Review/Preview: First Base Early Rankings

As free agency has now slowed to a near halt and the flurry of trading appears to be over, it is time to resume my early season reviews and previews with first base. As with the catchers previously, the first part of this article will be looking back at last year’s leaders both overall and in individual roto categories. These ranks should hopefully benefit those in leagues which do long slow drafts over a few months to get a leg up on their opposition as well as those people looking to lock in their 2015 keepers.

2014 Review: (Roto points are based on a scoring system I have devised and use in my own personal rankings. Points are according to CBS official website.)

ESPN Player Rater Roto Points
Player Rating Player Points Player Points
Victor Martinez 11.74 Jose Abreu 24 Jose Bautista 569
Jose Abreu 11.16 Jose Bautista 23 Victor Martinez 564
Jose Bautista 10.44 Victor Martinez 23 Miguel Cabrera 535
Miguel Cabrera 10.39 Miguel Cabrera 23 Albert Pujols 515
Todd Frazier 9.58 Todd Frazier 19 Jose Abreu 511
Anthony Rizzo 8.57 Albert Pujols 18 Adrian Gonzalez 487
Albert Pujols 8.47 Adrian Gonzalez 17 Anthony Rizzo 479
Adrian Gonzalez 8.19 Anthony Rizzo 17 Freddie Freeman 478
Buster Posey 7.76 Chris Carter 17 Todd Frazier 463
Edwin Encarnacion (EE) 7.74 EE 16 EE/David Ortiz 461


As you will see from the table above, eight players appear in all three lists. Unsurprisingly the powerful but free swinging Carter does not appear in the points due to his poor average and he also doesn’t appear in the ESPN player rater top 10 where there is less weighting on home runs than in my roto scoring.  On the points side, Freeman and Ortiz jump into the top ten when they weren’t present in either of the other lists; Freeman’s points total benefited from him having 600-plus AB’s and nearly 700 plate appearances, Ortiz, on the other hand, suffered in roto due to a lack of runs scored (59). The other name who appears one just on list is Posey but the fact he is even close to the top 10 as a first basemen shows just how good he is at catcher.

The 2014 roto category top 10’s

Runs Homeruns RBI Stolen Bases Average
Bautista 101 Carter 37 Gonzalez 116 Frazier 20 Martinez 0.335
Cabrera 101 Abreu 36 Cabrera 109 Holt 12 Lind 0.321
Freeman 93 Bautista 35 Abreu 107 Goldschmidt 9 Morneau 0.319
Pujols 89 Ortiz 35 Pujols 105 Alvarez 8 Abreu 0.317
Rizzo 89 EE 34 Ortiz 104 Headley 7 Cabrera 0.313
Frazier 88 Rizzo 32 Bautista 103 Bautista 6 Posey 0.311
Martinez 87 Martinez 32 Martinez 103 Medica 6 Lucroy 0.301
Gonzalez 83 Duda 30 EE 98 Alonso 6 Goldschmidt 0.300
Abreu 80 Frazier 29 Howard 95 Kelly 6 Van Slyke 0.297
Goldscmidt / EE 75 Pujols 28 Duda / LaRoche 92 7 players tied 5 Pearce 0.293


The main stand out points here are:

  • The appearance of Bautista in the top three overall and in the top 10 of four categories; Bautista will not be 1B eligible to start the season and is unlikely to earn eligibility early in the year.
  • Frazier hitting 29 homers and stealing 20 bases is extraordinary for a first baseman but Votto healthy for the full year could limit some of his time at first base meaning he could lose eligibility in future years (Keeper leagues take note)
  • Goldschmidt had just 400 AB’s compared to a preseason projected total of 550-600. In a full season 13-15 SB’s would have been possible and increased counting stats in the other categories
  • Cabrera is a monster at whatever position he’s eligible. However, he is currently injured and if this stretches into spring training it could affect his early season form. His injury could open the door to Martinez getting increased time at first base but this shouldn’t significantly increase his overall playing time as he figures to be there every day DH
  • If EE can stay healthy all year and reach 550 AB’s he will lead the position in home runs and potentially could reach the fabled 40 mark. The addition of Donaldson at 3B will help EE improve either in runs or RBI depending on the batting order. (The Blue Jays line-up feels stacked!)

My Early 2015 Rankings

  1. Goldschmidt, ARI
  2. Cabrera, DET
  3. Encarnacion, TOR
  4. Abreu, CWS
  5. Rizzo, CHC
  6. Freeman, ATL
  7. Frazier, CIN
  8. Martinez, DET
  9. Pujols, LAA
  10. Gonzalez, LAD
  11. Santana, CLE
  12. Votto, CIN
  13. Posey SF
  14. Davis, BAL
  15. Fielder, TEX
  16. Carter, HOU
  17. Adams, STL
  18. Trumbo, ARI
  19. Duda, NYM
  20. Zimmerman, WSH
  21. Hosmer, KC
  22. LaRoche, CWS
  23. Lucroy, MIL
  24. Belt, SF
  25. Moss, OAK

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