September 7, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Prince Fielder (28) hits a solo home run in the first inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
I am taking a break from the Roto Roundup pieces for a few days, maybe longer. With the MLB and fantasy season winding down, I am going to start posting my early 2013 position rankings. These rankings will be just the rankings with a few comments about some of the players.
Once the season is over, we will begin our annual review of our Preseason Position Rankings. Once those are complete, we will post our Position Rankings with detailed commentary on each player ranked. Yes, the offseason will be busy for us, but it is a long offseason, and it helps us get through the offseason just a little bit quicker.
In addition to our MLB Position Rankings, we will also be ranking our annual Prospect Position Rankings, which will be loads of fun.
My early look at the Top 20 First Baseman for 2013 is after the jump:
My Top 20 First Baseman for 2013:
1. Joey Votto, CIN
2. Prince Fielder, DET
3. Albert Pujols, LAA
4. Adrian Gonzalez, LAD
5. Allen Craig, STL
6. Edwin Encarnacion, TOR
7. Ryan Howard, PHI
8. Mark Teixeira, NYY
9. Eric Hosmer, KC
10. Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
11. Paul Konerko, CHW
12. Anthony Rizzo, CHC
13. Adam Laroche, WAS
14. Brandon Belt, SFG
15. Freddie Freeman, ATL
16. Adam Dunn, CHW
17. Corey Hart, MIL
18. Michael Cuddyer, COL
19. Justin Morneau, MIN
20 Garrett Jones, PIT
I have to say that I am a little reluctant to rank Reds first baseman Joey Votto at No.1 in my First Base Rankings, as the power drop this season has me concerned. But, he is probably THE best hitter in the game, and is a year removed from 29 HRs, 100+ runs and 100+ RBI. I see the power returning in 2013, with a chance to exceed 30 HRs assuming he can stay healthy.
What kind of numbers can Cardinals first baseman Allen Craig put up playing every day in 2013? Right now, he is hitting .306-.360-.541 with 20 HRs, 68 runs and 74 RBI in 374 at bats this season. Can he put up a 30 home run, 100 RBI season? I think he can, as he has hit over .300 in 574 at bats over the last 2 seasons, with 31 home runs and 114 RBI. Yes, that is Top 5 for me.
I thought about dropping Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez to the 6th spot in the rankings, and still might before posting my in-depth profile rankings. Gonzalez started the season struggling at the plate, and has had a bad year in the power department, but is still hitting .293-.340-.459 with 16 HRs, 67 runs and 96 RBI. I think the move back to the NL will help him in 2013, and we should see more power from him as a result.
I am still high on Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, thus the Top 10 ranking for him. Like AGonz, he struggled to start the season, hitting just .188 and .218 in the first two months of the season, but has hit .270 or better in 3 of the last 4 months. If the power returns, he should earn a Top 10 ranking, as he is a better hitter than he has shown this season. Plus, he will steal double digit bags for you.
If there is anyone on this list who could put up an Edwin Encarnacion-like breakout, it is Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt. Goldschmidt has performed very well in his first taste of the big leagues in 2012, hitting .288-.358-.501 with 18 HRs, 67 runs 69 RBI and 15 stolen bases in 450 at bats. He has the power to hit 30+ home runs in 2013, and the double digit stolen bases are very valuable for a first baseman.
I am excited to see what Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo will do in his first full big league season in 2013. He is hitting well in his first 250 at bats this season, with 12 HRs and 34 RBI, so a 25 HR-90 RBI season is realistic in 2013.