Listening to the yearning in Lana Del Rey’s voice calling for easy livin’ in the summertime and longing for the days of every team playing. To ease the hole in my heart, today’s journey through the recaps take us to the 1st basemen. They’re better than the top 20 catchers for 2019 fantasy baseball (not clickbait at all), but by how much? How do I explain that? I have an idea! By recapping them. To recap my recap before the recap, this final ranking is from our Fantasy Baseball Player Rater with my comments.  Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2019 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Cody Bellinger – So, 1st basemen rebounded in a huge way. In the preseason, we were b’ing and m’ing that there were no good 1st basemen and Au Shizz was it. Turned out Au Shizz was just **it and the position was about to make a comeback — Don’t call it a comeback! — Okay, LL, but I did. Be LL’ing’er was mostly boosted from a huge 1st half — 30/8/.336 — but he made actual improvements. His walks were up and Ks were way down, taking him from a .265 hitter to .290, and a 32-homer guy to one that could easily hit 45 homers. He took a similar path to adjustments as a young Rizzo. This is meant as a compliment. Preseason Rank #5, 2019 Projections: 86/33/95/.263/10 in 533 ABs, Final Numbers: 121/47/115/.305/15 in 558 ABs

2. Freddie Freeman – Every 1st baseman’s value seemed to move all around Freeman. He stayed nearly identical to what we thought he would be — minus the juiced ball, obviously. Or plus the juiced ball. You know what I mean, stop acting like you’re wearing clown makeup, standing in line to see The Joker. Preseason Rank #2, 2019 Projections: 101/27/103/.303/7 in 582 ABs, Final Numbers: 113/38/121/.295/6 in 597 ABs

3. Pete Alonso – One note prior to talking about Albombso. My ranking for a guy like Alonso wasn’t that close, but I liked him and drafted him prior to other people, so I’d argue my ranking was fine for him. On the other hand (were we using hands?), I didn’t like Carlos Santana or LeMahieu at all so it doesn’t matter what their rankings or projections say. It’s more about intention than anything. I liked Abreu and drafted him; I didn’t like Bell and didn’t draft him. Rankings and projections are kinda secondary. This is why I also think when sites like Fantasy Pros rank rankings, it’s a joke. If someone ranks a player correctly who they say you should not draft, what difference does it make? So, for Albombso, I gave him a special Razzbally the other day. (Razzballies is plural, but Razzballie is not the singular, don’t be silly.) There’s so many things to talk about with Albombso. One thing pops in my head that is rarely talked about, that goes back to how screwed up MLB is with prospects being artificially held down. Peter (his name at the time) was supposed to be held in the minors to start the year until a last-second surge in the spring. A 50+ homer guy was being ticketed for the minors. That is so dumb. He had done enough in the minors and the Mets had nothing at 1st, so he should’ve had the 1st base job no matter what he did in March. Preseason Rank #22, 2019 Projections: 73/29/85/.264 in 531 ABs, Final Numbers: 103/53/120/.260/1 in 597 ABs

4. DJ LeMahieu – He was a seven to ten home run hitter in Coors, so you can pretend you saw this year coming, but you’re lying. Lying is fine when you tell your kid they can become anything they want, but draw the line on lies with fantasy baseball, please. Preseason Rank #19 for 2nd basemen, 2019 Projections: 68/14/62/.285/8 in 504 ABs, Final Numbers: 109/26/102/.327/5 in 602 ABs

5. Trey Mancini – There’s a problem with being a staunch defender of Saberhagenmetrics, when you’re caught off guard and you’re “out” on a guy during his good year, you want to go back in for his next year, but that’s the “down” year incoming.  I.e., if I was out on Mancini this year, how do I go back in next year? It’s like dancing off-beat. There’s no getting back in. (That I know of, but I also can’t dance.) Preseason Rank #26, 2019 Projections: 73/23/70/.253 in 562 ABs, Final Numbers: 106/35/97/.291/1 in 602 ABs

6. Carlos Santana – Confluence of peripherals led to Carlos Santana’s year — best BABIP since 2013 and lower fly ball rate but better contact, so the ones he hit counted for more. By the by, Confluence of Peripherals is a great FanGraphs contributor band, and I won’t hear different, literally. Preseason Rank #36, 2019 Projections: 74/24/84/.232/2 in 563 ABs, Final Numbers: 110/34/93/.281/4 in 573 ABs

7. Jose Abreu – Sorry to report I will be referencing this Abreu year dozens and dozens of times in the future when anyone says something like, “Grey, you are so handsome, is your tan natural? Also, I don’t trust (insert player’s name) to get RBIs because he plays for a bad team.”  See Abreu’s 2019! Preseason Rank #8, 2019 Projections: 87/29/105/.284/2 in 603 ABs, Final Numbers: 85/33/123/.284/2 in 634 ABs

8. Josh Bell – Maybe I’m not seeing the forest through the trees, but I don’t believe his 1st half and am more of a 2nd half Bell guy. 69/27/84/.302 vs. woof/burp/yuck/wha’ happened. Oddly enough, his Ks went down in the 2nd half and his walks went up. His hard contact rate also back-slid to previous year levels. For whom the Bell tolls? Not I, not…*dramatically* I. Preseason Rank #38, 2019 Projections: 68/17/75/.268/2 in 522 ABs, Final Numbers: 94/37/116/.277 in 527 ABs

9. Yuli Gurriel – Can we all bow our heads for the people who dropped Gurriel on June 30th? Please, a moment of silence. Preseason Rank #23, 2019 Projections: 71/15/83/.294/4 in 544 ABs, Final Numbers: 85/31/104/.298/5 in 564 ABs

10. Max Muncy – I’m taking the W on Muncy for my preseason sleeper post, his ranking and projections. I Wuncy on Muncy!  Preseason Rank #12, 2019 Projections: 81/33/87/.268/4 in 423 ABs, Final Numbers: 101/35/98/.251/4 in 487 ABs

11. Anthony Rizzo – R to the anking!  Pr to the ojections!  N to the O? O to the kay!  Preseason Rank #4, 2019 Projections: 91/33/108/.287/7 in 578 ABs, Final Numbers: 89/27/94/.293/5 in 512 ABs

12. Paul Goldschmidt – I don’t have the mental capacity or it’s a lack of laziness to figure this out, but I think after I told you to trade away Au Shizz right after his three-homer game (in March), that his value was barely a top 17 for 1st basemen. So, yes, I way overranked him in the preseason, but recognized it almost immediately and told you to sell him on March 29th. He hit four homers in March (in four games) and only beat that month for power in May (5 HRs) and July (11). Au shucks. Preseason Rank #1, 2019 Projections: 102/30/105/.284/8 in 574 ABs, Final Numbers: 97/34/97/.260/97/3 in 597 ABs

13. Matt Olson – I dropped him from being a top 10 1st baseman to the 30th 1st baseman off the board when he broke his hamate bone in March and had it removed. If I knew then what I know now, I would’ve drafted Olson 1st overall while having my hamate bone removed so I could make only power moves all season on waivers. Preseason Rank #30, 2019 Projections: 58/19/54/.254/1 in 415 ABs, Final Numbers: 73/36/91/.267 in 483 ABs

14. Christian Walker – Props to preseason commenter, Luigi. I didn’t rank him, but he-a knew-a what-a was-a up-a. Bravo, Luigi!  Unranked, Final Numbers: 86/29/73/.259/8 in 529 ABs

15. Hunter Dozier – I hate that he’s already 28 years old, and I want to make this about this year vs. next year, but Dozier’s got a ton of likable peripherals for next year. Him or Goldy? Thinking him and I don’t think anyone is going to rank them in that order. Top 25 exit velocity (with 200 batted balls); 26th average fly ball distance; solid launch angle. He took a step forward, hopefully it’s not too late, due to his age. Preseason Rank #63, 2019 Projections: 51/14/57/.217/4 in 534 ABs, Final Numbers: 75/26/84/.279/2 in 523 ABs

16. Edwin Encarnacion – I nearly projected him for exactly what he did, but I ranked him much higher. Great example of more 1st basemen showing something this year than seemed likely in the preseason. Also, it doesn’t go unnoticed that Edwin needed 100 less at-bats to get those stats. 2019 + baseball stats = Capri Sun straws stuck in a baseball. Hey, the math is right there, sweet! Preseason Rank #7, 2019 Projections: 78/33/91/.241/2 in 523 ABs, Final Numbers: 81/34/86/.244 in 418 ABs

17. Joc Pederson – I believe I was in on him every season until this year. So, somehow he burned me again. Get the Icy/Hot out of my Joc!  Preseason Rank #67 for outfielders, 2019 Projections: 63/27/47/.244/3 in 414 ABs, Final Numbers: 83/36/74/.249/1 in 450 ABs

18. Eric Hosmer – This goes back to what I said for Albombso, but its inverse. I essentially nailed Hosmer’s rank, but I’d be lying if I said I was drafting Hosmer. Preseason Rank #16, 2019 Projections: 80/20/84/.258/5 in 605 ABs, Final Numbers: 72/22/99/.265 in 619 ABs

19. Renato Nunez – Okay, okay, OKAY! Last note about how rankings are largely a crock. Apparently, I ranked Nunez the highest, according to Fantasy Pros. I ranked him around 230 overall and some didn’t rank him until around 700. “Cool,” said a’la John Oliver. I did say you should draft him, but I didn’t draft him and I don’t necessarily think he was a great pick or someone that made a huge difference on fantasy teams. So, should my “correct” ranking of him matter? No, of course not. It’s silly. Like spending 300 words talking about this in October. Preseason Rank #30 for 3B, 2019 Projections: 54/26/68/.251/1 in 522 ABs, Final Numbers: 72/31/90/.244/1 in 541 ABs

20. Rhys Hoskins – Easily one of the most disappointing players of the year. Not only did I rank him third, but, if I’m being honest, I expected even more from him than that. Turns out hitting a shizzton 365-foot fly balls is not good for home runs or batting average. Can he find his way to getting stuck in an elevator with Barry Bonds this offseason and adding 25 feet on his fly balls and six inches on his hat? Preseason Rank #3, 2019 Projections: 103/38/115/.252/5 in 567 ABs, Final Numbers: 86/29/85/.226/2 in 570 ABs

  1. toolshed says:
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    Do you see hoskins rebounding next year or is this who he is or has become? I know he will never hit for a great average but I play in an obp league. His season did not kill me since it was an obp league but 29 hr and 85 rbi for him was extremely disappointing in a year where so many guys hit a lot of hr. He also qualified in OF which helped and added to his value for my league. He loses OF eligibility next year.

    • Slappy Jack says:
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      He’s ~top 12 1b in obp in a bad year
      I think he could be top 7 or so with a decent year next year
      and it’s not like he’s super old, so it’s not like he’s already peaked

      I think he has more good years left
      and will probably be discounted next year

      • LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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        hopefully the get rid of kaplar they had hoskins thinking too much about launch angle and analytics and batting leadoff. he seemed to rebound when charlie manuel came back.

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I think he’ll rebound to the 35 homer .240 avg range with nice counting stats. Whats that worth? Maybe top 100ish player this year with juiced balls, maybe top 60 player in years past?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with DT — he should be top 70-ish with a chance for more — 35-40 HRs with .240 isn’t that amazing

  2. LaRockakis says:
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    Slamcini

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, you love Trey Mancini!

  3. Nittanychris says:
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    Great stuff! Question for 2020, who would you prefer as a $1 keeper, standard 5×5, Mixed League Roto categories? Trey Mancini or Will Smith (C)? Thanks!

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d take Mancini.

      It gets closer if its a 2 catcher league and certain keeper framework could sway it a little more in Smith’s direction but probably still Mancini for me.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Thanks! Agree with DT

  4. Amory says:
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    I got a tough decision for next year. 6×6 keeper league. Keep Benintendi in the 23rd, Olson in the 23rd, or Adell in the 15th?

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      I’d go Olson

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Agree with DT

  5. bigbear says:
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    I hear your comments on rankings. Rankings are kind of an ‘in context’ thing. It’s wise to make the rankings in a bubble, but the reality is that it’s in the context of a draft. If a guy like Alonso is ranked higher than industry, it means you’re buying. Good call on him. And thank you! (Haha, just read the Hosmer comment!)

    I can see the top 3 finishers being the top 3 heading into next year as well.

    Mancini – I think he can repeat it next year. Maybe a slight step back in BA (.275-.280ish). See your Abreu comments as a case study. And this is a guy who hasn’t even joined the LAR!

    I had Yuli off and on last year and couldn’t pull the trigger this year when he was on waivers… Think I was rocking Hunter Dozier or maybe even Christian Walker at the time. Whoops.

    I think old man time is catching up with Rizzo. Nothing really jumps out as a decline, but 2 straight years of sub-30 HR. Still has a great hit tool though. Solid, but not a top 1B going forward.

    Dozier does seem interesting for next year, but can’t get the meh taste out from his last month.

    Acuna! Great game, but HUSSLE!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, yeah, agreed on rankings — but if I say don’t buy a guy and he’s not good, that should be all that’s needed…

      I loved Mancini last year, kicking myself why I didn’t this year

      Yeah, maybe on Rizzo, but he still seems decent enough and not falling off like a Miggy or someone

  6. William Hung says:
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    Between Hoskins and Benintendi, 2020 is gonna be an interesting year of the bounceback…

    I find it hard to believe these 2 guys suddenly forgot how to hit, but I’m hoping the consensus has them ranked pretty low so I can get these guys late. Benintendi probably cost me a championship this year, but I’m back in if I can get him around where people were drafting Puig this past season

    • Donkey Teeth

      Donkey Teeth says:
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      What does a Benintendi bounceback look like? 18/15 .270 with good counting stats? Hard to bank on 20 homers, 20 steals, or more than a .275 avg at this point isn’t it?

      Think I might be out unless he’s really cheap. Maybe in the the 130-150 overall range I’d take a shot but won’t be excited about it. Probably upside guys I’ll like more in that range.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      The problem with Hoskins is everyone does his skill set (HRs, no AVG) and problem with Benintendi is he’s a floor player and everyone’s floors are higher on offense

      • hot corner says:
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        Better to just take Schwarber over Hoskins a few rounds later. Same profiles.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Essentially, yeah

          • Grey

            Grey says:
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            “Essentially” bc I don’t know if Schwarber will be after him in drafts

            • hot corner says:
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              The TooEarlyMocks have Hoskins going 90-100 picks before Schwarber but a lot will change during the offseason.

              • Grey

                Grey says:
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                That’s crazy, but, yeah, I guess we’ll see, I don’t know how much I trust those #s

  7. Luigi says:
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    wow-wow-wee.

    Honoured to have made the write up (re; Christian Walker). Mush respect Grey!

    And a heartfelt thank you for helping me to not only becoming the first 3 time winner in my league (15 years) but the only guy to win back-to back-to back. You really are one the only “expert” around.

    You ever need some free legal advice, holler.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Ha, No problem! You nailed it! And congrats!

      Are you serious on the legal advice? Bc we might need contract help

      • Luigi says:
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        For sure. I’m a man of my word. You have my email in the field. Email is first letter of my first name, g (Gino), followed by my last name. You can google my name to ensure I’m legit.

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Awesome! I might take you up on this!

  8. Gonzo_The_Great says:
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    Funny to see Rizzo and Olson ranked so closely. A short study in how the “name brand” biases so much of fantasy sports:

    After the All Star break my team in a dynasty league was clearly out, so I was making moves for next year. Easily turned un-keepable Rizzo into keepable Glasnow. But, no one would trade for Olson. The team starting Hosmer said “He’s not really an upgrade for me.” The team starting Hoskins was content to wait for his breakout to come. Similar responses from every other owner with a lesser 1B.

    Something something . . . the ability to see through these biases is what makes you the Master Lothario and us the man-whores in training.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, this is not discussed enough but has a huge factor on things… You can trade a guy like Aaron Judge but not Matt Chapman, when the latter has been so much better

  9. Cram It says:
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    Sheesh. 14 first baseman finished over/at the 30/100 threshold. Nuts.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yuli did it in half a season!

      • Grey

        Grey says:
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        And was like a 17-homer guy coming into this year

      • Cram It says:
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        At 35 years old!

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          According to him! He’s likely 47

          • Coolwhip

            Coolwhip says:
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            He’s a latin 35 ;-)

            • Grey

              Grey says:
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              Easy!

  10. Luigi says:
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    How much of a difference between Josh Bell and Trey Mancini in 2020? Bell by a round? Two rounds? several?

    What about Bell v. Rizzo in 2020?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      I like Mancini better, I’m not a huge Bell fan, too much down side with Bell — I like Rizzo better too

  11. George says:
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    When/How are payments processed if we won our Razzball money leagues?

    Didn’t know where to post this…but yea go first base!

  12. Fred Garvin MP says:
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    Walker was one guy that was available far too often in my 12 teamers even as the season went on. I found space for him and reaped the benefits.

    From rotoworld on the Phillies firing their pitching coach:

    ” Philly finished 17th in the National League in ERA…”

    Whoa, expansion comes at you fast. I guess this is the consequence of no longer being able to write cloying articles about Joe Mauer.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Haha, I’d fire a pitching coach too who led his team to being 17th out of 15

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        LOL!

      • Fred Garvin MP says:
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        haha, the real question is: who are these 2 mysterious teams? Are they written about by the other mustached, Jewish-Italian fantasy writers in Southern California that I know?

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          The San Gabriel Valley Porn Stars and the Calabasas Kardashians

  13. Coolwhip

    Coolwhip says:
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    Haha i see what you did there in the Bell blurb… i’m watching you Albright. I agree though, not drafting him next year. instead i’m looking at…

    Olson! so crazy his numbers in less than 500 ABs, i mean, he’s no Mitch Garver, but i like him. LOL. Mr. Prorater stopped by to tell me a full season from Olson could have been in the 90/45/110 range, yummm! Did i mention his EV and HardHit% have been top 2% and other contact metrics top 10% for the last 2 years now? i want to draft him right now.

    Yuli was just ridiculous… Looking at his metrics, he overperformed on nearly all of them. His barrel% was only 3.8%!!! And hardhit% was 37.5%… craziness

    I’m also on board with Muncy again next year given his solidified role that I pointed out a few weeks ago with the big jump in dWAR, now he’s a plus defensive asset along with the bat. I think its likely he gets over 500 ABs next year. Some of his contact rates took a tad of a dip, but he was still top 10% in many of them. But being in the middle of that lineup and pos flex, i’m in… He basically was the offense last night even with a broken hand!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Olson, right? He could be what we thought we were getting from Hoskins this year — I’m going all in-in

      That’s hilarious for Yuli, in not a good way

      Muncy looks like a guy who would get the same stats in 400 or 500 ABs

  14. J_FOH says:
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    Hola mi amigo gris

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Que paso?

  15. pasha says:
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    Joey Gallo?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      What about him?

    • Coolwhip

      Coolwhip says:
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      He was injured for half the season, did not make this list

      • Coolwhip

        Coolwhip says:
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        also did not play 1B at all this season.

  16. LennyDykstraIsJustMisunderstood says:
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    Carlos Santana at 6? Where does that place him overall? After watching him last year i see this year as the outlier and don’t think he is on an upward trend.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Santana was 40th overall

      • Dave D says:
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        Unless roids are involved I think its safe to say he follows the career path of Joey Votto in the next two years.

        There will always be somebody banking on a Votto rebound, even in 2020…

        • Grey

          Grey says:
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          Yeah, Votto apologists never cease

  17. Dave D says:
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    Ryan McMahon stepped up in 2nd half. Right when Moreland collapsed.

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, true

  18. schloofy says:
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    Say, my wife suggested I pitch a husband-and-wife fantasy baseball column to you all, as we’re both writers and avid fantasy baseballers. Great idea, right?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Yeah, I like it!

  19. Stumanji! says:
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    Whatever happened to “hamate bone surgery saps power?” That was the reason I avoided Olson like the plague in drafts even when he was available at a discount. Is that theory debunked now?

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      It’s been debunked!

Comments are closed.