SGE Fantasy Baseball Preview: First Base
Ironic that this post is about first basemen and before I jump into breaking down that position, I need to first apologize for lying to about having this post up and ready for yesterday. Rudy J and myself got into a heated debate that lead to a texting war filled with stats about the breakout year in the catcher position. I couldn’t argue with his pick of Oakland Athletics Kurt Suzuki’s ability to steal a base or eight or that he possibly could be go for under double digits in the money department. He made some very valid points on Suzuki but I still have to ride with Mike Napoli and the his potential to drive in more RBI’s. But enough about our bickering and let’s get to previewing the first base position since we are now only 18 days away from Opening Day.
The first base position has an abundance of talent here that will help you even if your playing just a National League or American League fantasy league. Home runs, RBI’s, average, on base percentage, even strikeouts can be found here with the only thing not found is stolen bases.
Although numerous talent can be found at this position, I wouldn’t advise on letting to many of the premier players come off the draft boards. Now if you end up with New York Yankees Nick Johnson or Philadelphia Phillies Ross Gload as your starting first basemen, then I don’t think fantasy baseball is for you.
Moving into the rankings your roster will never go wrong with National League MVP Albert Pujols, Phillies Ryan Howard, Milwaukee Brewers Prince Fielder or Yankees Mark Teixeira but lets go deeper. If you happen to be the lucky one to posses the very first pick overall there’s really no going wrong selecting any of these four, I would go in the order listed though.
Breakout Player: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
- I can already hear people saying how can Cabrera be the breakout player but stay with me. Major League Baseball fans and fantasy owners already know Cabrera is one of the most consistent players in the game. With his admission that he quit drinking which effected him last season and losing 15 pounds all the while coming into that prime baseball age of 26-years-old, I see him making the jump into the elite. I’m talking about his first season in the 40 home run department, 130-140 RBI season, while still collecting 200 hits and a .330 average. He’s ready for Tiger fans to stop whispering about how much money they are giving him and start rejoicing. Cabrera might cost a pretty penny but in 2010 he wont let you down.
Sleeper Player: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
- I know some of you will look at this pick and say that’s who you would have chosen as your breakout player. Remember though your going to be in a draft with some people that just look at numbers and don’t remember or didn’t see that his number took a hit because the man struggled with depression in May and June. Not to mention he missed some time in August with blurred vision. So it’s safe to safe Votto had an up-and-down season on and off the field. Take a look at his September run when he bounced back with a .385 average, 5 home runs in just 30 games. Votto is just as much of a key part of that Reds young core as Jay Bruce.
Risky Player: James Loney, Los Angeles Dodgers
- I speak from experience with Loney, he will make contact and surprise you with his 150 plus hits but that’s all he can do. Every year I look for a young player or two to take on as a project, leaving him on the bench however keeping an eye on him everyday and it’s resulted in some of the most fun I’ve had is with my project players. I’ve had Loney three years now and this will not be a fourth. The first year came out of necessity and he showed me a lot of promise for me to draft him the following year in the 25th round. That was the year I noticed he could hit however there was no power behind it. Thinking it was just the progression a player goes through and it would change in year three, I came to be sadly mistaken as I watched him display the same skill all over again in 158 games. Compound that with Loney having the strange problem in 2009 of hitting .251, 1 home run and 36 RBI’s in 79 games at home but hit .309, 12 home runs and 54 RBI’s on the road in the same amount of games.
Slipping Player: Lyle Overbay, Toronto Blue Jays
- Over the last two seasons, Overbay has developed a serious problem hitting against lefties. Through 2007, he had a career mark of .283 against right-handed pitchers and .285 against left-handed pitchers. Since then though Overbay has hit .287 against righties and .206 against lefties that has him now only starting against right handed starters. The trend doesn’t look to turn around as he is 33-years-old and plays in the American League East a division with some top notch left-handed pitching.
Be sure to come back tomorrow for the preview of second base, no lie this time it will be up.