Fantasy Preview: 1st Base

Spring training games have already started which means Opening Day is close. Another season that is currently getting under-way is Fantasy Baseball. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll write up my position-by-position preview to help prepare you for the pursuit of the ever important bragging rights. First on the list are the first basemen, led by superstar Albert Pujols. 

The Elite:

  1. Albert Pujols STL- He continues to build on an already legendary career as his HR, RBIs, and SLG have all increased each of the past three years.
  2. Mark Teixeira NYY- Teixeira impressed in his first year with the Yanks. 100-plus runs and 100-plus RBIs are a near lock with his career .923 OPS.
  3. Miguel Cabrera DET- The Johnny Damon acquisition should only give Cabrera more chances to drive in runs.
  • In the running: Adrian Gonzalez SD, Ryan Howard PHI, Prince Fielder MIL

Sleepers:

  1. James Loney LAD- He is often forgot about due to low HR totals, but in his 4 year career Loney has a .295 AVG and two 90 RBI seasons. If his power comes through, Loney will becom a very valuable player.
  2. Billy Butler KC- Playing in the spacious Kauffman Stadium doesn’t help his power production, but KC’s lineup is improved and he showed progress last year.
  3. Adam LaRoche ARI- LaRoche will be available late in the draft and is someone you shouldn’t forget about. He’ll put up his usual 35 doubles, 25 HR, and 85 RBIs.

Caution:

  1. Garrett Atkins BAL- Atkins will play first base in Baltimore but has been in a steady decline for three years. He bottomed out in ’09 with 9 HR and a .226 AVG.
  2. Garrett Jones PIT- Jones came on strong as a rookie and even had some ROY consideration. I expect him to come back down to earth after his stunning .938 OPS in ’09. Jones’ strikeout rate is also unfavorable.
  3. Lance Berkman HOU- Something must be in the water in Houston as Berkman and Roy Oswalt are already talking retirement. Berkman’s 2009 was below expectations and he seems to have lost his edge at the plate. He won’t be horrible but he is no longer a first tier first baseman.  
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