Fantasy Baseball Rankings 2011: Review of Preseason First Base Rankings

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 09: Joey Votto #19 of the Cincinnati Reds singles to score Dave Sappelt #17 of the Cincinnati Reds to tie the score 1-1 with the Colorado Rockies in the sixth inning at Coors Field on September 9, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Here is the second in the series where I review my preseason position rankings, and today I review my preseason First Base rankings that I posted back in early March here. First base appears to be a position where you get more consistent production that most other positions, i guess. Eight of my top twelve gave you very good production this season, although there were several guys, Kendry Morales, Adam Dunn and Justin Morneau who pretty much were droppable by midseason or earlier. due to injuries or one horrific season long slump from Dunn. Where did that come from? 

Onto my review of my 2011 preseason First Base Rankings:

1. Albert Pujols, STL-Pujols got off to a slow start in 2011 but ended the season putting up a solid triple slash line of .299-.366-.541 with 37 HRs, 99 RBI, 105 runs scored and 9 stolen bases. Not Pujolsian numbers, but still solid nonetheless. Couple areas of concern are that his ISO of .242 since 2007, and his SLG was the lowest of his Hall of Fame career. Actually, his SLG over the past 3 years are trending the wrong way:

2009-.658

2010- .596

2011- .541

2. Miguel Cabrera, DET- Miggy had the quietest .344-.448-.586 season ever, no? He lead all first baseman with a 7.3 WAR, which is pretty darn impressive when you look at all the excellent first baseman out there. Miggy disappointed in the power department slightly, as he hit 30 HRs, drove in 105 runs and scored 111 runs. All in all, a very good season from Cabrera, even with the power down a bit.

More Year End First Base Rankings after the jump:

3. Joey Votto, CIN-Votto put up another excellent season at the plate, hitting .309-.416-.531 with 29 HRs, 103 RBI, 101 runs and 9 SBs. This season makes the second straight year where Votto had 70+ extra base hits. Votto also had an incredible line drive rate of 27.5% which lead major league baseball. His HR/FB rate dropped from 25.0% to 18.2% in 2011, so I wonder if his 37 HRs in 2010 may have been a career year power-wise. 

4. Adrian Gonzalez, BOS-before the season started, many felt that with Gonzalez moving to a much better lineup and hitters park in Boston, he would put up monstrous numbers. He had an excellent season at the plate, hitting .338-.410-.548 with 27 HRs, 117 RBI and 108 runs scored. Gonzalez hit 16 HRs and drove in 71 runs through June 30th, but followed the excellent first three months by hitting just 11 HRs and driving in 46 runs from july 1st through September 28th.

5. Ryan Howard, PHI-Howard put up excellent power stats this season, but I was expecting a 40+ HR season from him this season. His triple slash line dropped to .253-.346-.488 with 33 HRs, 116 RBI and 81 runs scored. Ponder this ISO/SLG/HR trend when considering drafting Howard in 2012:

2006- .346/.659/58

2007- .316/.584/47

2008- .292/.543/48

2009- .292/.571/45

2010- .229/.505/31

2011- .235/.488/33

Some said, back in the preseason, that his drop in power in 2010 was a result of him being injured in August 2010, so what happened in 2011?

6. Mark Teixeira, NYY-what happened to the excellent batting averages from Mark Teixeira? Has he become consumed with sending Teix messages out of Yankee Stadium? Prior to joining the Yankees, his lowest BA was .259 in his rookie year with Texas. He followed that with seasons of .281, .301, .282, .306, and .292. You don't need to look further than his batted ball data to see that he is hitting more fly balls, but his HR/FB% in his 3 years playing for the Yankees have been 3 of the 4 lowest of his career

7. Prince Fielder, MIL-Fielder had his "on year" which many predicted. Fielder has been one to follow a very good year with a disappointing year at the plate. This season he put up MVP worthy stats, hitting .299-.415-.566 with 38 HRs, 120 RBI and 95 runs scored. Fielder walked more than he struck out for the first time in his career, and I wonder how his offseason contract compares to the contract Albert Pujols receives. Fielder is 4 years younger than Pujols and some teams may be willing to spend more on him since he is younger.

8. Kevin Youkilis, BOS-Youkilis had a down year at the plate, mainly due to injuries, as he hit just .258-.373-.459 with 17 HRs, 80 RBI and 68 runs scored. He has missed time due to injury in each of the last three seasons, and is now playing a more demanding position, so one has to wonder if he will be plagued with injuries going forward. He lost first base eligibility this season, so will only be drafted as a third baseman in 2012.

9. Paul Konerko, CHW- Konerko had another solid season at the plate in 2011, and many predicted a down year from him. Konerko was one of the few White Sox to perform well this season. Konerko hit .300-.388-.517 with 30 HRs, 105 RBI, but just 69 runs scored. Konerko will have first base and DH eligibility in 2012.

10. Adam Dunn, CHW-what the? What happened to Adam Dunn? Did he age 10 years in 2011? I, like many, felt that his move to U.S. Cellular Field this year would result in a few more home runs, but it appeared that he did not warm to the idea of being a full-time DH in 2011. Dunn hit an abysmal .159-.292-.277 with 11 HRs, 42 RBI and 36 runs scored this season, after hitting 38 home runs in 7 consecutive seasons in Cincinnati. He struck out in just under 36% of his at bats this season, by far his worst K% of his career. Dunn could be enormously profitable for fantasy owners in 2012, as he easily could return to the 38 HR hitting DH, as he will probably be a very late round pick.

11. Kendrys Morales, LAA-Morales did not play this season, so this was a terrible ranking, but I did say the ranking was assuming good health:

11. Kendry Morales, LAA-Morales will forever be known for tearing up his knee in a post game celebration as he pounced on home plate after hitting a walk-off HR. And now, he may start the season on the DL as he hasn't played in a spring training game yet, and can't run the bases yet. Morales was having an excellent season before injuring his knee, as he was hitting .290-.346-.487 with 11 HRs, 39 RBIs and 29 runs scored in 193 ABs. If healthy, Morales could go 30-100 this year, but as of now, we don't even know when he will play.

He was definitely a risky pick on draft day 2011. Heading into 2012, we still don't know how healthy he is, but the Angels certainly missed his bat in the lineup this season.

12. Justin Morneau, MIN-Morneau suffered from post-concussion syndrome and other injuries this season and struggled at the plate. Here is what I wrote in my preseason first base rankings last March:

12. Justin Morneau, MIN-Morneau missed alot of time in 2010 due to post-concussion syndrome, and there is no timetable for his spring training debut as of today. In 2010, when healthy, he hit .345-.437-.618 with 18 HRs and 56 RBIs in less than 300 ABs. He could drop out of the Top 12 should he not play in spring training and begin the season on the DL.

Morneau hit just ,227-.285-.333 with 4 HRs, 30 RBI and 19 runs scored in just 264 at bats this season. Even if he is healthy, and we will need more on his health come draft day, Target Field will suppress his power numbers, so he is nothing more than a late round pick in 2012.

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