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First Basemen to Target in 2019

First base is much weaker than in years past, but we still have some great values at the position.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

The first base position in fantasy has changed dramatically over the past few seasons. Gone are the days of Albert Pujols and Miguel Cabrera leading the way. Also, gone are the days of waiting until the final rounds of the draft and just scooping up cheap power. First base is now a much more shallow position. Many of the mid-round options now come with baggage, namely low batting averages. I'm here to give you my thoughts on the best of those players. Players that offer more upside than you might think...

Max Muncy

My Rank: 7
Expert Consensus Rank: 12

Muncy had a breakout season in 2018 and still finds himself ranked outside the Top 10 first baseman in ECR. That's a head-scratcher to me. Muncy finished 2018 with 35 home runs and a .973 OPS (fifth-best among hitters). This was in a heavily part-time role, especially after the Dodgers acquired Manny Machado and Brian Dozier. Those guys, along with Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp, are gone. Muncy could be among the best at first base in 2019 and his current price tag does not reflect that upside.

C.J. Cron

My Rank: 20
Expert Consensus Rank: 26

A 30-homer season in 2018 was an impressive feat, especially considering Cron did it at Tropicana Field. He is now a member of the Twins, a lineup with sneaky fantasy potential in 2019. Cron offers cheap power going outside the Top 20 at first base. As a career .260 hitter, you’re not much sacrificing much batting average either. Even if he doesn't get back to 30 homers, Cron could improve on his runs scored and RBI totals and still finish inside the Top 20 at first base this season.

Peter Alonso

My Rank: 24
Expert Consensus Rank: 28

It's the Mets so caution is taken here, but Alonso has a shot at being a great value in 2019 if he breaks camp with the big league roster. Power is his game as he led the minors with 36 home runs last year between Double-A and Triple-A. The Mets added several infielders this offseason, so first base might be blocked right now. Alonso is by far the most interesting option fantasy-wise. He has nothing else to prove in the minors and is an early contender for NL Rookie of the Year honors. Let him play!

Trey Mancini

My Rank: 25
Expert Consensus Rank: 32

2017 might have been a lucky season for Mancini, and 2018 looks to be unlucky. I'm betting his 2019 will be somewhere in the middle. A .270 average, 24 home runs, 70 RBIs, 70 runs. Nothing amazing, but his current cost is outside the Top 30 at first base. He should get a ton of playing time and has a hitter’s ballpark in his favor as well.

Nathaniel Lowe

My Rank: 40
Expert Consensus Rank: NR

A mid-season call up seems like the current ETA for Rays prospect Nathaniel Lowe. He made big strides in the minors last year, slashing .330 with 27 home runs and 102 RBIs at High A, Double-A, and Triple-A. Adjustments to his swing can be cited for the improvement. A name to keep in mind at the end of your draft or as a mid-season pickup.

First Base week will continue later today with Part 2 of our rankings!