After drudging through an Andy Dufresne-type tunnel for the top 20 catchers for 2015 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, Freddie Freeman, no hard feelings from me. We are totally fine since I knew to not draft you. If you went right, you might’ve won your league. If you’re looking at the top 20 1st basemen in a vacuum, it appears that offense is making a comeback. And my what a big vacuum you have! Lots of guys on this list not only did well, but did better than their preseason projections. In fact (Grey’s adding on!), if you followed my rankings (saying to avoid V-Mart and Freeman), you did just fine at 1st base. To recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2015 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:
1. Paul Goldschmidt – Au Shizz with a bullet! Or as Billy Corgan would say, Au Shizz with a bullet with butterfly wings! As I said briefly in the opening, offense took a huge bounce back at the 1st base position (3rd base was good too; middle infield was wretched; outfield was okay, pitchers were good, 1st base was great, 2nd base wasn’t good, am I going around in a circle to positions I’ve already touched on?). Coming into this year, I worried that Goldy would have lingering wrist issues. Instead, his wrist was just fine as he made the “You’re a jerk off for not believing in me fully” wrist motion. Preseason Rank #2, 2015 Projections: 94/29/103/.292/12, Final Numbers: 103/33/110/.321/21
2. Chris Davis – Because Davis’s 2nd half (28 homers, .293) was so juicy like the ass of the sweatpants you wear when you have no other clean clothes, I decided to look at past 2nd halfs to see how often since 2005 (which I believe is ten years) someone cleared 28 homers in the 2nd half. The answer: twice, Bautista hit 30 homers in 2010 and Ryan Howard hit 30 homers in 2006. This 2nd half, he was the Man B. Davis in the center square. Preseason Rank #8, 2015 Projections: 72/34/89/.231/2, Final Numbers: 100/47/117/.262/2
3. Jose Bautista – *cracks open fortune cookie, finds cortisone shot, snatches it out of Josh Thole’s hand* “Hey, that’s where that went!” That’s Jose Bautista at a Chinese restaurant with Thole. Preseason Rank #6, 2015 Projections: 95/33/101/.272/5, Final Numbers: 108/40/114/.250/8
4. Anthony Rizzo – Seventeen steals from a first baseman is dead sexy. Six homers against lefties is a bit less sexy. Though, he did hit .294 vs. lefties and the six homers was only in 163 ABs vs. 25 homers in 423 at-bats vs. righties, so if he had the same number of at-bats vs. lefties, he would’ve hit 16 homers. Hey, I just talked myself into and out of disliking Rizzo. I’m convincing! How about you put together that end table for Cougs? Not that convincing! Preseason Rank #5, 2015 Projections: 93/36/100/.262/7, Final Numbers: 94/31/101/.278/17
5. Edwin Encarnacion – “What’s up, Bautista and Tholey Smokes?! Aw, c’mon, guys, you started eating Chinese and doing cortisone shots without me?” Preseason Rank #3, 2015 Projections: 87/37/107/.272/5, Final Numbers: 94/39/111/.277/3
6. Joey Votto – Excellent bounce back season for Votto at his ___ year-old season. Go ahead, guess his age. Lime? That’s not even an age. Are you trying? He’s 32 years old. I thought he was younger. Maybe cause he sounds like a baby kangaroo. Preseason Rank #17, 2015 Projections: 84/17/88/.292/4, Final Numbers: 95/29/80/.314/11
7. Buster Posey – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball.
8. Jose Abreu – Here’s the best example of the offensive surge that the 1st base position took this year. Abreu nearly was spot-on in preseason projections, yet I thought he’d be the best 1st baseman. That means seven other guys did better than I thought was possible for any 1st baseman. That’s huge. That’s not what she said! Huh? Preseason Rank #1, 2015 Projections: 86/32/110/.306/4, Final Numbers: 88/30/101/.290
9. Todd Frazier – Yes, he crapped the duvet in the 2nd half of the year, but he was a good offensive team away from being as good as Rizzo. 35 HRs and 13 SBs is what you should be focusing on. The runs and RBIs are pretty much out of his control. By the way, how about the numbers someone got from 1st base if they traded Frazier at the All-Star break for Davis. That person would be so prophetic they would be a witch. Preseason Rank #10, 2015 Projections: 79/24/73/.255/10, Final Numbers: 82/35/89/.255/13
10. David Ortiz – Big Papi is like the Arnold Schwarzenegger of fantasy baseball. No, I don’t mean his father was a Nazi and he only knows sixteen English words. I mean, his body looks like it’s breaking down in every conceivable way, but he continues to do exactly as he’s done for the past five years. Hit homers for Papi, the “I’ll be back” and Expendables schtick for Schwarzenegger. Preseason Unranked for 1st basemen, 2015 Projections: 77/28/94/.265/1, Final Numbers: 73/37/108/.273
11. Albert Pujols – What I’m about to say for A-Gon in about 400 words goes for Pujols too. (What? I write these out of order.) Preseason Rank #7, 2015 Projections: 81/27/96/.261/5, Final Numbers: 85/40/95/.244/5
12. Eric Hosmer – You know what’s funny (not funny), it drives me nuts during the season that Hosmer doesn’t hit for more power, but I projected him for exactly the right number of homers, so my brain knows Hosmer’s ability. It’s my stupid corazon. “Did someone say cortisone?” No, Bautista! Preseason Rank #13, 2015 Projections: 81/18/87/.288/9, Final Numbers: 98/18/93/.297/7
13. Prince Fielder – Throw out his injury-filled 2014 year and look at his homer totals of the last three years: 30, 25, 23. If my Kaplan SAT prep taught me anything, his next year is going to be “Justin Morneau.” Preseason Rank #14, 2015 Projections: 79/27/90/.272/1, Final Numbers: 78/23/98/.305
14. Kendrys Morales – This year there was no way to expect him to get 106 RBIs, and next year people are going to draft him due to something that he’ll never do again. That means you were screwed when you didn’t this year, and you’ll be screwed next year when he doesn’t. Preseason Rank #32, 2015 Projections: 60/18/74/.249, Final Numbers: 81/22/106/.290
15. Brian McCann – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball.
16. Carlos Santana – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball.
17. Adrian Gonzalez – I want to keep this about this past year, rather than looking forward, but I wonder how much a poor 2nd half for a guy over the age of 32 is the first sign of the end. *wink, wink, nudge, nudge, kazoo* That’s someone’s cue to look up some historical data on players that are 32+ years old. If they have a weak 2nd half, does that portend bad things for the following year? Go, portend you care and figure it out for me. Preseason Rank #15, 2015 Projections: 79/22/103/.264/1, Final Numbers: 76/28/90/.275
18. Miguel Cabrera – He played in at least 148 games every year from 2004 to 2014. Last year, he played in 119 games. I’m going to make a wild bet with myself and say he never passes 125 games played again. If I win, I have to take me for ice cream. If I lose, well, I’m not going to come up with something for if I lose, because I don’t plan on losing. Preseason Rank #4, 2015 Projections: 95/27/106/.305/1, Final Numbers: 64/18/76/.338/1
19. Adam Lind – Yeah, where’s Ryan Braun now?! *smacks self* Give a rest already, Grey! *looks in mirror* You’ll pay for that mistreatment. *shakes fist* You’ll pay! Preseason Rank #41, 2015 Projections: 44/14/56/.257/1, Final Numbers: 72/20/87/.277
20. Stephen Vogt – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2015 fantasy baseball.