, Cliff Lee, Anibal, Wieters, Corbin and Arenado’s injuries, but Freeman didn’t help all that much. Preseason Rank #8, 2014 Projections: 85/25/102/.288/2, Final Numbers: 93/18/78/.288/3
15. Adam LaRoche – Staying true to Saberhagenmetrics, LaRoche once again did well a year after doing nothing. Stay away from him in 2015! Hello in 2016! No thank you, 2017! Then in 2018 we’ll have a World War with Trinidad where LaRoche will fight his ass off! Preseason Rank #29, 2014 Projections: 72/22/79/.254/1, Final Numbers: 73/26/92/.259/3
16. Jonathan Lucroy – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball.
17. Paul Goldschmidt – This end-of-the-season ranking is slightly misleading. Yes, it sucked Adam Dunn’s Big Donkey balls to lose Au Shizz two months before the end of the year, but, if you owned him in all but insanely deep NL-Only leagues, you were able to fill him in with something. So, a top 5 1st baseman season for four (stutterer!) months, then, say, Loney for two months and you did okay. Bee tee dubya, Big Donkey Balls are delicious. What, no Hawaiians reading? Preseason Rank #2, 2014 Projections: 92/34/110/.295/11, Final Numbers: 75/19/69/.300/9
18. Justin Morneau – Fantasy baseball fortune cookie for all Rockies hitters. Just add ‘in Coors.’ You will meet an attractive partner and hit for a good average…in Coors. You will come into a great fortune and hit for power…in Coors. You will get deathly sick from that chicken you just ate and be startable in 12-team mixed leagues…in Coors. Preseason Rank #26, 2014 Projections: 67/22/78/.265, Final Numbers: 62/17/82/.319
19. Brandon Moss – If only Moss would’ve gotten hurt in August rather than Au Shizz *wavy lines* “Moss was a top 5 first baseman when he went down in August, so I’d draft him high in 2015. *wavy lines* Whew, lucky we got to see the last two months of Moss. That was the lamest dream ever though. Who the hell dreams about rankings? Preseason Rank #17, 2014 Projections: 69/28/80/.255/3, Final Numbers: 70/25/81/.234/1
20. Brian McCann – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2014 fantasy baseball.