It is often said that you cannot win your fantasy baseball league without a premier player manning first base on your roster. While this may not be entirely true, you may want to consider utilizing a top pick (or keeper slot) on an elite first baseman to solidify your roster. Whether you are in a dynasty league and trying to determine your 2012 fantasy baseball keepers or just trying to get a jump on your 2012 fantasy draft, first base is a very important position. In order to determine the best value at the position, let’s consider the top ten fantasy first basemen for the 2012 season:
1) Albert Pujols (STL) –
A free agent, Pujols could stay in St. Louis or land in any number of places (the Cubs are a rumoured destination). Regardless of where he plays, Pujols is the best pure hitter of his generation. Heal and ankle issues continue to plague him, but he is still the class of the position.
2) Miguel Cabrera (DET) –
Power (30 HR), run production (111 R, 105 RBI) and average (.344). What more could a fantasy owner ask for? Miggy even played through an arm muscle injury in the 2011 playoffs delivering 2 HR in his final game. He is the definition of a ‘fantasy stud’.
3) Joey Votto (CIN) –
The 2010 NL MVP repeated his triple digit stats in runs and RBI in 2011 while continuing to deliver a stellar batting average (.309). Although Great American Ball Park tends to inflate some offensive stats, Votto once again proved his worth by excelling on the road. He also set a career high with 599 at bats.
4) Adrian Gonzalez (BOS) –
Finally escaping the confines of Petco Park, Gonzalez made a case for himself as AL MVP with a slash line of .338/.410/.548. With 77 RBI in the first half, “A-Gone” proved he is a force to be reckoned with in the Junior Circuit.
5) Prince Fielder (MIL) –
With the big spenders set at first base, it will be interesting to see where Fielder, a free agent in 2012, ends up playing. Weight and endurance issues are cause for concern in the near future but for now, Fielder delivers a combination of power and patience reminiscent of Frank Thomas in his prime.
6) Mark Teixeira (NYY) –
As well-conditioned as they come, Teixeira’s power and run production have remained consistent. His average however, has slipped for 3 straight seasons with the Yankees. Although patient for a power hitter, “Tex” needs to get his batting average back to hovering around .300 to elevate himself to the top of the position.
7) Paul Konerko (CWS) –
Often undervalued, Konerko continues to put up solid offensive stats. In a season in which his teammates struggled, the White Sox first baseman battled through a calf injury which hampered him in the final 2 months of 2011. Expect him to be back to full strength in 2012.
8) Gaby Sanchez (FLA) –
After a solid 2010 rookie year which saw him net 85 RBI, Sanchez regressed somewhat in an up-and-down 2011 campaign. The subject of trade rumours, he could be in a line up which includes slugger Mike Stanton or find himself elsewhere in 2011. Either way, he is due for a bounce back season.
9) Michael Young (TEX) –
Getting displaced defensively from third to first base had no real effect on Young who delivered another solid year with 213 hits (and a .338 BA). He’s done this before, with 200+ hits each season from 2003-2007, so it is fair to assume more of the same. Young provides a superb average and run production even if his home run totals tend to fluctuate.
10)Eric Hosmer (KC) –
Hosmer’s productive bat drove Billy Butler to the DH role and Kila Ka’aihue to the Athletics via a trade. The Royal’s rookie proved more than ready for big league pitching ahead of schedule and should be a mainstay in a resurgent KC batting order for years to come.
When considering fantasy baseball first basemen for 2012, these ten players should definitely be taken into account. Consider it “first aid” for your fantasy team.
- Albert Pujols photo by Djh57 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or GFDL (www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Adrian Gonzalez photo by Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "20110428-0052") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
- Paul Konerko photo by Keith Allison on Flickr (Originally posted to Flickr as "Paul Konerko") [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons