I’ve already taken part in two mock drafts, including the first round of a 2015 Fantasy Baseball Mock Draft on FantasySports.About.com (with the second round posted on this site) and one that MLB.com hosted here.
In both instances, Miguel Cabrera, who lost his third-base eligibility for 2015, was the top first baseman selected (second and third overall).
MLB.com’s Cory Schwartz explained his choice (after Mike Trout and Andrew McCutchen were taken first and second respectively), this way:
“It’s aawwwwfully tempting to take Giancarlo Stanton here but I’ll stick with chalk and take Miguel Cabrera. In a down year by his standards he hit .313-25-109 with 101 runs, and his career averages are around .320-35-120. Losing the 3B eligibility hurts (although he’ll still have it in 10-game leagues), but he’s in a class by himself as far as money-in-the-bank four-category production.” – @Schwartzstops
The other Fantasy writer that took Cabrera (second overall), was RotoWire.com’s Jeff Erickson, who mentioned that he doesn’t think Cabrera’s stats will fall off a cliff just yet, despite his age (32), and that he should be a 30-100-.300 player again this season.
Diamondbacks slugger Paul Goldschmidt was a close second place, getting picked up among the top seven overall draft picks in each draft.
Who’s the Worst at First?
Despite Billy Butler’s trip to the World Series, he just doesn’t have enough power to serve as a top-20 Fantasy first basemen. If he can go back to batting over .300 on the season, like he did three times in the past six years, then “Country Breakfast” would certainly shoot up the rankings inside the top 15.
And two players with big names on high profile teams will likely go higher than their true Fantasy value deserves are Mark Teixeira and Allen Craig.
Big Tex will be 35 next season, and wrist surgery sapped his ability to hit safely – hitting just .216 on the season, which was his first year under .245. If he regains some strength, in both his wrists and upper body, he could be a 25-HR hitter again.
Craig, however, believes a foot injury he suffered in 2013 cause his problems in 2014. After being a .300 hitter for three straight seasons (averaging over 15 home runs per season), he batted just .215 with eight home runs for the Cardinals in 126 games.
2015 First Base Rankings
These catcher rankings are for standard Rotisserie formats for 12-team leagues that reward home runs, RBI, runs scored, stolen bases and batting average.
|1||Miguel Cabrera, DET||Just 32 yo, plenty of big seasons left in his bat|
|2||Paul Goldschmidt, ARI||Could post .300-30-110-100-15 in age 27 season|
|3||Jose Abreu, CHW||No longer an unknown, Abreu is a 1st rounder|
|4||Edwin Encarnacion, TOR||Capable of 40-HR season after ’13 wrist surgery|
|5||Freddie Freeman, ATL||Some of those 43 doubles ready to be HRs|
|6||Buster Posey, SF||Best Fantasy catcher won’t play 1B for you|
|7||Anthony Rizzo, CHC||As Cubs improve, Rizzo’s RBI will skyrocket|
|8||Carlos Santana, CLE||No longer C eligible, Santana remains stud at 1B/3B|
|9||Chris Davis, BAL||Back to earth in ’14; mid-rd gamble for power return|
|10||Adrian Gonzalez, LAD||RBI machine in middle of 2nd-best offense in NL|
|11||Victor Martinez, DET||Free agent would do well back in Detroit for Fantasy|
|12||Todd Frazier, CIN||Might never steal 30 bags again, but improved all over|
|13||Mark Trumbo, ARI||Struggled through injury-plagued 1st season in NL|
|14||Joey Votto, CIN||Bad quad ended his ’14; Big bargain ability in mid-rounds|
|15||Prince Fielder, TEX||Neck surgery killed 1st yr in Texas, reb. candidate|
|16||Albert Pujols, LAA||Tough to expect .270-28-100 again from Pujols|
|17||Joe Mauer, MIN||Turning 32 in April; Drop in BA/OBP looks as bad as HR|
|18||Eric Hosmer, KC||Just turned 25, so power/RBI potential still exists|
|19||Matt Adams, STL||Older than Hosmer (26), but with better power future|
|20||Brandon Moss, OAK||Had offseason hip surgery, should be fine for spring|
|21||Lucas Duda, NYM||Has ability to hit for average, just not with power|
|22||Jon Singleton, HOU||Big free swinger, could see 200Ks if he gets 550 ABs|
|23||Mike Napoli, BOS||Coming off worst season since ’07, but just 33 yo|
|24||Mark Teixeira, NYY||Will he overcome surgically repaired wrist at age 35?|
|25||Billy Butler, KC||Just average or below average in hitting categories|
|26||Justin Morneau, COL||3 yrs with 17-19 HR, 77-82 RBI, but better BA in ’14|
|27||Allen Craig, STL||Foot injury slowed him, but is that all?|
|28||Adam LaRoche, FA||Averaged 26 HR/85 RBI over the past 3 seasons|
|29||Kendrys Morales, FA||Sat for 3 months as FA, then hit .218 once he returned|
|30||Brandon Belt, SF||Tough to see improvement if Giants offense steps back|
I’ll be updating these 2015 First Base rankings as the offseason progresses, so make sure you check back after the winter meetings and into spring training. Drop a comment below if you disagree – or agree – with a ranking so our readers can get multiple viewpoints.
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.