Many fantasy baseball owners will scoop up first basemen early in their draft and with good reason. First base is a position which traditionally will provide you with a big bat in your line up and is often a premier source of power, average, run production or all three. As a result, many owners will try to make sure they get a first baseman early in the draft or spend a good chunk of their budget bidding on a top tier first sacker for their roster.
However, some owners like to take a different approach to fantasy baseball first basemen and wait until the later rounds in the hopes of trying to snag a bargain, or fantasy baseball sleeper, as they are known. If you are looking for a fantasy sleeper for your first base roster position or simply are looking for a sleeper pick to add to your bench, these are some players worth considering:
Paul Goldschmidt (ARI) –
I’m usually averse to high strikeout hitters as the hemorrhaging batting average can cripple a fantasy team. However, 25-30 HR power is there and double digit stolen base numbers are not out of the question either. If you’ve got some strong batting average help in other areas, Goldschmidt may be a late-round bargain to boost your power numbers.
Gaby Sanchez (MIA) –
His 2011 season was a virtual carbon copy of his 2010 rookie campaign. That being said, players often experience a bump in their third season in the big leagues and Sanchez is already 28 years old. He projects to hit 6th in a pretty potent Miami line up and may just provide some nice numbers as a late round pick up.
Freddie Freeman (ATL) –
Many observers felt Freeman was capable of around 15 HR in his rookie season of 2011. He delivered a nice surprise by swatting 21 HR last year. As he starts to leverage his big frame (6’5”, 225 lbs), he may approach 25 HR in 2012. He has also shown the ability to hit for average and with no first basemen in the organization even close to challenging him for playing time, he should receive plenty of AB in 2012.
Kendrys Morales (LAA) –
Last time we heard from Morales, he was a solid .300/30/100 hitter and went by the name Kendry. A freak ankle injury has robbed him of the past season and a half. He has resumed hitting and jogging but his status for spring training is in question. With a stacked line up in Anaheim, there is a chance Morales could be traded. Wherever he ends up, Morales is nothing more than a late round gamble at this point. In other words, he’s got sleeper written all over him.
Ike Davis (NYM) –
The Mets are bringing in the fences for 2012 and Davis projects to hit cleanup. A season of 25 HR and 80-90 RBI is a real possibility. Throw in a solid batting average and you’ve got yourself a late round gem. There have been rumors of a possible trade but Davis’ ability to deliver power, run production and average will make his bat a valuable one regardless of where he plays. Watch him closely in spring training for any ill effects of last season’s injury. If all is well, consider him a bona fide sleeper.
Eric Hosmer (KC) –
Don’t be surprised if Hosmer hits 30 HR, 100 RBI with 15 SB in 2012. That puts him near the top 5 of the position. However, sophomores are almost always risky business in fantasy baseball so you might want to temper those expectations a little. He’ll hit out of the cleanup spot again in 2012, so if Hosmer is available in the mid rounds, grab him. He’s worth the gamble.
If you are one of those fantasy baseball owners who likes to wait until the later rounds looking for a fantasy sleeper pick, these first basemen may just give your roster the boost it needs to succeed in 2012. Good luck!
* Paul Goldschmidt photo by Mwinog2777 (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* Freddie Freeman photo by dbking on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC-BY-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
* Eric Hosmer photo by Keith Allison on Flickr [CC-BY-SA-2.0 (www.creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons