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2018 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: First Base (Part 1)

The Fake Teams Staff rank the Top 15 options at first base for 2018 fantasy baseball.

Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Los Angeles Dodgers - NLDS Game One Photo by Sarah Sachs/Arizona Diamondbacks/Getty Images


I had to mention football. Not doing so would make this the most tone deaf rankings article ever devised. Nick Foles (Super Bowl MVP) needs to make more money. Corey Clement needs more touches. And Trey Burton is a TE1 next year.

Okay, moving on. First base week should go swimmingly compared to catcher week. First basemen are the cornerstone of any solid roster, as they provide bankable power on a consistent basis. Brian Creagh threw out the proverbial first pitch with our state of the first base position this morning, in which he discussed first base numbers and how they compare to other positions (really well).

Top 15 First Basemen for 2018

Player Name Heath Joe Brian Punk AVG Min Max
Player Name Heath Joe Brian Punk AVG Min Max
Paul Goldschimdt 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Freddie Freeman 2 2 4 3 2.75 2 4
Joey Votto 3 4 3 2 3 2 4
Anthony Rizzo 4 3 2 5 3.5 2 5
Cody Bellinger 5 7 5 4 5.25 4 7
Wil Myers 7 5 7 9 7 5 9
Jose Abreu 6 8 8 6 7 6 8
Rhys Hoskins 8 6 6 10 7.5 6 10
Edwin Encarnacion 9 12 9 8 9.5 8 12
Eric Hosmer 13 10 10 7 10 7 13
Matt Carpenter 10 9 13 18 12.5 9 18
Miguel Cabrera 11 16 17 12 14 11 17
Carlos Santana 14 15 14 15 14.5 14 15
Justin Smoak 16 20 11 13 15 11 20
Buster Posey 15 11 20 16 15.5 11 20

Freddie Freeman (age 28) definitely has youth on his side when deciding between he and Joey Votto (age 34). In most spaces you will see Votto ranked a hair ahead of Freeman, though. Perhaps my Braves fandom is having an affect on my colleagues here at Fake Teams.

We are paying an expectant price for 22-year-old Cody Bellinger, and that worries me a tad. I may be apt to go a different route early on and pass over Bellinger in favor of Jose Abreu’s floor 10 picks later. That’s clearly avoiding upside, but also avoiding risk. Pick your poison, but don’t hate on Abreu. The guy has been a model of consistency throughout his career.

I agree with Brian’s take on the state of the position—there is a steep fall after the top six guys this year. Drafting one of the six will let me feel good about my floor. Note: the sixth guy is Jose Abreu, not Wil Myers. Joe is pushing Myers up all by his lonesome.I think he should defend that one in a separate post!

After Abreu, we quickly find fleas. Myers’ batting average is an eyesore. Hoskins lacks a track record. Encarnacion and Cabrera are both long in the tooth. Hosmer’s career year in 2017 was buoyed by a .351 BABIP. Carlos Santana’s 2016 looks like the exception, not the rule. Fleas are everywhere.

The guy who intrigues me is Matt Carpenter, even after he mustered a .249 BA last year. Almost everything under the hood checks out with him. His Hard% was an impressive 42.2% and his line drive rate (22.3%) and fly ball rate (50.8%) match the profile of a guy who should crack 25 home runs. He should have a tolerable batting average as well, since last year’s career-low .274 BABIP should not be repeated. Carpenter has a career .321 mark, for reference. Carpenter also posted the best walk rate (17.5%) of his career in 2017. There are many reasons to believe he represents a “floor” option for the later rounds of your drafts in 2018. I won’t want him as a first baseman (remember, top six) but I will happily take him as my corner infielder.

If I miss out on the top tier I will probably just wait on a guy like Carpenter and piece it together at first base with some younger upside (Josh Bell, Matt Olson, Greg Bird, Trey Mancini, etc.).

Lastly, in case you missed it, my 12th first baseman and Punk is Dead’s 11th first baseman did not make the Top 15. This mystery player slots in at No. 16, so he will begin Part 2 of our rankings tomorrow morning. Since he was omitted, the staff are obviously split on his value—Joe ranks him 24th and Brian has him 18th. Vote in the poll below for who you think it is, and be sure to catch Part 2 tomorrow morning. Let us know who you would like to hear about this week!


Who is the mystery No. 16 first baseman?

This poll is closed

  • 24%
    Joey Gallo, Rangers
    (59 votes)
  • 41%
    Matt Olson, Athletics
    (101 votes)
  • 19%
    Ryan Zimmerman, Nationals
    (48 votes)
  • 13%
    Marwin Gonzalez, Astros
    (33 votes)
241 votes total Vote Now