Today’s journey through the recaps take us to the 1st basemen. They’re better than the top 20 catchers for 2022 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 2022 fantasy baseball and how they compared to where I originally ranked them:

1. Paul Goldschmidt – Can’t remember a year in the past where three of the top four overall on the Player Rater were 1st basemen, and all three of them felt like they were better than they prolly should have any right to be. Thought Au Shizz was heading into the sunset; going down the last water slide of the summer; a piece of nostalgia that you take to Antiques Roadshow to be told, “This is not a collectible mason jar. This is just an empty jar someone farted into.” But Au Shizz’s 2nd act on the Cards has made him not only valuable into his 30s, he’s got an interesting case for the Hall of Fame. I’m a big Hall guy, and I wouldn’t even put Au Shizz in, but it’s an interesting case, nonetheless. Preseason Rank #5, 2022 Projections: 91/30/97/.289/8 in 572 ABs, Final Numbers: 106/35/115/.317/7 in 561 ABs

2. Freddie Freeman – Pretty bizarre year for Freeman. Went to a great home run park, lost all his power, gained a slightly crazy number of steals, and all while silently doing The Chop in the shower, while he sobbed to himself. I nailed the preseason rank, but this is not the season I expected from him at all. Preseason Rank #2, 2022 Projections: 103/34/113/.312/6 in 586 ABs, Final Numbers: 117/21/100/.325/13 in 612 ABs

3. Pete Alonso – Albombso gets no respect in the fantasy baseball community. By the way, the Fantasy Baseball Community is a legion of guys who scream things like, “Ma! I told you I didn’t want sugar-free popsicles!” Albombso might’ve had his best season thus far. Dot dot dot. Or did he?! He hit 53 homers his rookie year! He’s the best lock in baseball for 40 homers, and I’m including Aaron Judge. The ceiling for Albombso might even be 60 homers one year. Preseason Rank #4, 2022 Projections: 86/42/98/.253/1 in 581 ABs, Final Numbers: 95/40/131/.271/5 in 597 ABs

4. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Digging into Cake Batter’s previous year vs. this year and it could be used by future generations for what a guy’s numbers do when they’re hot vs. cold. One day Vlad Jr. Jr. will tell his son Vlad Jr. Jr. Jr. that Cake Batter’s strikeouts went up and walks went down, but is that much more than a guy who was insanely hot last year vs. this year? No, it’s not. Preseason Rank #1, 2022 Projections: 109/37/116/.306/4 in 589 ABs, Final Numbers: 90/32/97/.274/8 in 638 ABs

5. Christian Walker – 1st basemen are like this: Obvious, obvious, obvious, obvious, WHOA, obvious, obvious, WOW WHAT, obvious, yeah, no dur, okay, obvious, OH MY GOD. Christian Walker was once conjoined twins with Hunter Dozier on fantasy value, and he dusted that dude. You’re Hunter Dustier now, pal. You better Hunter Forfeatherduster, because you’re gonna need it. Pretty dramatic improvements on his K%, walk rate and the amount of hard contact he was making. Don’t love he’s 31, but this year from Walker might not be as fluky as you think on first blush.  Preseason Rank #40, 2022 Projections: 61/20/74/.241/1 in 474 ABs, Final Numbers: 84/36/94/.242/2 in 583 ABs

6. Matt Olson – This one is fascinating. His ADP was around 40 overall, his end of the season rank is around that, and he feels like such a disappointment. I was drafting him at 40th overall, but definitely praying to the east that Allahson was going to be a top 10 overall guy. Instead of Allahson, might consider calling him Alason, alas. Preseason Rank #3, 2022 Projections: 93/37/109/.266/3 in 584 ABs, Final Numbers: 86/34/103/.240 in 616 ABs

7. C.J. Cron – Searched for “Cron” on the top 20 1st basemen from the preseason, and had to go through about 20 mentions of Cronenworth before seeing Curtis Jackson. Made a preseason bet that Cron would lead the majors in homers, which ended up coming a bit short, but not as short as the same bet I made for Dom Smith, so I did expect Cron to get his power. I didn’t expect much more of anything else, and I guess I missed on his ribbies. By the by, there are so many first basemen with zero speed. Just a giant goose egg for steals. Preseason Rank #27, 2022 Projections: 69/27/79/.264/1 in 492 ABs, Final Numbers: 79/29/102/.257 in 575 ABs

8. Brandon Drury – During the Razzballies award ceremony, Will Smith, the catcher, smacked me, because of a joke I made about Joe Buck’s hairplugs, and because of that, it threw off the whole ceremony. Drury should’ve been given an honorable mention for players who had the most fantasy value compared to their ADP. Drury wasn’t ranked by me, and wasn’t drafted by anyone. His ADP was 1289 overall! Ha, he wasn’t even drafted in 50-round Draft Champions leagues. He wasn’t as great in the 2nd half, like everyone the Padres acquired, but he was way better than anyone expected. Coming into the year, his claim to fame was having a last name that sounds like something Tony La Russa would say while driving. Preseason Unranked, Final Numbers: 87/28/87/.263/2 in 518 ABs

9. Nathaniel Lowe – In the preseason, I was still calling him Nate. This year Lowe became the first person since the mid-1700s that went from Nate to Nathaniel, and backed up his ability to go long. Preseason Rank #38, 2022 Projections: 73/17/77/.260/5 in 548 ABs, Final Numbers: 74/27/76/.302/2 in 593 ABs

10. Rhys Hoskins – Even though the preseason rank is slightly off, I absolutely nailed Hoskins’s projections. The difference is like what, a 3% margin of error? Yes, I’m touting my projections while also willingly admitting to not knowing basic math. What’s your point? Preseason Rank #14, 2022 Projections: 77/32/88/.241/3 in 556 ABs, Final Numbers: 81/30/79/.246/2 in 589 ABs

11. Jose Abreu – If you would’ve stepped out of a DeLorean and told me that Abreu would challenge for the batting title this year, I would’ve told you, what a stupid thing to tell me after time traveling. Do you have any stock tips? Something useful? Also I would’ve said I should draft Abreu in the top 20 overall, because he has power too. A .315 year with 30 homers, sounds glorious! If you would’ve stepped out of a DeLorean and told me he only hit 15 homers, I would’ve said, “Seriously, bring me information from the future that can make me rich!” Also I would’ve said, “So few homers? Damn, he had a career worse year, don’t draft him anywhere. I don’t want a 15-homer, .250 year.” Preseason Rank #6, 2022 Projections: 81/30/101/.255/1 in 541 ABs, Final Numbers: 85/15/75/.304 in 601 ABs

12. Anthony Rizzo – There’s a way to look at Rizzo and think, “This year should’ve been so super obvious.” This is the 2nd year in a row where it’s been all about the 1st half for Rizzo. Might be something to that to keep in mind next year, and, yes, this is more a note to myself for January when I’m writing up my rankings, and looking back at what I said here. Hey, January Grey, you’re looking handsome! Preseason Rank #19, 2022 Projections: 72/25/79/.246/4 in 476 ABs, Final Numbers: 77/32/75/.224/6 in 465 ABs

13. Rowdy Tellez – Definitely got out on Rowdy too quickly. Last year, I wrote a sleeper post on him, then this year, I raised the deuces and peaced out on him before he could actually break out. On the bright side, I told everyone to pick him up very early on in the year. Also, the bright side, is far from Tellez to avoid shadows. Preseason Rank #42, 2022 Projections: 48/16/51/.251 in 345 ABs, Final Numbers: 67/35/89/.219/2 in 529 ABs

14. Jake Cronenworth – One big takeaway here is my projections expected better for him, and had a worse rank, so that means we lost a bunch of guys who were supposed to be good that weren’t, for what it’s Cronenworth. Those names include but not limited to: Jared Walsh, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Kris Bryant, Joey Votto and Trey Mancini. What happened to those guys? Anyone got any GPS tracking data to locate them?  Preseason Rank #20, 2022 Projections: 79/22/71/.277/5 in 564 ABs Final Numbers: 88/17/88/.240/3 in 587 ABs

15. Ty France – This is a situation where the ranking and projections aren’t telling anywhere near the full story. I ranked him 23rd in the preseason, but I loved him, and was expecting to see him end up around the top 15 overall for 1st basemen, so, the truth of the matter is, this was a pretty disappointing season for France. C’est la vie. Preseason Rank #23, 2022 Projections: 87/22/80/.294 in 591 ABs, Final Numbers: 65/20/84/.276 in 551 ABs

16. Ryan Mountcastle – Reality wasn’t too far off from this January tweet. Preseason Rank #9, 2022 Projections: 82/30/90/.268/6 in 577 ABs, Final Numbers: 62/22/85/.250/4 in 555 ABs

17. Luis Arraez – So funny to think the guy who wins a batting title is this bleh for fantasy. The sun sets on three of his categories, and Arraez’s on his average and runs. Preseason Rank #53 for 2nd basemen, 2022 Projections: 61/3/38/.302/3 in 391 ABs, Final Numbers: 88/8/49/.316/4 in 547 ABs

18. Josh Bell – Similar to Ty France, call him Josh Notre Dame. If you would’ve told me he landed this close to his preseason ranking, I’d blow on my knuckles, and wipe said knuckles on my shirt, but this year from Josh Notre Dame is so far from what I expected. I would’ve ranked Josh Notre Dame much lower in preseason if I had known he would’ve lost so much power. If only I had a hunch back then. Preseason Rank #18, 2022 Projections: 72/29/84/.263 in 531 ABs, Final Numbers: 78/17/71/.266 in 552 ABs

19. Seth Brown – His stats ended up making him look like a poor man’s Goldy. Call him Seth Brass. Or maybe that’s Seth Brath. Preseason Rank #97 for outfielders, 2022 Projections: 51/25/56/.207/3 in 366 ABs, Final Numbers: 55/25/73/.230/11 in 500 ABs

20. Andrew Vaughn – Gave you an Andrew Vaughn sleeper in the preseason, and expected nothing at all like this year. Everyone on the White Sox really threw me for a loop. How did the whole team lose their power? Was it the humidor? It’s a real pickle. Or maybe it was that Tony La Russa’s brain is pickled. Preseason Rank #22, 2022 Projections: 67/26/73/.263/1 in 461 ABs, Final Numbers: 60/17/76/.271 in 510 ABs