As we begin to take a closer look at the 2015 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen rankings, it’s important to take a look back at the position over the past few years to get an idea of what to expect going forward.
We know the first base position is usually full of big, barrel-chested players whose main asset is power and the ability to knock runners in.
That’s pretty much what we got in 2014, but we also saw a ton of players get first-base eligibility during the season, which made an already deep position much deeper. Guys like Miguel Cabrera, Jose Bautista, Todd Frazier, Jonathan Lucroy, Brian McCann, Joe Mauer, David Ortiz, Michael Morse, Chase Headley, Pedro Alvarez, Yasmani Grandal and Daniel Nava all added first-base eligibility to their profiles last year. But only a few of them will keep it heading into 2014.
Even Deeper than Before
It’s tough to imagine the first base position being much deeper in the past couple decades, from a Fantasy perspective, than it will be at the start of this season.
Just look at the grouping outside of the top 12 first basemen. (In other words, these three first basemen wouldn’t be recommended starters in Head-to-Head leagues that don’t use Corner Infielder as a position.) Mark Trumbo, Joey Votto, Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols could all easily turn in top-five seasons at this position.
Wait For It … Wait For It …
There are so many good-to-great players in the teens that are either old veterans looking for big bouncebacks (Votto/Fielder), veteran hitters we’re not sure can keep it up at their age (Pujols/Victor Martinez), or young sluggers still looking to improve in one or two categories (Matt Adams, Eric Hosmer).
If you can load up on power hitting middle infielders/outfielders in the early rounds, you should consider taking two or even three of these middle-ranked first basemen to use at 1B, CI or DH.
Eligible in Your Hearts
Mauer lost his catcher eligibility, so he’s compared against the heavy hitters from now on, as opposed to the defense-first catchers.
Unfortunately, Bautista no longer has 1B-eligibility, after earning it in 2014, playing 12 games at first for Toronto. However, as he gets older, he’s 34, he could be a midseason first baseman as he picks up a start there now and again. He was the highest-scoring hitter among first basemen in Head-to-Head leagues last season.
Lucroy and McCann also lost their 1B-eligibility for this coming season.
Speed is not one of the common attributes at this position, usually, and llast year was no exception as we saw just two first basemen with more than 10 stolen bases, and one of those (Brock Holt) doesn’t have 1B-eligibility to start 2014. That makes Frazier’s 20 steals all the more impressive.
2015 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings
These rankings were built for Rotisserie leagues, but a good hitter is a good hitter, so most of it can be translated over into Head-to-Head leagues, as well.
Good luck this season – and we hope these 2015 Fantasy Baseball first basemen rankings treat you well!
Joey Votto Photo Credit: Keith Allison
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.