With Pujols, Votto and Cabrera at the top of the rankings it takes something special to breakout at first base. Below are a few players who most likely won't be joining the game's elite at the position but could surprise a few by becoming useful in fantasy this year. Most of the players listed below are best left for AL/NL only leagues.
Matt Laporta - The 30 HR potential some saw in him is fading faster than a Mickey Mantle rookie card left in the sun. He should have the starting job to himself this year and will need to show he's not a flop. Nobody is going to reach for him on draft day so he should be readily available and could perform above replacement level in deeper leagues and AL-only formats. 30 HR is still possible but a long shot. Pick him up if you're ok with 20 HR and a .260 AVG. Few owners are.
More after the jump...
Brett Wallace - The Walrus is as traveled as Johnny Cash after being traded more often than wives at a swingers convention. Wallace makes good contact and will have a solid AVG as a result. The power remains a mystery. He has shown flashes of itand his stalky frame suggests there could be more to come. He could be a sneaky source of AVG but don't expect more than 20 HR.
Freddie Freeman - Freeman is going to have a fine rookie campaign so you could argue that he belongs in the regular breakout post. However, he is heading into drafts with a lot of fanfare so you will probably have to overpay for the production you get out of him. He's a better fit for keeper leagues as his true breakout (30 HR .300 AVG) is still a few years away.
Daric Barton - An OBP specialist, Barton provides more value to the A's than your fantasy team. There remains room for improvement with his AVG and he could even add a few HR. He will have to figure out how to get the ball out of McAfee Coliseum first as he hit only one dinger there last year. An improved A's lineup should provide more R/RBI opportunities and he could approach 15 HR. If your league counts OBP or OPS he could be a bargain if he improves his AVG and power.
Juan Miranda - I usually keep an eye on former Yankees prospects. The Yankees have one of the best scouting departments so they usually have top minor league talent but due to the lack of opportunity they usually get shipped out of town. Miranda will get his first stab at a starting job in Arizona and could put together a strong year. He has a similar skill set to former Diamondbacks first baseman Adam Laroche so it's possible he could put up similar numbers in the desert. He will have to earn a higher spot in the batting order so the RBI totals probably won't reach the heights achieved by Laroche. Miranda should be good for 20+ HR and a .275 AVG if he sticks in Arizona. With Brandon Allen nipping at his heels he will have to play well to stay in the limeup.