Enjoying the playoffs this year. Or as I call them, the “30 days Rob Manfred took from us in June.” I hate Rob Manfred so much it feels toxic, in a really healthy way. “Which city are you from, Grey?” Toxicity. Any hoo, today’s journey through the recaps take us to the 1st basemen. They’re better than the top 20 catchers for 2020 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. This is not for next year. Hayzeus Cristo, just enjoy a recap before we get into next year. Anyway, here’s the top 20 1st basemen for 2020 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:
1. Jose Abreu – Since it’s illegal or unwanted to go outside and suck in a nice fresh breath of air, let’s suck in some Abreu oxygen. He hit nearly as many homers in a shortened season as he did in 2018, and close on the runs and RBIs. He might’ve been one of those guys who got to the All-Star Break with 30 homers, then hit two homers in the next three months and we were all like, “Damn, should’ve sold that dime for a dollar twenty-five, cause now I ain’t getting a nickel.” We’ll never know this, of course. There won’t be a chance for Starman to come back to earth, but even if El Grande Dolor was our James Dean of 2020, I will still be into him unless he becomes a Giant. Preseason Rank #5, 2020 Projections: 33/13/40/.280/1 in 225 ABs, Final Numbers: 43/19/60/.317 in 240 ABs
2. Freddie Freeman – In fairness to me, Freeman tested positive at the tail end of Summer Camp, and I moved him down from the two-hole in my rankings. To not be fair to me, did I really need to move him down to sixth overall? Get your head out of your two-hole. Preseason Rank #6, 2020 Projections: 39/11/40/.303/3 in 223 ABs , Final Numbers: 51/13/53/.341/2 in 214 ABs
3. Luke Voit – His HR/FB% is so goofy. I mean, it’s like explaining to someone Noam Chomsky who thinks you’re talking about a gnome. His (Voit, not Chomsky) Launch Angle did get better. Better is relative here, because he’s a home run hitter, so a more pronounced launch angle works better. Though, this is debatable. Not with me, with someone else. Someone who doesn’t think it’s better. All things considered, if he kept his Launch Angle and Hard Contact% while abandoning walks, but having a better BABIP (it’s low for him right now)…Well, he could be a 35+ homer hitter, and I don’t necessarily think this 100% unrepeatable, i.e., not a Fluke Voit. Preseason Rank #38, 2020 Projections: 20/7/22/.246 in 145 ABs, Final Numbers: 41/22/52/.277 in 213 ABs
4. DJ LeMahieu – Around the first of August, I conceded the L on DJ. Not making him DJ eMahieu but making me Grey Allbright, which makes me sound smarter, and you get the point! I take the L. I lose. I will never doubt LeMahieu again. Until he fails us, I will trust him to hit for power like he never did in Coors and at least .325. Preseason Rank #11, 2020 Projections: 35/6/29/.288/2 in 221 ABs, Final Numbers: 41/10/27/.364/3 in 195 ABs
5. J.T. Realmuto – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball.
6. Dominic Smith – HAHAHAHAHA–*pauses, calmly* I’m turning into The Joker. Dom Smith was better than Pete Alonso! Eff me in the eff hole. This goes back to what I say in the Jeimer blurb in a few blurbs, and a recurring theme in all these recaps. How well you figure out what to believe or not from the 2020 season will dictate how well you do in 2021. Do you really believe a decent eight weeks from Dom Smith? Mind you, not an amazing eight weeks from him, but a decent one. He still kinds looks like a 20-homer, .265 hitter with no speed. Here’s one last goofy stat: Dominic Smith had 177 ABs in 2019 and 2020; his stats in 2019 were: 35/11/25/.282/1. Now look at his stats from this year and tell me he broke out. Preseason Rank #58, 2020 Projections: 11/6/16/.271 in 101 ABs, Final Numbers: 27/10/42/.316 in 177 ABs
7. Travis d’Arnaud – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball.
8. Cody Bellinger – This one hurt. Cody’s now done the Saberhagenmetrics thing for four years, which is great for 2021, but not good for this past year. There was a lot of talk about swing changes, and that hurting him, but sounds like an anecdotal narrative that’ll evaporate next year when Cody’s well(inger) again. Now if he does another Belly flop, then it could be trouble. There’s no telling’er how much starting in February, shutting down in March, then starting up again in July hurt anyone either. Cody’s just so good, when he’s good, I’m of the mind ignoring this whole season for him, Preseason Rank #1, 2020 Projections: 40/16/43/.292/4 in 208 ABs, Final Numbers: 33/12/30/.239/6 in 213 ABs
9. Pete Alonso – True story alert! I wrote this up last week, then rearranged the final rankings when the season ended four days later. Last Thursday: Alonso wasn’t in the top 20. That goes to show you how much weight you should put in this season. Guys like, say, Corey Seager might’ve broke out, but also, one bad or good week and players could’ve shot up 10+ spots in the rankings. Albombso wasn’t good for eight of nine weeks, but if he carried his ninth week into a nonexistent tenth week, he might’ve been a top five 1st baseman. Yes, I still love him, I’m sorry. Preseason Rank #2, 2020 Projections: 35/16/41/.263/1 in 218 ABs, Final Numbers: 31/16/35/.231/1 in 208 ABs
10. Eric Hosmer – Ya know what’s funny in a not funny way about projections this year? How off can one possibly be? If you gave everyone ten projected homers, you’d at worst off by ten homers for maybe five guys. I didn’t predict Hosmer right at all, but I missed on his projections by like one solid 7-inning doubleheader. Preseason Rank #29, 2020 Projections: 25/7/27/.261/1 in 218 ABs, Final Numbers: 23/9/36/.287/4 in 143 ABs
11. Wilmer Flores – El oh eff me. He wasn’t even a starter on the Giants! If you drafted only Giants hitters, you would’ve done better than if you just drafted only Twins, Astros or, well, like 22 other teams. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 30/12/32/.268/1 in 198 ABs
12. Christian Walker – Arizona got rid of Lamb and Christian Walker could finally focus without worrying about shepherding. “Psalm 23: Christian Walker is my shepherd, but can y’all get rid of Lamb, he’s a real drag?” More beautiful words have never been written. Except: “I drafted Luke Voit in the last round of every draft.” Never the hoo! Walker made some adjustments — flatter swing, less Ks — that’s better for average, but not necessarily better for power. So, it’s a 30+ HR Walker, .260 becoming a 22-homer, .280 Walker. Preseason Rank #16, 2020 Projections: 30/11/34/.257/1 in 205 ABs, Final Numbers: 35/7/34/.271/1 in 218 ABs
13. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Same story as Albombso. A week ago, Vlad, the Mini Impaler, was not even ranked in the top 20 1st basemen. His final week of hitting .400 with two homers changed all that. Maybe Vlad and Albombso were hitting their midseason form, which for them is the Home Run Derby. Preseason Unranked for 1st Basemen, Preseason Ranked for 3B #10, 2020 Projections: 29/11/34/.291 in 211 ABs, Final Numbers: 34/9/33/.262/1 in 221 ABs
14. Jesus Aguilar – He is what he was, or as the Jamaican Creole say, “Patooey but not full patooey.” I might be misinterpreting patois. On a side note, Aguilar should file a class action lawsuit against MLB for needing to wait until he’s 33 years old to become a free agent for the 1st time. Preseason Rank #62, 2020 Projections: 14/6/17/.247 in 125 ABs, Final Numbers: 31/8/34/.277 in 188 ABs
15. Jeimer Candelario – This year was so absolutely goofy. I’lll take an L on these rankings, but no one can predict two months of baseball. Baseball’s great because of the six month leveling up or down of effort and skill. Jeimer over six months would not be a top 20 1st baseman, let alone here. Preseason Rank #61, 2020 Projections: 20/6/21/.228/1 in 164 ABs, Final Numbers:
16. Matt Olson – Honestly, thought he was worse. Since it was an average problem, I’m going to write off Olson’s 2020, while also not being quite as high on him. It’s a hedge of sorts, said like a great landscape architect who chopped off the wrong bushes. Preseason Rank #3, 2020 Projections: 35/14/40/.273 in 224 ABs, Final Numbers: 28/14/42/.195/1 in 210 ABs
17. Renato Nunez – Can prorate him out for another 30+ homer season– “If you run every red light, you’ll get 75 red light tickets and sideswiped four times a year.” Okay, thanks, Mr. Prorater. My point on Nunez is he’s always underrated. “Or prorated.” Yes, that’s right, MP. Preseason Rank #25, 2020 Projections: 27/12/34/.241 in 204 ABs, Final Numbers: 29/12/31/.256 in 195 ABs
18. Miguel Cabrera – In the last 100 games, Au Shizz has turned to shizz, and Pujols is producing shizz, but there’s Miggy barely floating above the shizz. Preseason Rank #34, 2020 Projections: 23/6/25/.277 in 177 ABs, Final Numbers: 28/10/35/.250/1 in 204 ABs
19. Brandon Belt – Following the logic of Miggy’s blurb, I’m thankful that Belt is below the shizz. Preseason Rank #, 2020 Projections: 26/6/25/.248/1 in 189 ABs, Final Numbers: 25/9/30/.309 in 149 ABs
20. Austin Nola – Went over him in the top 20 catchers for 2020 fantasy baseball.
he wants $25 going back to cover the salary of Ramirez
I have a chance to acquire Spencer Torkelson. The guy is asking for one of these players along with Justus Sheffield ($6). Which one should I add in the deal to get Torkelson?
A) Vlad Jr. ($5)
B) Alex Bregmnan ($35) I have Hayes ($5), Brom ($5), Jose Ramirez ($53)
C) Jose Ramirez($53) see option B
D) Jo Adell ($5)
Jo-Ram seems pretty expensive there, no?
i agree. so who should I offer?
if he will take him
Late to the party…. but what kind of regression do you expect out of Voit in 21, if any? And will Bell go down as a 3/4 of a season wonder (so glad I sold high on him)?
Bell I don’t trust to ever show again what he did 1st half last year… Voit seems like he could be a top 10 1B with 32-homer power, and hit .260
Where do the Rays play B Lowe,Brujan, Adames, and Wander? Lowe to OF and Adames to bench or one of them to 3B? Or Wander spend all year in minors? What are your thoughts?
And thanks for all your advice and entertainment this year. I won my home roto auction keeper again and won 30% profit overall in NFBC. I will take it! Thanks again. You and your colleagues are the best.
Congrats! Appreciate you! That’s an impossible question to answer right now…Wander and Brujan are ready, but who knows how they play it? Up by June? Figure Adames is odd man out and Lowe to OF…is my guess at least
Trying to decide on keepers. For 2021 only, can you rank Snell, Lamet, Bregman, Guerrero? Are they similar tiers also?
Vlad, Bregman, Snell…are they smaller tiers? Huh?
Thanks for the input. Similar tiers..all top 50? That’s what I was asking. Got what I needed tho. Thanks again.
Andrew Vaughn or Vidal Brujan making more of an impact next year?
What’s the story on Paul Goldschmidt and his .883 OPS for 2020?
He got old 2 years ago, this was a 8-week season where he didn’t get as dusty as he could
Dynasty : traded Albombso away for Snell and another rookie
kept Abreu , and added Chris Walker …
ended to lost in finale
not bad :) for a 1B story
Sucks you lost, but trade sounds fine
Why so low on Dom Smith? He showed signs last year and his statcast numbers were great this year.
Just curious about your 20 homer .265 average take.
Ah, bc he didn’t show any real improvement, he just had a good couple of weeks — I’m not buying into a breakout — what was good at Statcast about him? His AVG exit velocity was around 90th overall, below Brad Miller and Ryan Braun
Yeah, his exit velocity was only a little bit above average but his hard hit and barrel% were in the red. He was also in the 94th and 95th percentile in expected batting average and slugging. I only care because he is on the fringe of my keepers. Thanks for chatting!
Guess it depends on your other keepers, but I’m not a huge believer in Dom Smith, that might change in the offseason when I dig in further (I doubt it tho, if being honest)
I’ve marginally followed MLB this year. But the other day, I became particularly proud of this.
I saw on news that Atlanta was in 12th inning, tied 0-0, and decided to watch. When they got up, I didn’t see a man on second. Someone then told me they changed this rule for playoffs.
What a joke league. Perhaps I’ll give up for another year.
Haha, yeah, basically they admitted the regular season was a joke
The other difference with the playoffs is the insanely long commercial breaks- 3 minutes. Really drags the games on. It seemed to me the regular season games went fairly quickly although I haven’t seen data on this so it could be perception.
Think it’s perception, but they might’ve added an extra 30 secs
Unwatchable. Cardboard cutouts, man on 2nd, home run or strike out, 7 inning d.h., and the games were boring. Baseball had a great run. Professional sports is going the way of Hollywood and the media.
Post season on San Diego, and I can’t go to watch in person. My interest level has gone from 100% to fast forwarding Yankee games and Padre games.
Maybe Manfred will push for a 30 team post season next year with no regular season.
Rizz was a 0 this year. very sad!
Yeah, not a great year for him HR to the Oh-fer-zo
“I hate Rob Manfred so much it feels toxic, in a really healthy way.“
Agree totally; great way with words.
Grey, I have some hard decsions to make next season. this keeper league i can only keep 10 players. who would you keep?
Paddock (sophomore slump?)
Hmm…Mookie, Yordan, Bichette, Hiura, Buehler, Sixto, Plesac are for sure — then I’d prolly go Moncada, Lowe, Paddack, but could see Olson over Paddack
Comparing your projections with the rankings, what stands out is the BA of both those who exceeded and failed to exceed expectations. Never in a million years would i expect those numbers to replicate an 162 game season. I haven’t done the maths, but i would expect that if we adjusted the BA numbers to career average and then adjusted the other stats accordingly we would find a very different picture and numbers which we would have been closer to expectations.
Ha, I got his meaning
Yeah, could be
Can’t believe you have Olson ranked so low for next year?
Haha *laughs until hysterical*
My 6 keepers entering the year included Alonso, Olson, Albies and Yordan. Somehow I won anyway with previously unmatched levels of roster churning. Thanks for the advice along the way!
Jesus (not Aguilar,) my man Rizzo not even in the top 20. I would assume Baez, K Bryant, Schwarber, also not even close to top rankings. How the hell did my Cubs win their division? They should pay Yu a billion dollars!
Haha, yup! Cubs’ lineup was one of the worst in baseball this year — made Pirates look good in September when Hayes was there
Talk about awful. Max Muncy was terrible this year. Very disappointing.
I do believe that finger injury during summer training hampered him most if not all season. I sure hope it did. His power was still there but his timing was awful. Not trying to make excuses for him but I swear, every time I watched him play he would get fucked in at least one or two plate appearances by some shitty umpire’s call. At a certain point of about 4-5 weeks in, I just decided he was going to have a shitty year no matter what and that’s the way it went. Hope he gets it back next season.
Think it was the injury, he had like a fractured finger