Fantasy Football is done, a new year has started, and it’s time to turn our thoughts to fantasy baseball! We’ve been at it for quite awhile here at FantraxHQ, but we realize some people have lives and can’t think baseball 24/7365. No worries, we do it for you. Below are our Top 30 First Base Rankings for 2019 Fantasy Baseball.
It’s never too early to start thinking 2019 Fantasy Baseball! Head on over to Fantrax.com and check out our full slate of Season-Long Fantasy Baseball Leagues.
We’ve already broken down our catcher rankings, and I have to admit it hurt. Catcher is uglier than I ever remember it being. Even the top options are not that exciting and come with plenty of question marks. So, yeah, I think we are all ready to move on to first base where the big boppers play…
But not so much. Yeah first base is deep and there’s plenty of power upside, but even here the questions begin after the top four or five options. I mean, in Max Muncy and Jesus Aguilar, we have two 29-year-olds who had a combined total of one season of more than 300 at-bats. These Quad-A types (or so we thought) are just outside our top 10. And the questions keep coming. Can Joey Votto bounce back? Which Cody Bellinger do we get, 2017 0r 2018? Can Matt Carpenter repeat the power onslaught of this past season? You get the idea.
I’m not the only one feeling a bit of a letdown with our early 2019 first base rankings. Eric Cross and Nathan Dokken shared similar sentiments. Here’s their take. You can learn more about all of us in the bios at the bottom of this page.
Eric Cross – The first base position isn’t as spectacular as it used to be. In 2018, just five first basemen hit 30 or more home runs. In 2015, it was six. In 2012, 10. You get the idea. You can’t just wait around and assume the depth will be there in the middle rounds. Drafting a bad 1B has more of an impact than drafting a bad catcher.
That’s why each and every season, I find myself taking my first baseman earlier and earlier. This season, outside of the top-10 or so, it starts getting foggy. Questions about playing time and production become commonplace and drafting one of these guys will likely cause you more headaches than joy. Take Joey Gallo for instance. He led all first base eligible hitters with 40 home runs last season. Great. Stupendous. But that came with a .206 average.
You have to really pay close attention to your league settings when it comes to first base, especially, if you have AVG or OBP as a category cause that makes a world of difference for guys like Gallo, Joey Votto, and Carlos Santana. That’s what I would recommend here; grab one of the top 8-10 guys and pay close attention to your league’s stat categories.
Nathan Dokken – The year 2018 gave us the worst season for production from first baseman that I can remember. Only two players surpassed 100 RBI (Aguilar, Rizzo), only one went over 100 Runs (Carpenter), and only five hit over 30 home runs. Just a year ago there were 13 first basemen who went over 30 bombs! Remember Justin Smoak and Logan Morrison hitting 38 home runs each? Good times.
Mercifully for us, things are looking better for 2019. In standard mixed leagues, no matter who you select as your first baseman, he’ll swing a boomstick. I expect bounce-back seasons from veterans like Joey Votto and Jose Abreu, while newcomer Peter Alonso will make waves early in the season to bolster the position. Of course, once you get to the back half of the rankings, you have more question marks. Can Tyler White repeat? I’m dubious. Can Josh Bell hit for power? I’m dubious. Can Brandon Belt put together a healthy season? I’m dubious. Your best bet is to load up on top-15 options before you run into such quandaries.
2019 First Base Rankings
As you can see there’s actually quite a bit of variance in our 2019 first base rankings rankings. While we went out to rank the top 30 first basemen and only 34 were ranked, some of the players had a very wide range between the analysts.
The rankings below are configured for 12 to 15 team mixed leagues, using the traditional 5X5 scoring categories.
For more great rankings, strategy, and analysis check out the 2019 FantraxHQ Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit. We’ll be adding more content from now right up until Opening Day!
Doug Anderson is a 10-year veteran of the Fantasy Sports industry. His work has appeared on RotoExperts.com, Yahoo.com, SI.com, and NFL.com, as well as in the pages of USA Today’s Fantasy Baseball Weekly and various other magazines. Doug has participated in both LABR and Tout Wars, the two preeminent expert fantasy baseball leagues in existence. Doug was formerly the Executive Editor at RotoExperts and is now Managing Editor here at FantraxHQ. You can follow him on Twitter @RotoDaddy.
Eric Cross has been writing for FantraxHQ since March of 2017 and recently became the lead MLB writer and prospect analyst for FantraxHQ. He also wrote for FantasyPros from June 2017 to September 2018. In the past, he also covered NFL and NBA for Fantrax. Eric was accepted into the FSWA (Fantasy Sports Writers Association) in March of 2018. Find him on Twitter @EricCross04 and ask away with all your baseball and prospect questions.
Nathan Dokken is a member of the FSWA and has been featured on numerous radio shows, podcasts, and magazines. He is the host of the Nasty Cast and Fantrax Dynasty Baseball podcasts, and his written work can be found at Razzball and Fantrax HQ. He is on Twitter @NathanDokken.