First base week has taught us a few things. Chief among them is the emergence of Mitch Moreland as the best first base value on the board. Don’t forget about ole’ Two-Bags in your deep league drafts when you need all the extra-base hits.
We also posited the idea of a clear top six at the position. After Jose Abreu, things begin to get interesting (for one reason or another). Youth, age-related decline, inconsistency, etc. You name it and it exists in abundance after Abreu. Which is why you are better off waiting for some specific guys to target. Which is why we are here to offer some staff targets for first base. Let’s do this.
Staff Targets at First Base for 2018
Carlos Santana, Phillies (Heath Capps)
I will draft Anthony Rizzo in Round 2 all year long. But that’s too obvious of a call, so I’ll go with Carlos Santana. Santana gets a downgrade based on his surrounding lineup, but the park is muy nice and his second half last year was blistering (.287/.392/.514). Santana has a career .196 ISO and a career .365 OBP. The only blemish is the career .249 batting average, but over the last two years he has compiled BA marks of .259 and .259 respectively. He has an ECR of 115 on FantasyPros and is a safe value in the (later) middle rounds of your fake drafts this year.
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals (Joe Gentile)
There is one first baseman I’ll be targeting in every one of my fantasy drafts, and that will be Matt Carpenter. With superb plate discipline, a great swinging strike rate and one of the best batted ball profiles last season, he looks like he can really break out in the power department. And don’t let that .240 batting average scare you away, as his ability to make consistent quality contact gave him a projected batting average above .270.
Matt Olson, Athletics (Punk is Dead)
There are a number of players I can pick here, but I keep coming back to Matt Olson. The 40-homer threat is legitimate and his price tag is currently in the 14th round. The batting average won’t kill you either—which can’t be said for other sluggers who sell out for power like Joey Gallo and Chris Davis. Olson is in line for a breakout season and could be among the elite first baseman by year’s end.
Joey Gallo, Rangers (Eddy Almaguer)
Joey Gallo had a putrid .209 batting average on the season...but from August 1 on he slashed .231/.369/.581 with a .350 ISO. The humor is not lost on me in touting a .230 average, but we’ve all said “If he can hit .230-.240, he’s golden.” Well, thanks to a late-season shift to more line drives than fly balls, he started to sacrifice just a *little* bit a power for better overall production. And if you play in an OBP/SLG/OPS league, he becomes a top five third baseman and the biggest steal in your draft.
Which first baseman will you target in 2018?
This poll is closed
Carlos Santana, Phillies
Matt Carpenter, Cardinals
Matt Olson, Athletics
Joey Gallo, Rangers