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Yesterday, I reviewed my Top 25 Fantasy First Baseman for 2012 in Part 1. There were some hits and there were some misses as well.
Today, in Part 2, I will review my 26 - 50 ranked first baseman. Most leagues I participate in are either 10 or 12 team leagues, but there are plenty of deeper leagues out there (16-20 team leagues) that benefit from rankings this deep.
As I stated in yesterday's article, there are a few first baseman that I ranked in the 26-50 range who will make my Top 25 rankings for 2013. Let's take a look at my 2012 fantasy first baseman ranked in the 26-50 range. I will make comments on a few of the guys who will have value in 2013.
26. Edwin Encarnacion, TOR
Well, E5 finally had his breakout, huh? That was some breakout. After years of projecting a 30 home run season from Encarnacion, he finally did it. Encarnacion finished the season hitting .28-.384-.557 with 42 HRs, 93 runs, 110 RBI and 13 stolen bases. His power and walk rate jumped in a big way, while his strikeout rate remained constant. Has he replaced Jose Bautista as the next big time power hitter in the American League, or was his 2012 season a fluke? He will be ranked pretty high in my 2013 first base rankings.
27. Carlos Pena, TB
Pena won't be ranked in my Top 25 first base rankings for 2013, and I wonder where he will call home next year. He's a 34 year old who saw his strikeout rate hit the 30% level, and his walk rate and power drop this season. His power has dropped from .237 ISO in 2011 to just .157 ISO this season.
28. Adam Laroche, WAS
Who expected this kind of production from LaRoche this season? I obviously did not. It seemed like every time I looked at a Nationals boxscore, he was driving in a few runs or knocking the ball out of the park. LaRoche hit .271-.343-.510 with 33 HRs, 76 runs and 100 RBI this season. LaRoche is a free agent this season and I wonder if the Pirates will look to bring him back to man first base and provide some pop in the middle of their lineup this offseason. He makes sense for the Rays as well.
29. James Loney, LAD
Loney may have a hard time finding a job this offseason. I imagine he will find a job somewhere, but would be shocked if it is as a starter.
30. Todd Helton, COL
Helton is just riding out his contract, which at this point has been a bad one for several years. It's ashame because I can remember when he was a first round pick in fantasy drafts.
31. Mark Trumbo, LAA
Trumbo proved that the power he put on display in 2011 was real, as he hit .268-.317-.491 with 32 HRs, 66 runs and 95 RBI this season. Trumbo will again be first base eligible for 2013 drafts, so he has a bit more value for fantasy owners.
32. Adam Dunn, CHW
Dunn showed that his horrendous 2011 season was a fluke, as his power returned to normal Dunn-like levels this season. Dunn has never hit for a high batting average, and he didn't this season either, but he did hit 41 HRs, score 87 runs and drive in 96. He hits in a hitter-friendly stadium in Chicago, so he should be able to approach the 40 home run level again in 2013.
33. Mitch Moreland, TEX
Moreland may not have a full time job in 2013, as the Rangers will more than likely be looking for ways to replace the power they will lose when Josh Hamilton signs elsewhere before the holidays. Moreland his .275-.321-.468 with 15 HRs, 41 runs and 50 RBI this season, but that won't cut it for much longer.
34. Bryan LaHair, CHC
LaHair started the 2012 season on fire, hitting .390 with 5 HRs and 14 RBI in April, then hit 5 more home runs in May, but only hit 6 home runs the rest of the season. He finished his rookie year hitting .259-.334-.450 with 16 HRs, 42 runs and 40 RBI in 340 at bats. i am interested to see if he will fit into the Cubs plans in 2013 and beyond.
35. Garrett Jones, PIT
Jones had his best year of his career in 2012, hitting .274-.317-.516 with 27 HRs, 68 runs and 86 RBI in 475 at bats. I am not sure how much he fits into the Pirates plans going forward, but he figures to be a decent pick in NL-only leagues and a waiver wire pick up in mixed leagues in 2013.
36. Mat Gamel, MIL
Gamel is not rosterable in mixed or NL-only leagues as he doesn't really have a position in Milwaukee with Aramis Ramirez entrenched at third base and Corey Hart manning first base.
37. Brandon Belt, SFG
Belt is a guy I think could have a breakout season in 2013. He may not be drafted in mixed leagues, but is definitely rosterable in NL-only leagues as long as he has a starting job in San Francisco. Belt hit .275-.360-.421 with 7 HRs, 47 runs, 56 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 2012. He hits a ton of line drives (25.6%) and hits the ball on the ground at an acceptable 37.9% clip. I think his 6.2% HR/FB rate will improve in 2013 leading to a bit more pop.
38. Aubrey Huff, SFG
Huff is not draftable in 2013.
39. Casey McGehee, PIT
See Aubrey Huff.
40. Kendrys Morales, LAA
Morales made 28 appearances at first base in 2012, so he maintains his eligibility there for 2013. Morales hit .273-.320-.467 with 22 HRs, 61 runs and 73 RBI this season, and I look for him to improve upon that production in 2013. Morales performed very well for someone who missed almost two seasons with a leg injury.
41. Casey Kotchman, TB
See Aubrey Huff.
42. Daniel Murphy, NYM
Murphy is draftable in deeper NL-only leagues.
43. Anthony Rizzo, CHC
Rizzo is draftable everywhere. Rizzo hit well in his second taste of big league pitching, as he triple slashed .285-.342-.463 with 15 HRs, 44 runs and 48 RBI in 337 at bats this season. What's really impressive about his performance is the low 16.85 strikeout rate and decent 7.3% walk rate. I see him in the latter half of my top 25 fantasy first baseman for 2013.
44. Mike Carp, SEA
Carp is draftable in deeper AL-only leagues.
45. Ty Wigginton, PHI
Ty Wigginton is draftable in deeper NL-only leagues.
46. John Mayberry, PHI
Mayberry was a popular sleeper pick heading into 2012 drafts, but was a bit of a disappointment as he didn't play as much as we all thought he would back in March. Mayberry hit .245-.301-.395 with 14 HRs, 53 runs and 46 RBI in 441 at bats. He could be used as a platoon with Ryan Howard in 2013, but he won't get more than 350 at bats.
47. Justin Morneau, MIN
Morneau is a candidate for AL Comeback Player of the Year as he had a very good 2012 season considering what he has been through. Morneau hit .267-.333-.440 with 19 HRs, 63 runs and 77 RBI in 505 at bats. He showed flashes of his former self in July and August where he hit .315 and .314 respectively, and I can see him building on his performance in 2013.
48. Chris Parmelee, MIN
Parmalee has shown that he can tear up AAA pitching, but still needs some work at the big league level. He made 38 appearances at first base and 19 in the outfield this season, so he has position flexibility for leagues that don't require 20 games at a position.
49. Brett Wallace, HOU
I wonder if Wallace has finally figured things out at the big league level in 2012. He didn't tear things up, but he hit well in August before slumping in September. In his 229 at bats, Wallace hit .253-.323-.424 with 9 HRs, 24 runs and 24 RBI. He got most of his starts at first base this season, but also filled in at third base for 8 games as well. The Astros are a young team so Wallace could get plenty of at bats in 2013.
50. Juan Rivera, LAD
Rivera is not draftable in 2013.