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

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Will
Will
3 months ago

Age seems to have caught up to Jose Abreu, fast. I’m prolly out on him next season.

Frank Drebin
Frank Drebin
3 months ago

I thought Vlad was going to lose more in the power dept this year. When he left Buffalo last year it seemed his power number slipped when they started playing in Toronto. I was pleasantly surprised as an owner. He is still just a kid, we all have to remember.

AJM
AJM
3 months ago

I’ve been wanting to ask this all year: What’s the derivation of Cake Batter as your nickname for Vlad?

Chhhh
Chhhh
3 months ago

I’m on the Vinnie P train next year and think he’s gonna be sneaky badass, esp in OBP leagues

Frank Drebin
Frank Drebin
Reply to  Chhhh
3 months ago

I would like to get as many shares as possible myself.

Omar
Omar
3 months ago

Assuming full health, in any universe would you keep Jazz over Vlad for 2023? OPS weekly. I’d expect somewhat of a bounce back for Vladdy, but watching a lot of him this year, it was definitely frustrating. Jazz was a small sample size, but his per game numbers were very intriguing. A new manager can’t hurt either.

Manormachine
Manormachine
3 months ago

Matt Olson finished around his ADP because he was super hot the last two weeks of the season, long after he sucked your team out of contention.

Jimmy
Jimmy
3 months ago

Great write up! Do I keep Drury in a 13 team 5×5 dynasty? I feel like this was his career year…do The Friers keep him or let him walk? I feel like he is the typical guy The Twins would sign and he turns back into his old self… thank you! enjoy the off season!

The Great Knoche
3 months ago

It’s criminal how many benches Lowe was on and how cheap he was in DFS all year. As I’m doing my own recaps right now I am slowly gearing myself up inside to get a 3B and 1B in the first 2-3 rounds. There’s just so little depth

galica1234
galica1234
3 months ago

Grey!!!!

Awesome!!!!

a. So much goodness, where to start!!!

b. How dare you not record Bell’s ‘0’ SB??!! On Bell after reviewing his baseball cube profile, one conclusion.

His 2019 season was an aberration for power.

Even in college his power wasn’t off the charts. So there’s that, Bell is longer really relevant in 12-teamers.

c. When guys like Walsh failed me, guys like Drury and Walker stepped up. Walker’s BA was kind of not good.

d. Incredible first half for Cron, dropped him in the 2nd half.

e. George Carlin quote of the day for October 13, 2022

And you know, I always wanted to work in a delicatessen just so that a woman would come in one day and ask me to give her some tongue. And I’d say “Well, I don’t get off ’till four o’clock.” And she’d say “Well, I don’t get off at all. That’s why I’m looking for some tongue!”

From, Playing with your head (1986)

Cheers,
Ante

toolshed
toolshed
3 months ago

I owned Vlad and while the steals were unexpected and the numbers were good, he left me wanting more. While he never seemed to get hot for an extended stretch, his biggest issues for me are the ground ball rate and launch angle. His gb rate went up to 52%. That issue hasn’t gone away. His launch angle was 4.3% (more half less than what it was in 2021). It was his lowest launch angle of his career. He is young but he needs to fix those issues to reach his ceiling. The other thing worth mentioning is that he also played 30+ games in Buffalo and Dunedin in 2021. Both of those places are launching pads

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Yeah, ignoring the minor league parks, Guerrero still did better in 2021 than 2022.

2021
Road: 17 HR/306 AB
Toronto: 10 HR/135 AB

2022
Road: 13 HR/323 AB
Toronto: 19 HR/315 AB

toolshed
toolshed
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

Yeah he hits the ball so hard too. The ball change should not really matter. He can’t hit hr no matter how hard he hits the ball when it’s on the ground. I saw about 5 opposite field hr or 15% of his total in 2022. I wonder what that looked like in 2021. I do know opposite field homers were way down due to the ball change. He goes the other way about 24% of the time fwiw.

VinWins
VinWins
3 months ago

This list shows the ADP for RCL drafts conducted the final week of the preseason, along with their final overall rank on the Player Rater.

1B RANK NAME ADP (DRAFTED)
1 (2) Paul Goldschmidt 41 ( 16 LEAGUES)
2 (3) Freddie Freeman 14 ( 16 LEAGUES)
3 (4) Pete Alonso 32 ( 16 LEAGUES)
4 (22) Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 4 ( 16 LEAGUES)
5 (43) Christian Walker ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
6 (45) Matt Olson 21 ( 16 LEAGUES)
7 (47) C.J. Cron 145 ( 16 LEAGUES)
8 (50) Brandon Drury ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
9 (51) Nathaniel Lowe ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
10 (76) Rhys Hoskins 131 ( 16 LEAGUES)
11 (78) Jose Abreu 59 ( 16 LEAGUES)
12 (83) Anthony Rizzo 160 ( 16 LEAGUES)
13 (94) Rowdy Tellez 288 ( 3 LEAGUES)
14 (102) Jake Cronenworth 124 ( 16 LEAGUES)
15 (105) Ty France 158 ( 16 LEAGUES)
16 (112) Ryan Mountcastle 107 ( 16 LEAGUES)
17 (113) Luis Arraez 247 ( 4 LEAGUES)
18 (130) Josh Bell 151 ( 16 LEAGUES)
19 (136) Seth Brown 276 ( 2 LEAGUES)
20 (142) Andrew Vaughn 215 ( 15 LEAGUES)
21 (152) Patrick Wisdom 259 ( 2 LEAGUES)
22 (154) Josh Naylor ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
23 (156) Yandy Diaz ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
24 (161) Jurickson Profar ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
25 (175) Wilmer Flores 269 ( 1 LEAGUE)
26 (190) Albert Pujols ND ( 0 LEAGUES)
27 (203) Luke Voit 195 ( 16 LEAGUES)

VinWins
VinWins
Reply to  Grey
3 months ago

And, Olson probably went a bit earlier in RCL drafts than elsewhere. His ADP was around 28 the first 20 RCL drafts.