First base is an exceedingly deep position with little room at the top. With so much talent it isn't the ideal position to be gambling on an unknown, however, in deeper leagues it could prove invaluable to snag a sleeper before your opposition. Here are a few one sackers who could outperform their draft day price.
Dan Johnson - It looks like Johnson may have the inside track on the Rays first base job making him a supreme breakout candidate. BABIP has not been his friend otherwise he may have had a starting role in the majors sooner. He has light tower power as evidenced by his 30 HR in 98 AAA games last year. He is also in possession of one of the better eyes in the game, walking in nearly 18% of his plate appearances last year. He will probably hit in the bottom half of the Rays lineup which will limit his run production but if he gets hot he could easily move up and take up the role left by Carlos Pena. If you're looking for a cheap gamble with 30 HR upside Johnson is your man.
more after the jump...
Billy Butler - Butler is already an established fantasy talent but has only scratched the surface of his potential. An excellent contact hitter he has yet to produce the power numbers his 6'1" 240 lbs frame forecasts. Still only 25 he is primed for a power surge and will get a boost from the arrival of Moustakas, Hosmer, and Myers in the coming years. 2011 could be the year he gives you 25 HR, .300 AVG, 100 RBI.
Kila Ka'aihue - Having been aware of Ka'aihue for a few years now thanks to the endless hours spent playing Baseball Mogul I am hoping to see my imaginary stud turn it into real life success. A power hitter with an excellent eye, all that is missing is the at-bats. The Royals are reluctant to hand him everyday ABs at first/DH but if they do he could reward them with 25 HR, .265 AVG and 80+ BB.
Justin Smoak - The hype train has fallen off the tracks for Smoak meaning this could be the perfect time to hop aboard. Lady luck left him last year and took his cat with her but hopefully in 2011 she'll return and everything will be forgiven. Smoak showed flashes of why he was such a ballyhooed prospect last year with his plus plus eye and plus power. He may not be a star this year but so long as he doesn't tell lady luck she looks a little fat in that dress he should be fine. Hitting in the Mariners lineup at Safeco will bring the power numbers down and hurt his chances at attaining the "Next Teixeira" label placed on him.
Mitch Moreland - Coming out of obscurity to claim the Rangers starting first base job, Moreland could be a solid pick-up in deeper leagues. I'm less optomistic about Moreland than most but I can't deny what I saw at the end of last season. He doesn't profile as a 30 HR hitter nor does he look like a .300 hitter. He doesn't strike out often and has a nice approach at the plate. He should be good for 20 HR and a .270+ AVG.
Ike Davis - I was skeptical of Davis being a fantasy impact when he came up but he performed nicely and showed signs of promise. He stormed through the Mets minor league system and didn't struggle as many rushed players do. Batting Average looks like his main obstacle to success as he swings and misses too often. The power is still developing and he looks like he could have a 30 HR season or two sometime in his career. Don't expect 2011 to be one of those years but if he continues to improve like he has he could give you 25 HR, .265 AVG and 85 RBI.