2016 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

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We are on to a much more exciting position now, generally the one with the most power, and we all know that chicks dig the long ball, right fellas? So make it a point to get some power at first base, but know that it’s not the end of your fantasy season before it even starts if you don’t get power here.

Below are THE BACKWARDS K 2016 FANTASY BASEBALL FIRST BASEMEN RANKINGS. Included for each player is “The Backwards K Quick Take” and a self-produced player projection for 2016.

***Please note the following:

  • The player’s names are color coded to signal different tiers at the position.
  • The rankings reflect standard 5×5 roto scoring settings (AVG/HR/RBI/R/SB) with position eligibility requirements as 10 total games played at a position in 2015, or 5 total games started at a position in 2015 (i.e. Yahoo! settings).
  • The numerical order is not necessarily a suggested order to draft them in, but it is the order that is calculated based on each player’s listed projections, unless noted otherwise.
  • Noted in some players’ “Quick Takes” is if they gain or lose notable value in points leagues that factor penalize hitter strikeouts and reward hitter walks.

  1. Paul Goldschmidt (Diamondbacks) The Backwards K Quick Take: Goldschmidt just seems to keep improving and he’s now in the thick of his prime at age 28. Last year he experienced a big boost to 17% to his already strong walk (thanks to a career high in intentional walks), he diversified his spray chart even more by pulling the ball (29.6%) less than he went up the middle (40.2%) and also less than he went to the opposite field (30.3%), which is unheard of from a power hitter and makes him ridiculously tough to defend. He also increased his stolen bases attempted rate to end up with a career high in SB at 21. In addition, Goldie is consistently among the league leaders in hard hit rate and batted ball distance on HR + flyballs. It’s very difficult to find a flaw in his game and not only is he my #1 first baseman, but he is my overall #1 ranked player heading into the season. The other hitter candidates to be #1 overall (Mike Trout and Bryce Harper) do have some minor warts in my opinion, but Goldie is well…golden. 2016 Projection: .312 AVG/34 HR/112 RBI/107 R/17 SB/149 K/106 BB in 691 PA
  2. Anthony Rizzo (Cubs) The Backwards K Quick Take: The most important factor that has led to the left-handed swinging Rizzo’s maturation as a hitter over the past two seasons is that he has mastered the art of handling southpaw pitching after struggling against them mightily early in his career. And to add some frosting on to that Rizzolicious cake, last year he also enjoyed a 3.8% improvement in his strikeout rate from the previous year, and he blew away his previous career high in SB by swiping 17 bags thanks to the aggressive managing of Joe Maddon in his first year with the Cubs. I don’t see him being quite as successful in the run game this year as he did tail off in attempts after the first two months of the season, but A to the Rizzo has electric talent on either side of him in the lineup, which will provide him with plenty of run scoring and run driving in opportunities. There’s room for even more growth here. (EDIT on 3/30/16: Slight adjustments to Rizzo’s projections to account for more time hitting cleanup and less time hitting 3rd. No real change in value though) 2016 Projection: .282 AVG/33 HR/108 RBI/96 R/12 SB/105 K/76 BB in 669 PA
  3. Chris Davis (Orioles) The Backwards K Quick Take: Chris “Crush” Davis’s 2014 season was rather hideous as he failed to crack the Mendoza line and do much “crush-ing,” but that poor season can likely be attributed to being unable to take his prescribed medication for ADHD after failing to get the league’s approval on time. Back with a vengeance in 2015, with permission to take his proper medication, he put the naysayers to rest and I believe that is the version of Davis that we can continue to expect this season, just so long as he doesn’t become complacent after signing his big multi-year deal in the off-season. Thankfully in standard roto leagues we can forget about all the strikeouts and just take all the sweetness as it comes. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .254 AVG/42 HR/109 RBI/92 R/2 SB/200 K/74 BB in 646 PA
  4. Joey Votto (Reds) The Backwards K Quick Take: Even at this stage of his career at 32 years old, it would appear that injury is the only thing that can potentially slow Votto down. Votto is right behind guys like Miguel Cabrera and Edwin Encarnacion in age, but from a fitness standpoint it would appear that Votto has the athleticism and the build to maintain all his skills and has a lesser chance of breaking down. When it comes to pure hitting skills from a batted ball profile perspective, Votto is arguably second to none. He hits the ball to all fields well, makes hard contact at a high rate, hits lots of line drives, and he very rarely pops out. These are all traits that allow him to sustain high BABIP marks with regularity. The one knock on him would be that his incredibly high walk percentage puts a damper on his RBI potential, because the less that balls are put in play, the less chance he has to drive in runs. But after an injury riddled 2014 season, the Reds first baseman roared back and fueled the big red machine last year, and he truly proved that he is Votto-matic, especially at getting on base. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) (EDIT on 3/24/16: I didn’t feel I had Votto’s RBI and R properly projected, so I adjusted it and he moved up from #7 to #4. But I will note that #4-7 on this list are separated by only 64 cents in value) 2016 Projection: .306 AVG/25 HR/84 RBI/97 R/8 SB/130 K/128 BB in 676 PA
  5. Jose Abreu (White Sox) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Last year, Abreu was unable to match his MVP caliber performance from 2014, but he was definitely no slouch either and he received little support from the players around him for most of the year as the White Sox finished dead last in the American League in runs scored and HR. With the White Sox adding some seemingly better hitters to surround Abreu with, I would say he finishes somewhere in between his 2014 and 2015 seasons. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .295 AVG/32 HR/103 RBI/86 R/1 SB/134 K/41 BB in 637 PA
  6. Miguel Cabrera (Tigers) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Cabrera endured the first DL stint of his career last year with an ankle/foot injury and he doesn’t exactly possess the body type that inspires an excess of enthusiasm that he can remain healthy as he squeaks his way into his mid-30’s (he will by 33 years old a couple weeks into the season). However, the skills are certainly still there. For a possible bonus, on fantasy platforms such as Yahoo! that require just 5 games started at a season to gain position eligibility in-season, Cabrera could gain third base eligibility. If teammate Victor Martinez proves healthy enough to man first base in interleague games at NL parks, Cabrera could slide over to third base for those games. Interestingly enough, the Tigers’ 5th game at an NL park comes very early in the season on May 9 at Washington. For fantasy purposes, Cabrera at 3B > Cabrera at 1B, so this would be a welcomed event. 2016 Projection: .314 AVG/25 HR/101 RBI/87 R/1 SB/104 K/70 BB in 639 PA
  7. Edwin Encarnacion (Blue Jays) The Backwards K Quick Take: One of the most fearsome sluggers in the game, Encarnacion should once again be a solid fantasy selection in 2016. He isn’t the most anti-fragile of players as he tends to always have some sort of minor injury pop up every now and then, but I still have a soft spot for him after owning him universally in his 2012 breakout season. But something to be aware of with Encarnacion is that he has had extremely slow starts in each of the last two seasons. If you draft him and he starts off cold again, just be patient. If he starts off well, then enjoy the ride as he puts up some of the best hot streaks in all of baseball. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .272 AVG/36 HR/103 RBI/88 R/3 SB/94 K/73 BB in 609 PA
  8. Brandon Belt (Giants) The Backwards K Quick Take: If Eric Hosmer is Votto-lite then Belt must be Hosmer’s fraternal twin — which makes him…Votto-light??? Belt doesn’t quite have the same AVG upside as Hosmer because of his less than stellar strikeout rate, but he has the sneaky first baseman speed to match both Hosmer and Votto, power potential that is growing and could end up contesting Votto’s, and the batted ball profile that could also rival Votto’s. Last year Belt posted a high BABIP of .363, but it is a believable mark because he got back to hitting like he used to by getting lots of hard contact with line drives and he also improved his spray chart by pulling the ball less. His hard hit rate (39.5%) ranked 9th and his line drive rate (28.7%) ranked 1st in all of baseball, showing that he surely can handle the bat. He also was immune to hitting pop-ups as his 0.8% IFFB rate was lower than Votto’s — the godfather of IFFB% — and only bested by Christian Yelich. Yet to have a true breakout season, Belt remains on the cusp of being a starting fantasy first baseman, but the potential is there — he’ll have to cut down on his strikeouts to achieve such a status. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) (EDIT on 3/24/16: Moved Belt from #10 to #8 because he’s shown great improvements with his strikeout rate during Spring Training. This could very well be the year that Belt puts everything together) 2016 Projection: .294 AVG/24 HR/85 RBI/84 R/10 SB/136 K/60 BB in 603 PA 
  9. Buster Posey (Giants) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Check out what I said about Posey in the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings. However, it would not be wise to use Posey at 1B in fantasy as a lot of his value is tied into being a catcher. 2016 Projection: .308 AVG/20 HR/93 RBI/74 R/1 SB/71 K/55 BB in 616 PA
  10. Eric Hosmer (Royals) The Backwards K Quick Take:  Hosmer doesn’t have the typical power potential that is traditionally sought after from starting fantasy first basemen in roto leagues, but on the surface he is a lite version of Joey Votto and there certainly is value to his skill set. His year to year stats have been rather inconsistent since he broke into the league in 2011, but with five full seasons now under his belt, I would say that he has a pretty good idea of what he’s doing at the plate. And at just 26 years old this season, he could show further improvement, though I don’t have high hopes that he will develop into a 25 HR type of hitter. 2016 Projection: .298 AVG/18 HR/85 RBI/84 R/7 SB/104 K/55 BB in 647 PA
  11. Prince Fielder (Rangers) – The Backwards K Quick Take: After missing most of 2014 with a neck injury, Fielder once again played in 157 games or more in 2015 for the 9th time out of 10 full seasons in his career, which is rather impressive for someone of his… shape. But clearly he’s doing something right to maintain his iron man abilities. However, despite the bounce back season that included hitting over .300 for the second time in his career, Fielder saw his walk rate drop below 10% for the first time since his rookie season and he posted the lowest HR/FB% of his career (excluding his injury-shortened 2014 season). I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the walk rate dropping as that had more to do with an apparent change in approach to swing at more pitches, and at least it came with the best contact rate of his career. If he was swinging significantly more and not making as much contact then there would be a problem. The drop in power though is concerning and I would posture that maybe the neck injury somehow lingered and affected his power, but refuting that thought is the fact that his drop in power began in 2013 — before the neck injury. So it’s tough to imagine Fielder ever being a 30 HR hitter again — he possibly may not hit 25 HR again at this rate. Also, note that Fielder may only be UTIL eligible in some leagues. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .287 AVG/22 HR/94 RBI/81 R/0 SB/93 K/68 BB in 691 PA
  12. Albert Pujols (Angels) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Last year Pujols enjoyed a two-month stretch from May through June where he actually resembled his former self with a .286 AVG, 21 HR, 40 RBI and 17 K/20 BB, and that is what carried him to have a nice looking overall stat line. But he lost that pace of performance quicker than Jered Weaver loses one MPH on his fastball. It’s cool, I’m an Angels fan so I’m allowed to take jabs at these guys. The apparent main cause of Pujols turning into a pumpkin so suddenly last season was his plantar fasciitis, AKA pansy foot syndrome. It’s still something that is nagging him, so at 36 years old it’s hard to envision that he will hold up for another whole season. And when the Angels have nothing to play for in September, they’ll have all the reason to regularly rest their ailing albatross — more like Albertross. #amirite? (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) (EDIT  on 3/21/16: I adjusted Pujols’ projections and moved him up from #16 to #13 and removed him from the “overvalued” section at the bottom, but he still seems like a risky proposition if that plantar fasciitis acts up at any point in the season) 2016 Projection: .259 AVG/30 HR/94 RBI/74 R/3 SB/64 K/44 BB in 598 PA
  13. Adrian Gonzalez (Dodgers) The Backwards K Quick Take: Gonzalez has certainly lost some of his luster over the recent years, but he’s displayed some nice abilities to make adjustments when needed. Gone are the .290+ AVG days, gone are the 30 HR days, gone is the upside, gone is the old A-Gon. But there’s something attractive about this consistent A-Gon that has a steady flow of production. 2016 Projection: .277 AVG/26 HR/94 RBI/76 R/0 SB/108 K/54 BB in 635 PA
  14. Stephen Piscotty (Cardinals) The Backwards K Quick Take: Piscotty is one of the more interesting second-year names to monitor heading into the season as he came on last year and hit .305 with 7 HR in 69 games for the Cardinals. The high AVG was influenced by a .372 BABIP, but his strikeout rate was much higher than his Minor League rates — so there’s hope that he can improve there — and both his hard hit rate and diversified spray chart were big pluses. So even though the .372 BABIP is in fact likely unsustainable, he seemingly still does have the tools to post a solid AVG and a BABIP over .320 despite never having done that at any stop in the Minors above Rookie ball. Regarding Piscotty’s power potential, he had always been considered one of the top position prospects in the organization due to the potential of his bat and last year he made conscious mechanical adjustments with the intent of adding more power. Judging by the results, it appeared the adjustments worked out well. He’s still not a tremendous HR threat, especially when comparing him to other 1B-qualified sluggers, but the opportunity should be there for him to flirt with 20 HR while adding a bunch of doubles. Moreover, he is slated to be the regular #2 hitter for the Cardinals and will be in a great spot to score runs and attempt steals. He’s not a burner on the base paths, but double digit stolen bases is within reach. 2016 Projection: .282 AVG/18 HR/72 RBI/82 R/10 SB/116 K/50 BB in 628 PA
  15. David Ortiz (Red Sox) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Ortiz has nearly defied the odds of maintaining such a high level of production through his late 30’s, which would lend reason to believe that he could once again turn in a very solid season at the age of 40 in his final year before retirement. I would have to think that Ortiz will see more days off this year though as the Red Sox will want to keep him fresh for a potential post-season run, and they have other capable bats to fill in (though none quite as good as Ortiz). Ortiz won’t be eligible at 1B in a lot of fantasy leagues and he’s much more suitable for leagues with daily roster changes instead of weekly because of the more (projected) frequent days off. However, Papi can still rake and any fantasy owner should be content with his numbers. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .272 AVG/30 HR/94 RBI/66 R/0 SB/94 K/69 BB in 571 PA
  16. Freddie Freeman (Braves) The Backwards K Quick Take: Freeman missed a month and a half last year with a wrist injury and then another two weeks with an oblique injury. Obviously neither are the types of injuries you want to hear that a hitter has, but more concerning is the wrist. Freeman hit .299 before the wrist injury last year, but he hit only .266 and lost a little bit of power after returning from the injury. Also, well into the off-season, Freeman reportedly was still dealing with discomfort in the wrist. It may end up being a non-factor, but it is a point of concern as wrist injuries tend to sap a hitter’s power and overall effectiveness if it is a lingering issue. 2016 Projection: .288 AVG/21 HR/80 RBI/78 R/3 SB/124 K/70 BB in 585 PA
  17. Kendrys Morales (Royals) The Backwards K Quick Take: Morales hit a robust .335 with runners in scoring position last year, which yielded him a total of 106 RBI despite just 22 HR. Those numbers don’t really match up together, so don’t expect him to repeat that this year, but he should still be credited as a solid hitter. Outside of his 2014 season when he was ineligible to play till mid-season due to the free agency qualifying offer process, Morales has posted rather consistent results throughout his career. So there’s little reason to think he will fall completely on his face despite his age creeping up on him at 33. (Note that Morales is not 1B eligible in many leagues). 2016 Projection: .281 AVG/22 HR/86 RBI/73 R/0 SB/105 K/46 BB in 620 PA
  18. Daniel Murphy (Nationals) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Murphy has been interesting because he provides consistent overall value from year to year, but he seemingly goes about it differently each time with his individual roto category stats having such a wide range. In his most recent sampling, he had his best power season from the standpoint of HR, SLG, and ISO, and he also posted the lowest strikeout rate in all of baseball — which is an incredible combination of feats I should say. And then he went on to have the historic post-season where he hit .328 with 7 HR in 14 games. Murphy really deserves his own separate post, but the gist of it is that under the guidance of the Mets hitting coach, Kevin Long, he altered his approach and thought process and made certain mechanical adjustments that led to a power surge from August onward. The fact that he posted a career high pull rate at 40.7% and all 21 of his HR (regular season + post-season) were to the pull side suggests that the results could very well be for real. Will the team switch away from the Mets and hitting coach Long factor into Murphy’s attempt to maintain this power? It’s hard to say, but he could be an underrated fantasy commodity from (likely) the middle of the Nationals lineup, as people potentially will write off his power as fluky. Plus he’s universally eligible at two much more shallow positions at 2B and 3B where his value is heightened. I’m cautiously buying into Murphy’s new found power. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .281 AVG/21 HR/86 RBI/72 R/7 SB/65 K/35 BB in 598 PA
  19. Byung-Ho Park (Twins) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Park is an unknown commodity as he has come over from the Korean Baseball Organization where he was a 50 HR hitter. Of course all those HR aren’t going to translate over to the tougher arena of MLB, but we do have to give him credit as a player with 25+ HR potential. A good point of reference would be to look at the performance of Jung-Ho Kang who came over from the KBO last season. For Kang, there appeared to be an adjustment period that didn’t necessarily include just adjusting to Major League pitching, but also adjusting to America and being on the opposite side of the planet from where his home was. So perhaps Park will endure a similar adjustment period, but once Kang appeared adjusted, he looked more and more like he did in the KBO. Park had always posted better HR totals than Kang, but worse AVG marks with a much higher propensity to strikeout. The strikeouts could be a worrisome point for Park as it would stand to reason that foreign players with swing and miss issues already could be in for a shock upon entering MLB. With all this being said, I believe Park is worth a flier for a CI or UTIL spot as long as there’s no penalty for strikeouts. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .257 AVG/24 HR/76 RBI/70 R/5 SB/159 K/58 BB in 589 PA
  20. Carlos Santana (Indians) The Backwards K Quick Take: Santana’s power throughout his career has oscillated so much that it is quite a pain to try and project his HR total. And if that weren’t difficult enough, he also went and stole 11 bases last season when his previous career high was 5. But wait, there’s more. This marks the first season that he won’t be eligible at catcher (with Yahoo! settings) and he also lost the 3B eligibility that he had universally last season. Santana as a first baseman is far less exciting and he is pretty far off from being a fantasy starter at the position in roto leagues — points leagues, now that’s another story. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .238 AVG/22 HR/78 RBI/77 R/7 SB/120 K/104 BB in 651 PA
  21. Wil Myers (Padres) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Bursting onto the scene in 2013 with the Rays, Myers flashed the potential to someday be a 30 HR/10 SB player, but nagging wrist injuries since 2014 have derailed that notion. He did have surgery to correct it last year and he did report how much stronger it felt once he returned from rehabbing it. But man, those wrist issues can really linger. It appears that this season he will make the permanent switch to first base, which should be better for him to avoid injury, but I’ll believe it when I see it. At the very least though, Myers is a post-hype sleeper worth taking a chance on late in drafts as a likely 20 HR/10 SB player if he can last for 140 games. 2016 Projection: .255 AVG/19 HR/73 RBI/70 R/9 SB/127 K/57 BB in 585 PA
  22. Mark Trumbo (Orioles) The Backwards K Quick Take: Trumbo’s time in the friendly hitter environment of Arizona didn’t go swimmingly as fantasy owners might have hoped for. His 2014 season was derailed due to a stress fracture in his foot and it could be contested that he just never really fully adjusted to the league switch to the NL and being traded by his hometown team, the Angels. Then he was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Mariners mid-season last year and Safeco Field in Seattle is not a super great place for hitters. But there will be reason for optimism once again for Trumbo as he is now with the Orioles who play in the ballpark that had the top HR park factor score in the AL last year. With good health, a bounce back to the 25 HR mark seems almost certain and 30 HR isn’t out of the question. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .250 AVG/27 HR/81 RBI/65 R/1 SB/143 K/43 BB in 571 PA
  23. C.J. Cron (Angels) – The Backwads K Quick Take: When the Angels traded the aforementioned Trumbo it was partially due to Cron’s near Major League readiness as he possessed essentially the same skill set as Trumbo. Over the last two seasons, Cron has not been given a chance at a full-time role, instead being shuttled back and forth between AAA and the Majors. But given the state of the Angels offense, Cron should be given the everyday opportunity this season (splitting time at 1B and DH with Albert Pujols) and he’ll be counted on as a run producer somewhere in the middle of the lineup. The right-handed hitting Cron has hit righties better than lefties, so that’s a good trait to have in order to avoid being put in a platoon situation. RBI are fickle and hard to predict, but Cron should be considered a sleeper for 90 of them and I like his chances of being somewhat productive. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .256 AVG/24 HR/82 RBI/62 R/4 SB/122 K/24 BB in 581 PA
  24. Mark Teixeira (Yankees) – The Backwards K Quick Take: Teixeira had a rather delightful rebound year in 2015, but once again it was an abbreviated season for him as he had a shin injury that forced him to another lengthy DL stint for the fourth year in a row. With his injury history and now being 36 years old, it would be short-sighted to project Teixeira to play in more than 125 games. But the good news is that he definitely appeared to be over the the wrist issues that basically cost him all of 2013 and sapped his power in 2014. So although Teixeira is ranked rather low at 25th in these rankings, it has little to do with expected output, but more to do with the expected time on the DL. Therefore, he is the type of player where you can take his projected stats and then know that you’ll be able to bench or slot him in a DL roster space, and then you add on “replacement level” stats for the approximated DL time. So 120 games of Teixeira + 35 games of a replacement level 1B could provide around a .250 AVG/30 HR/95 RBI/75 R/3 SB, which means Teixeira’s value plus replacement player (VPRP) would probably have him ranked somewhere around Albert Pujols in these rankings. (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES, AND ALSO GAINS VALUE WITH “VALUE PLUS REPLACEMENT PLAYER”) 2016 Projection: .243 AVG/26 HR/78 RBI/66 R/2 SB/98 K/62 BB in 526 PA
  25. Lucas Duda (Mets) The Backwards K Quick Take: Duda made improvements last season as he went to the opposite field 27% of the time after hovering near 22% his whole career, and he made great adjustments against lefties to hit .285/.333/.545 with 7 HR in 132 PA. In fact, he hit lefties way better than he hit righties despite being a sub-.200 hitter against southpaws before. You would think that these improvements would have led to better overall results in the end, but by the standard numbers, he was virtually the same player that he was previously. There’s a chance that if he keeps those improvements against lefties that he can have a career best year this time around, but the safe bet would be to expect the same type of season. 2016 Projection: .244 AVG/26 HR/77 RBI/66 R/1 SB/139 K/64 BB in 560 PA
  26. Brian McCann (Yankees) The Backwards K Quick Take: You’re likely never to play McCann as a fantasy first baseman, but he does qualify there in some leagues. Check out the “Quick Take” on him in the 2016 Fantasy Baseball Catcher Rankings2016 Projection: .239 AVG/25 HR/78 RBI/61 R/0 SB/93 K/49 BB in 540 PA
  27. Victor Martinez (Tigers)The Backwards K Quick Take: After a Silver Slugger performance in 2014 when Martinez had an improbable career year as a 35-year old, the Tigers DH had his 2015 season blemished before it even began as he suffered a torn meniscus in Spring Training. With that injury, V-Mart was very slow to get his swing back as he couldn’t get comfortable and drive balls like he used to. This off-season surely did him some good, so some sort of rebound is reasonable to expect, but keep in mind that he is now 37 years old and the potential for other injuries is now only greater. (Note that Martinez is not 1B eligible in many leagues) (**GAINS VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .299 AVG/14 HR/71 RBI/56 R/0 SB/54 K/40 BB in 532 PA
  28. Chris Carter (Brewers)The Backwards K Quick Take: Carter caught on with the Brewers this off-season, which should be a better overall situation for him than if he stayed with the Astros. Miller Park in Milwaukee was the friendliest stadium for HR last year according to park factors, he should be hitting a little higher in the order for the Brewers than he would have with the Astros (albeit in a much worse lineup), and he doesn’t have any Major League ready top prospects looming over his shoulder at first base in Milwaukee. If you draft him as a CI or UTIL, close your eyes and just wish that he gives you a .230 AVG and 35 HR. (**LOSES VALUE IN POINTS LEAGUES) 2016 Projection: .213 AVG/30 HR/80 RBI/65 R/1 SB/186 K/67 BB in 575 PA
  29. Justin Bour (Marlins)The Backwards K Quick Take: Bour’s time with the Marlins last season consisted of one really shameful month of June when he hit .138, but other than that he was a rock solid left-handed bat with power. But basically all his production came against right-handed pitching, which included a .270 AVG (.221 AVG vs. LHP) and all 23 of his HR were off righties. So he’s got the look of an ideal platoon player, but I would expect that the Marlins at least give Bour the opportunity to prove he can hit lefties at some point this season. So maybe he only sits half the time when a southpaw is on the mound, against the tough ones in particular. Bour also has room for improvement in both his walk and strikeout rates as he was a 10% walk rate and sub-20% strikeout rate type of hitter in the Minors (opposed to the 7.6 BB% and 22.6 K% he had last year in the Majors). Consider Bour as Lucas Duda pt. deux. (EDIT on 3/21/16: Moved Bour from #24 to #29 as I adjusted his playing time downward) 2016 Projection: .262 AVG/23 HR/71 RBI/55 R/0 SB/101 K/41 BB in 486 PA
  30. Mitch Moreland (Rangers) The Backwards K Quick Take: Moreland is another power hitting, left-handed swinging first baseman who has some struggles against same handed pitching. However, he is coming off a career best year that may leave him attractive to some. But with all these players in the Rangers farm system that are ready or near ready to contribute at the Major League level (Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson), even though none of them are true first basemen like Moreland is, I would expect the Rangers to get creative in finding at-bats for them possibly at the expense of Moreland, especially with Moreland set to become a free agent after the year. So I think it is difficult to project the same workload that he received last season when healthy, which dampens my outlook for him. 2016 Projection: .266 AVG/20 HR/71 RBI/57 R/0 SB/110 K/32 BB in 499 PA



Chris Davis (Roto leagues)

Joey Votto (Roto and Points leagues)

Brandon Belt (Roto leagues)

Stephen Piscotty (Roto and Points leagues)

Daniel Murphy (Roto and Points leagues)

Wil Myers (Roto leagues)


C.J. Cron (Roto leagues)

Mark Teixeira (Roto and Points leagues)

Tyler White (not ranked) (Roto and Points leagues)

Travis Shaw (not ranked) (Roto and Points leagues)

A.J. Reed (not ranked) (Roto and Points leagues)


Lucas Duda (Roto and Points leagues)

Adam Lind (not ranked) (Roto and Points leagues)


4 thoughts on “2016 Fantasy Baseball First Basemen Rankings

  1. Pingback: 2016 Fantasy Baseball Second Basemen Rankings | The Backwards K

  2. Pingback: 2016 Fantasy Baseball Third Basemen Rankings | The Backwards K

  3. Pingback: 2016 Fantasy Baseball Outfielder Rankings (1-30) | The Backwards K

  4. Pingback: 10 Bold Predictions & the End of Season Predictions | The Backwards K

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