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Fantasy Baseball: 2015 Consensus First Base Rankings - Part 2

Here is part 2 of our consensus fantasy first base rankings for 2015. Check out our thoughts on the first baseman ranked 16-30.

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Alex Kantecki opened First Base week here at Fake Teams with the landscape of the position for fantasy purposes on Monday morning, followed by part 1 of our Top 30 First Base Rankings for 2015. Now we bring you part 2 of our consensus fantasy first base rankings for 2015. We used a points system for each of the 30 first baseman ranked by each of the Fake Teams writers who participated in the consensus rankings series.

You can find part 1 of our Top 30 Fantasy First Baseman below:

Top 30 First Baseman for 2015 - part 1

The writers who participated in this series are:

Ray Guilfoyle

Jason Hunt

Rob Parker

Brian Creagh

Timmy Kennedy

Daniel Kelley

Jack Cecil

Nick Doran

Alex Kantecki

Timothy Finnegan

We feel that providing you our consensus position rankings, you get an average ranking from the Fake Teams writers, rather than one writers' opinion, which inherently includes some biases. You will see some players ranked higher by one Fake Teams writer than the others, so this helps the reader see both sides of the argument for/against a certain player who might be getting too much love this offseason.

Each of the position rankings will be split into two parts, rankings and player profiles for first baseman ranked 1 - 15 in part 1, and rankings and player profiles for first baseman ranked 16 - 30 in part 2 to be published on Wednesday morning. Consensus rankings should bring about discussion amongst you, our readers, and the Fake Teams writers who participated in this series.

Consensus Fantasy First Base Rankings for 2015

Rank Player Team Ranking Points Ray Jason Rob Brian Timmy Daniel Jack Alex Nick Timothy
16 Lucas Duda NYM 141 18 18 28 10 13 16 15 17 18 16
17 Adam LaRoche CHW 127 14 24 24 15 15 21 19 21 17 13
18 Brandon Belt SFG 116 19 16 19 23 9 20 16 27 25 20
19 Eric Hosmer KCR 106 21 19 18 18 22 13 23 19 30 21
20 Matt Adams STL 101 20 26 21 20 19 27 18 14 19 25
21 Justin Morneau COL 94 24 21 25 17 23 19 25 25 20 17
22 Ryan Zimmerman WAS 93 17 11 18 22 22 16 18
23 Mark Trumbo ARI 85 15 23 22 27 25 20 18 22 22
24 Brandon Moss CLE 69 22 22 15 22 27 23 24 24
25 Mike Napoli BOS 69 29 27 27 16 14 23 24 29 29 23
26 Joe Mauer MIN 54 20 30 26 18 22 26 21
27 Steve Pearce BAL 45 30 23 7 20 32 30
28 Billy Butler OAK 32 27 25 29 21 28 28 31 27
29 Adam Lind MIL 32 23 30 26 27 30 23 26
30 Mike Morse MIA 32 26 21 29 30 24 27 28

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# 16. Lucas Duda (NYM)

Photo Credit: Brad Barr - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.253 74 30 92 3
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
596 0.349 0.481 11.58% 22.65%

Duda enjoyed a breakout season in 2015, hitting .25-.349-.481 with 30 home runs, 74 runs scored and 92 RBI in 596 plate appearances and 153 games played. He was one of 11 hitters to hit 0 or more home runs last season, hitting his 30th on the last day of the season. With the acquisition of Michael Cuddyer this offseason, there is talk that Duda could be platooned in 2015, so that could cut into his production at the plate for his owners.

I traded a $7 Duda for a $22 Starlin Castro and $5 Arismendy Alcantara in one of my NL only keeper leagues this offseason, partly due to the platoon talk, but moreso for the following:

1. he had a breakout season at the age of 28. What s the likelihood he can duplicate his 2014 power production.

2. speaking of the power, here is his trend in home runs over the last three seasons:

- 15 home runs in 121 games in 2012

- 15 home runs in 100 games in 2013

- 30 home runs in 153 games

On the other side of the argument, is the fact that the Mets are bringing in their right and right center field fences in 2015, and his HR/FB% is trending in the right direction - UP. But, I looked at his age and felt that we could back at his 2014 season as his career year.

Time will tell.

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# 17. Adam LaRoche (CHW)

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.259 73 26 92 3
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
586 0.362 0.455 13.99% 18.43%

LaRoche might be the first baseman with the most value on draft day, especially if he goes in the 11th round as the 15th first baseman off the board. LaRoche will now call US Cellular Field as home this season, a much better hitters park thanNationals Park, so we could see him approach 30 home runs in 2015. According to Stat Corner, US Cellular increased home runs by 10% for left handed hitters last season, while Nationals Park depressed home runs for lefties by 25%. That's a huge disparity. Last season, LaRcohe hit 14 of his 26 home runs at home, so that number COULD increase a bit in 2015.

Laroche regularly hits fly balls in the 40% range, and his HR/FB% in the mid double digits, so he should be someone you can count on for 20-25 home runs, with a chance at 30 in 2015. But let it be know, you can count on at least 20 home runs from him in 2015, assuming good health, as he has hit 20 or more home runs in 9 of his 10 years in the league. The one year he didn't hit 20 home runs was the season he played in just 43 games due to injury.

Yes, he is consistent.

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# 18. Brandon Belt (SFG)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.243 30 12 27 3
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
235 0.306 0.449 7.66% 27.23%

Here is a guy who is a sleeper heading into the 2015 season, as he is coming off a season where he missed over 100 games due to injury. Off the top of my head, I don't recall what his injury was, but I am sure one of our Fake Teams readers can help us out here. I usually look it up, but while looking up what the specific injury was for a particular player, I say to myself, "do they really care what his injury was? " So today I need your help.

Anyway, when he was healthy, Belt hit just .243-.306-.449 with 12 home runs, 30 runs scored and 27 RBI in 61 games. Not great, but he did put up his best power season of his career, as measure by ISO. Granted, the Giants lineup isn't going to be great, but with a healthy Belt, Buster Posey and Hunter Pence in the middle of their lineup, he could put up a break out season in 2015.

HIs BABIP trend: .351, .351, .288, indicates he should hit for a much better batting average than he did in 2014, and if the power trend continues, we could see a 20 home run, 80 RBI season from him, and that is pretty valuable.

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# 19. Eric Hosmer (KCR)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.270 54 9 58 4
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
547 0.318 0.398 6.40% 17.00%

I used to be on the Hosmer band wagon. I was constantly getting asked: "Hosmer or Freeman?", and I would always, ALWAYS, say Hosmer. Yeah, we all know how that turned out, so I am officially not supporting Hosmer anymore, so NOW is the time for you to draft him in 2015. Write it down.

In all seriousness, Hosmer has been very disappointing, and I have owned him in each of the last three seasons in my AL only home keeper league. In all honesty, I think Hosmer is a very good candidate for a bounce back in 2015, especially in the home run category. His HR/FB% trend:

2011: 13.5%

2012: 11.3%

2013: 13.0%

2014: 6.8%

He only stole 4 bases last season, and plays for a manager, Ned Yost, who rarely gives the red light on the base paths, so he is a candidate to see his stolen base total to increase along with his home run total. I see another 2013-like season from him in 2015.

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# 20. Matt Adams (STL)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.288 55 15 68 3
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
563 0.321 0.457 4.62% 20.25%

Every year we hear that Adams is going to be the next 30 home run hitter in the game, and every year he disappoints. Last season, he was handed the Cardinals first base job on a full time basis, playing 142 games, and ended the season hitting .288-.321-.457 with just 15 home runs, 55 runs scored and 68 RBI in 563 plate appearances.

He experienced a drop in point, and one should look no further than his splits:

vs RH pitching: .318-.349-.505, 12 HRs, 53 RBI in 433 PA

vs LH pitching: .190-.231-.290, 3 HRs, 15 RBI in 130 PA

The Cardinals signed cornerman Mark Reynolds this offseason, so there is a good chance Adams is platooned this season, which could cut into his production at the plate for his owners.

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# 21. Justin Morneau (COL)

Photo Credit: Rick Scuteri - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.319 62 17 82 0
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
550 0.364 0.496 6.18% 10.91%

Many expected Morneau to have a bounce back season in 2014, his first in Colorado, and he did not disappoint. He hit for a higher average, got on base more and had a higher slugging percentage, but his counting stats - home runs, runs scored and RBI were virtually identical to his 2013 season, which was split between Minnesota and Pittsburgh.

Morneau turns 34 in May, and he could lose some at bats to catcher Wilin Rosario in 2015, as Morneau hit just .254 vs lefties last season, while Rosario, a right handed hitter, crushed lefties to the tune of a .317 average last season. With the Rockies signing catcher Nick Hundley, and with Michael McKenry as his backup, Rosario, who struggles behind the plate, will be used at first base, and left/right field during the season. That could lead to a platoon for Morneau who could eventually be traded once the Rockies figure out they won't be battling for a wild card in 2015. A trade could lead to less playing time, depending on where he is dealt.

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# 22. Ryan Zimmerman (WAS)

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.280 26 5 38 0
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
240 0.342 0.449 9.17% 15.42%

Zimmerman moves across the diamond to play first base on a full-time basis in 2015, and he will have to prove to Nationals fans and to his fantasy owners that he can stay healthy. He has missed 60 or more games in two of the last four seasons, and needed a huge September in 2013 to make his numbers look respectable.

He has the talent, and hits in a lineup that could make this ranking look silly, as when he was healthy, he hit .280-.342-.449 with 5 home runs, 26 runs scored and 38 RBI in 61 games last season. His power is in decline, and he has dealt with shoulder issues over the past few seasons, so it remains to be seen if he can be a 20 home run hitter again. He was drafted in the 11th round of the 15 team FSTA Experts league draft in early January, so the experts still have confidence in him to rebound in 2015.

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# 23. Mark Trumbo (ARI)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.235 37 14 61 2
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
362 0.293 0.415 7.73% 24.59%

Now here is a power hitter I am willing to draft in 2015. I actually already did, in the recent Mock Draft Army 15 team mixed league draft which I wrote about here.

Trumbo is not going to help you in the batting average or on base percentage categories, for those in OBP leagues, but he will help you in the power categories - home runs and RBI. Last season, he hit just .235-.293-.415 with 14 home runs, 7 runs scored, and 61 RBI in just 88 games. He may not drive in 120 runs next season, but he should provide us with 30 home runs and 85+ RBI, with a real good chance for more.

The main reason for the Trumbo optimism stems from the fact that he calls Chase Field home 81 times per year, he hits plenty of fly balls, and his HR/FB% trend indicates there could be an uptick in 2015:

Year HR/FB%

2011 17.9%

2012 20.6%

2013 20.9%

2014 14.3%

Last season, his HR/FB% was the worst of his career, so I see that stat regressing to the mean, i.e. it will increase, so his home runs will increase as a result. He has the power to challenge Giancarlo Stanton for the National League home run title.

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# 24. Brandon Moss (CLE)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.234 70 25 81 1
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
580 0.334 0.438 11.55% 26.38%

Moss is coming off his third consecutive 20+ home run season, and he takes his power to Cleveland after an offseason trade. Last season, he hit .234-.334-.438 with 25 home runs, 70 runs scored and 81 RBI in his 580 plate appearances, but with the power comes a 26% strikeout rate and a respectable 11.6% walk rate.

He is an extreme fly ball hitter, ranking third in that category last season and he led MLB in fly ball rate in 2013. He owns a career 15.3% HR/FB rate, so as long as he keeps hitting fly balls at an extreme rate, owners can count on at least 20 home runs from him this season.

The move from Oakland to Cleveland is a positive for Moss, as O.Co Stadium depressed home runs for lefty hitters by 18% vs the league average, while Progressive Field increases home runs for lefties by 12%, so Moss could approach the 30 home run level once again.


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# 25. Mike Napoli (BOS)

Photo Credit: David Manning - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.248 49 17 55 3
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
500 0.370 0.419 15.60% 26.60%

Napoli is coming off offseason surgery to cure his sleep apnea that was so bad that he had to leave games early because he was so tired and considered retiring. Now that he has cured the sleep apnea issue, fantasy owners hope he can return to the 20+ home run hitter he was just two seasons ago. Actually, he has hit 20 or more home runs in six of the last seven seasons, but his power as measured by ISO is in a three year decline.

Another concern is the fact that his fly ball rate is in a six year decline, while his HR/FB% has dropped in each of the last two seasons. He has the power to hit 20-25 home runs, and his walk rate is in the 12-15% range, so he offers value to those in AL only or deep mixed leagues.

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# 26. Joe Mauer (MIN)

Photo Credit: Steve Mitchell - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.277 60 4 55 3
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
518 0.361 0.371 11.58% 18.53%

I didn't even rank Mauer in my Top 30 first base rankings, as he is coming off a season where he hit .277-.361-.371 with 4 home runs, 60 runs scored and 55 RBI in 518 plate appearances. His .095 ISO was the 19th worst in baseball last season, and you can get better stats from most middle infielders. He offers value in OBP leagues, very deep mixed leagues and AL only leagues, but he has little power.

I think I would rather own Ryan Howard over Mauer in 2015.

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# 27. Steve Pearce (BAL)

Photo Credit: Tommy Gilligan - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.293 51 21 49 5
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
383 0.373 0.556 10.44% 19.84%

When a hitter has a breakout year at the age of 31, you have to be skeptical of a repeat, and I am as I didn't rank him in my top 30 first base rankings. Pearce enjoyed what I will call a career year in 2014, hitting .293-.373-.556 with 21 home runs, 51 runs scored, 49 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 383 plate appearances.

For those of you expecting a repeat, I point you to the following:

1. He played in 102 games in 2014, the most games he has played in any season in the big leagues, and one less than he played in AAA in 2008.

2. His HR/FB% jumped from 9.8% in 2013 to 17.9% last season, and he owns a career HR/FB rate of 10.3%, so I don't expect a repeat of 20+ home runs in 2015.

3. He set career highs in HRs, runs scored, RBI, ISO, BA, OBP, SLG and HR/FB% last season in his age 31 season.

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# 28. Billy Butler (OAK)

Photo Credit: Mark J. Rebilas - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.271 57 9 66 0
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
603 0.323 0.379 6.80% 15.92%

Butler leaves one pitchers park for another, as he signed with Oakland this offseason. Butler had his career year with 29 home runs and 107 RBI two seasons ago, but his power is in decline, as his slugging percentage has dropped below the .400 level for the first time in his career.

He won't hit for much power as his 28.4% fly ball rate ranked as the 22nd worst among qualified hitters in 2014, and his HR/FB% is in decline as well. But, he will hit for a solid average, and drive in 70+ runs in the revamped Athletics lineup.

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# 29. Adam Lind (MIL)

Photo Credit: Kim Klement - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.321 38 6 40 0
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
318 0.381 0.479 8.81% 15.09%

Lind is another one of my favorite "sleepers" at the first base position in 2015. Lind moves from Toronto to Milwaukee this season, and he has an every day job at first base, so he should be able to provide owners with solid power and batting average hitting in the middle of the Brewers excellent lineup. He only hit six home runs last season in 18 plate appearances, but I see an increase in home runs in 2015. His HR/FB% last season was just 7.6% vs a career rate of 14.9% and a 19.2% rate in 2013, so a regression to the mean is in order for 2015.

The argument against more power from Lind says that his fly ball percentage has been in steady decline over the past five seasons:

2010: 40.4%

2011: 38.3%

2012: 34.6%

2013: 32.8%

2014: 32.6%

We will want to see him hit a few more fly balls, and a return to the 14-15% HR/FB rate, and we could see him exceed 20 home runs next season.

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# 30. Mike Morse (MIA)

Photo Credit: Joe Camporeale - USA Today Sports
2014 FANTASY STATISTICS
AVG R HR RBI SB
0.279 48 16 61 0
2014 SECONDARY STATISTICS
PA OBP% SLG% BB% K%
482 0.336 0.475 6.43% 25.10%

Morse moves from the World Series champion Giants to the warm weather in Miami, where he will hit in the middle of the Marlins lineup, a lineup that is better than the lineup Bruce Bochy was running out there every day in San Francisco.

Morse had a solid season at the plate last year, hitting .279-.336-.475 with 16 home runs, 48 runs scored and 61 RBI in 482 plate appearances. We should see him play more in Miami, as he moves to a position where he isn't as much of a defensive liability as he is in left field. Morse will play first base for the Marlins, and I expect him to approach 20 home runs and 75 RBI in 2015.

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