2013 Midseason Position Rankings: First Base

Greg Fiume

Alex Kantecki takes a look at the Fake Teams' consensus rankings at first base for the second half, including some surprises and disappointments at the position.

On Monday, Ray kicked things off and released the top-20 catchers in the Fake Teams Midseason Position Rankings. Today, I take a look at the consensus rankings at first base, historically one of the deepest positions in fantasy baseball.

Last season, we saw some of the usual suspects at the top, with Miguel Cabrera (no longer first base eligible), Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols all finishing in the top six, along with a few surprises in the top 10, including Edwin Encarnacion (2), Buster Posey (4), Billy Butler (5) and Paul Goldschmidt (7). Last year, Crush Davis was simply called Chris Davis and finished outside of the top 10 with 33 home runs. He wouldn't have made it to 30 if not for a crazy hot finish of seven home runs in his final seven games. At the halfway mark of 2013, he's already launched 37 bombs. Wow.

Here are the top-20 first basemen for the second half, along with some of my thoughts after the table:

Rank

Name

Ray

Jason

Zack

Kevin

Daniel

Alex

Dan S.

Avg

1

Chris Davis

1

1

1

1

4

1

3

142

2

Joey Votto

2

2

2

4

1

3

2

138

3

Paul Goldschmidt

4

3

2

2

3

2

1

137

4

Prince Fielder

3

4

4

5

2

5

4

127

5

Edwin Encarnacion

5

6

5

6

5

4

5

118

6

Allen Craig

6

7

10

3

8

6

6

108

7

Adrian Gonzalez

7

5

8

8

6

7

9

104

8

Freddie Freeman

8

13

7

7

13

12

8

86

9

Albert Pujols

15

8

6

12

7

10

10

86

10

Buster Posey

10

10

9

9

9

11

73

11

Eric Hosmer

9

12

17

9

10

13

16

68

12

Michael Cuddyer

16

14

11

10

12

11

13

67

13

Anthony Rizzo

14

11

13

19

14

14

15

54

14

Mark Trumbo

13

9

16

20

8

12

53

15

Billy Butler

12

16

12

13

20

20

17

44

16

Adam LaRoche

17

15

11

19

18

28

17

David Ortiz

11

17

7

27

18

Adam Lind

19

15

14

17

20

19

Matt Carpenter

19

18

15

14

19

20

Joe Mauer

20

11

18

13

Chris Davis, Joey Votto, Paul Goldschmidt

It's no surprise to see Davis at the top after his historic first half. With 37 home runs already, Davis is on pace to break the American League home run record of 61, set by Roger Maris in 1961. He has a great shot, even if he does partially credit ex-Cubs outfielder Brant Brown with his power swing. It does surprise me to see Votto ahead of Goldschmidt in the rankings. Goldschmidt has more power and a huge speed edge, so I'm taking Goldy all day. Only one point separates them in the rankings, however, so it's really no biggie.

Allen Craig, Freddie Freeman

I ranked Craig No. 6 and Freeman No. 12, but, on second thought, I think they are actually closer (and the consensus rankings above reflect it). Craig and Freeman are nearly identical in the power numbers -- Craig has 10 home runs and a .161 ISO, while Freeman has nine home runs and a .160 ISO (in roughly 30 fewer at-bats). Both should knock in 100-plus and contribute a healthy batting average. Craig is still the preferred option (better BA and outfield eligibility), but Freeman isn't far behind. And he gives free hugs.

Albert Pujols

I felt naughty ranking Pujols No. 10 after he was my No. 3 first baseman in the preseason, but the former slam-dunk No. 1 pick is no longer an obvious choice. Ray ranked him the lowest at No. 15, and his thoughts on the declining slugger can be read here (link). I still hold out hope that his strong finish in 2012 can repeat itself in 2013, but Pujols is on his way to his first non-30 homer season since...NEVER! He's hit 30-plus home runs in 12 straight seasons.

Eric Hosmer

Without a strong June, Hosmer might not even be found in these rankings. He hit .303/.347/.541 in June with six home runs and 21 RBIs after hitting just one home run in the first two months. He also stole four bags in June and is up to seven on the year. It certainly looks like 15/15 is well within reach, and his .285 batting average is welcomed back after batting .232 in 2012. I'm buying.

David Ortiz

If David Ortiz is first base eligible in your league, then he's probably a lot higher than the No. 17 first baseman, as our rankings indicate. Four of the seven rankers, including myself, didn't bother ranking Ortiz, who is DH-only eligible in most leagues. With 19 home runs and 65 RBIs at the midway point, he has a legit shot of 30/100, and, at age 37, he's still one of the most feared batters in the game today. He'd be in my top 10 at first base if eligible.

Billy Butler

I'm fortunate not to own Billy Butler anywhere, but I really liked him in the preseason. After years of underwhelming production in Kansas City, Butler broke out in 2012 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs -- both career highs -- and looked like an MVP candidate for the Royals. This year, he's back to being boring Billy with eight home runs and 49 RBIs. Making matters worse, Butler's batting average is down (.271 in 2013; .297 career). This is definitely a buy low worth exploring, but after a strong June (.323 BA), he's slumping to start July (.212 BA).

More from Fake Teams:

Alex Kantecki is a fantasy baseball writer for Fake Teams. He also writes the "Closer Chronicle" for Vigilante Baseball every Thursday, ranking and tiering all 30 MLB closers. You can follow Alex on Twitter at @rotodealer.

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