The Home of Fantasy Sports Analysis

Injury Risk at First Base for 2024 Fantasy Baseball Drafts

When assessing the future stats of a player, it’s imperative to consider player health when speculating on playing time. After all, getting onto the field and being given a chance to succeed only happens if the player is healthy enough. That’s why looking at a player’s track record of health gives credence to whether someone is worth drafting. A fantasy team could have all the talent in the world, but if they’re on your Injured List or bench, they lose a ton of value.

We are moving toward draft season, and all eyes will be on the top players at each position. Knowing of any inherent risk to drafting someone can help teams in the long run. That’s why today will be a part of positional examinations of injury risk. I will be going through the Injury History of the top players at every position and making notes of their healthy or troubled pasts. Seeing trends in their health could help determine any future problems.

The players listed below will be separated into one of three categories: red light, yellow light, green light. The timeframe that will be examined will primarily be from 2021 to 2023, though looking into the distant past might also take place.

Red Light: any players listed here have an extensive and/or concerning injury history that seems likely to come into play in the future. The potential for injury outweighs their production on the field and their selection could lead to roster problems down the line. The reoccurrence of a particular injury or multiple injuries also creates the need for a red light. Fantasy owners should be wary of drafting these players because the risk for injury is high.

Yellow Light: any players listed here have had their injury problems before, but they’re not necessarily prone to injury. These players here have situations to monitor, especially during the off-season and Spring Training, but it’s not necessarily as bleak as it could be. The types of injuries could also be freakish or due to bad luck with events leading to it being out of the ordinary. Fantasy owners should be aware of the injury history, but know the possibility for health is there too.

Green Light: any players listed here have had minimal problems and their future doesn’t appear to be in any jeopardy. There is nothing from their past that would indicate an injury-prone future. While injuries could happen at any time, there are no red flags in this player’s history to suggest it will lead to another one. Fantasy owners can feel safe in drafting these players.

Things to remember:

  1. The players listed are in the general order of how they’re being drafted.
  2. The level of confidence has to do with their health and nothing to do with their abilities on the field.
Ready to make the 2024 MLB season the best yet? Fantrax offers a fantasy baseball league for everyone. Want to get started right away? Then jump into a Best Ball League or a Draft and Hold. Maybe you have an existing league but want the most customizable fantasy baseball platform in existence? Then you definitely need to check out the Fantrax Commissioner! And of course, whether you play roto or points, you can head to the Fantrax Mock Draft Lobby to start your draft prep for the 2024 fantasy baseball season.

Injury Risk at First Base

Make sure to also check out our full Injury Risk Assessments for All Positions.

1. Freddie Freeman – Los Angeles Dodgers

The gold standard of health, Freeman led all first basemen with 730 plate appearances in 2023. Barring a COVID-19 trip to the Injured List, he hasn’t missed more than a day or two since 2017. He is as steady as they come and will get every day at-bats in Los Angeles. Draft with confidence.

2. Bryce Harper – Philadelphia Phillies

Harper’s injury history is one that some need a reminder of when assessing. While he missed some time from Tommy John Surgery recovery to start the 2023 season, he also has been on the Injured List in the past for a fractured thumb and an injured forearm. Additionally, earlier in his career, he injured himself many times, albeit most for a shortened timeframe. While he usually heals quickly, it’s worth noting too that he hasn’t accumulated more than 600 plate appearances since 2019. Still, at the end of the day, he usually heals quickly, plays through injury, and does so at an elite level. Draft with attention.

3. Matt Olson – Atlanta Braves

Olson had some difficulty staying healthy early in his career but has been a beacon of health ever since. He finished with the third most plate appearances in 2023 at first base while playing in all 162 games. He is one of the game’s best and healthiest hitters. Draft with confidence.

4. Pete Alonso – New York Mets

Alonso does have two trips to the Injured List in his brief career, but both were the result of getting hit by a pitch. He has remained quite healthy over his career and is a quick healer if he does get hurt. He did struggle last season after a surprisingly quick return from a wrist injury he sustained early in the season. Still, he is an elite first baseman who needs to be rostered and counted on. Draft with confidence.

5. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – Toronto Blue Jays

Guerrero has had close to 700 plate appearances in each of his past three seasons, getting everyday at-bats. He did have some pre-season knee injuries that possibly carried over into the regular season, but he didn’t miss much time at all. He’s been working on his body this offseason to try and improve his health. The hope is that this can carry itself over into 2024 and improve his output while keeping him on the field. Draft with confidence.

6. Cody Bellinger – Free Agent

Bellinger had an injury-riddled 2021 season where three different body parts required time on the Injured List. While the last two years have been much healthier, he did miss about one month this past season with a knee injury. His resurgence in 2023 should warrant him everyday at-bats in 2024, and it remains to be seen if his body can hold up for at least 600 plate appearances. Draft with attention.

7. Paul Goldschmidt – St. Louis Cardinals

Goldschmidt has been playing for over a decade and has been on the Injured List just once. In fact, since 2014, he has well over 600 plate appearances in every season that was shortened by the pandemic. He is a consistent presence in the lineup. Draft with confidence.

8. Christian Walker – Arizona Diamondbacks

Walker missed time with two trips to the Injured List in 2021. While normally that would be worrisome, oblique injuries that season were more common after the shortened 2020 season. Overall, he has remained quite healthy and a fixture in the Diamondbacks’ lineup. Draft with confidence.

9. Spencer Steer – Cincinnati Reds

Steer has shown the durability and versatility to play consistently around the diamond for the Reds. He had a scare with a minor knee injury to begin the season, but overall there doesn’t seem to be much to worry about here. His minor league track record looks filled with games played and opportunities to hit. Draft with confidence.

10. Triston Casas – Boston Red Sox

Casas broke out in a big way on the field this past season, but his momentum was cut short due to his shoulder bursitis. While he is expected to be ready for Spring Training, it’s still something to keep in mind. Going forward, he’s someone who should play every day and likely won’t be a hindrance concerning injuries. Draft with confidence.

11. Spencer Torkelson – Detroit Tigers

Torkelson finished with the fourth-highest amount of plate appearances among all first basemen in 2023. Since debuting a year prior, he has yet to miss a game due to an injury. He feels safe, but he has a long career in front of him with the chance for anything to happen. Draft with confidence.

12. Christian Encarnacion-Strand – Cincinnati Reds

Encarnacion-Strand has been relatively healthy throughout his shortened career. He had an injury scare midway through the season after getting hit by a pitch this past summer. He was able to avoid the Injured List altogether and return. Draft with confidence.

13. Josh Naylor – Cleveland Guardians

Despite his successful breakout in 2023, Naylor has quite an extensive injury history. While he recovered in 2022 from season-ending ankle surgery the year prior, he has missed games for minor ailments all over his body since then. He has yet to eclipse 500 plate appearances in a season after five years with the Guardians. One has to wonder if his stalky nature could continue to more injuries in the future. Draft with attention.

14. Yandy Díaz – Tampa Bay Rays

Díaz broke out in a big way in 2023, but his injury history is quite surprising. Over the past three seasons, he has had a lot of minor ailments on his track record. While none of them required a trip to the Injured List, he’s had a few injury scares that at the time seemed worrisome. How that will translate into future health remains to be seen, but it could eventually mean he’s bound to miss extended time. Draft with attention.

15. Salvador Pérez – Kansas City Royals

Pérez finished third among catchers with 580 plate appearances in 2023, but this was largely due to his change in position. He finished with 65% of his games as the team’s catcher and will carry first-base eligibility with him in 2024. While he only went to the Injured List once, he had several DTD designations with him for various ailments all over his body. He will be in his age-34 season next year, and those DTD designations may turn into trips to the Injured List. Draft with attention.

16. Alec Bohm – Philadelphia Phillies

Bohm has had one trip to the Injured List over his short career, and that was a minimum stay of ten days missed. He suffered a sore wrist while in the minor leagues, but it wasn’t anything significant. Other than that, he has been relatively healthy, even with everyday at-bats over the past two seasons. Draft with confidence.

17. Vinnie Pasquantino – Kansas City Royals

Pasquantino has had one injury over his two seasons with Kansas City. The unfortunate problem, however, is that he required surgery to fix that one problem one year after it first arrived. He missed most of the 2023 season with a torn labrum. He has said that he is fully recovered from this injury, so we should take him at his word, especially since his timeline to getting back to health has passed. That being said, this injury is something to remember, especially if he starts the season slowly at the plate. Draft with confidence.

18. Isaac Paredes – Tampa Bay Rays

Paredes is the second Rays player on this list to break out. His health is not concerning, despite missing one month of time two years ago with a strained hip. He will play as often as the Rays let him. Draft with confidence.

19. Nathaniel Lowe – Texas Rangers

Lowe finished second among all first basemen last season with 724 plate appearances. He rarely misses a game and has been healthy his entire career. His injury history is nonexistent. Draft with confidence.

20. Rhys Hoskins – Philadelphia Phillies

Hoskins has an extensive and worrisome injury history. Over the years he has missed extended time due to strained groin, and elbow injuries. He missed also all of the 2023 season with a torn ACL, though he himself said that he would have played had the Phillies advanced to the World Series. Next season he figures to be fully healthy and on a new team. Draft with attention.

21. Andrew Vaughn – Chicago White Sox

Vaughn had most of his injury problems during the 2021 season. It was here where he suffered injuries all over his body, but there wasn’t anything substantial to cost him a lot of time away. He is an everyday player for the White Sox and he increased his playing time every year while in the Major Leagues. He should continue this going forward. Draft with confidence.

22. Brandon Drury – Los Angeles Angels

Drury has been able to show somewhat of a resurgence in his career after hitting the age of 30. He has two consecutive seasons of production where he was able to accumulate close to 500 plate appearances in both years. He did miss time due to a bruised right shoulder but worked hard to return slightly earlier than expected. Draft with confidence.

23. Ryan Mountcastle – Baltimore Orioles

Mountcastle has at least 500 plate appearances in two of his last three seasons, but looking under the hood presents some worries. He has gone on the Injured List on four separate occasions in that timeframe for somewhat concerning injuries. He missed time for a concussion in 2021 and then for vertigo in 2023. While it hasn’t been proven in him specifically, vertigo is a post-concussion symptom, and that may have been what happened to him this past season. He is someone who should play in some capacity, though knowing when and for how long could be tricky to figure out. Draft with attention.

24. Jeimer Candelario – Cincinnati Reds

Candelario comes to the Reds this year with a moderate history of injuries. He has been on the Injured List on six separate occasions over his career for non-COVID reasons. While most of those incidents took place earlier in his career, he has missed time for injuries all over his body over the past three seasons. Additionally, he has just two seasons in his career where he has posted more than 600 plate appearances. Draft with attention.

25. Justin Turner – Boston Red Sox

Turner has had a long career, and it’s his recent seasons that have given fantasy owners the least amount of worry. At age 38 last season, he somehow did not make his way to the Injured List and played in 146 games. He’s no stranger to needing time off because of injuries, but for now, he seems healthy. That said, it’s only a matter of time before those daily bumps and bruises turn into extended absences because he’s getting close to retirement. The only real concern going forward is his age, which is why this will be a yellow light. Draft with attention.

For more of the great fantasy baseball rankings and analysis you’ve come to expect from FantraxHQ, check out our full 2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit! We’re here for you all the way up until Opening Day and then on into your championship run.

Fantrax is one of the fastest-growing fantasy sites in the fantasy sports industry, and we’re not stopping any time soon. We are the most customizable, easy-to-use, and feature-rich platform in the industry, offering the greatest fantasy experience for your dynasty, keeper, redraft, and best ball leagues. Fantasy sports doesn’t sleep, and neither does Fantrax, with seasons running 365 days a year. Take your fantasy leagues to the next level now at!
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.