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Staff Post: First basemen to avoid in 2020

The Fake Teams writers offer their main guys to avoid at first base in 2020.

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Earlier today we gave you our targets at first base. And then Jonathan instituted our first ever Friday Fanbag! We’ll now cap off Friday with our avoids, but be sure to roll back around bright and early on Saturday for some Pete Alonso versus Matt Olson chatter from yours truly. And full disclaimer: I don’t draw a hard line on the repeating of names—i.e. if one guy makes our targets list AND our avoids list. At least you’ll get to hear opposing viewpoints, and make up your own mind! Although in this case, Mark is clearly off his proverbial rocker...

League Championship Series - Washington Nationals v St Louis Cardinals - Game One Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals (Garrett Atkins)

NFBC ADP: 67

Sorry folks, but the days of Paul Goldschmidt as a top tier first base option are over. He doesn’t run anymore. His average was down 30 points in 2019 compared to 2018 and his OPS was down 101 points! Plus, he hit a measly .239 against fastballs. Despite this, his ADP is almost identical to Anthony Rizzo and Matt Olson. Not to mention, rounds ahead of Jose Abreu, Josh Bell, and Trey Mancini.

Texas Rangers v Chicago White Sox Photo by Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox (Mark Abell)

NFBC ADP: 77

33 years old was the age when Miguel Cabrera slowed down (albeit due to injury). It was the first year Albert Pujols dropped off. Derek Jeter saw a dropoff when he turned 33, and Jim Thome did around 33-34 as well.

World Series - Washington Nationals v Houston Astros - Game Seven Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros (Jonathan Butler)

NFBC ADP: 119

Yuli Gurriel- There is no way I can buy into the 31 home runs during Gurriel’s age-34 season. Between the fact that he never had more than 20 home runs in a season, plus the Astros’ banging scandal, I expect a large amount of regression. He’s going at pick 119 in NFBC, but I’d rather take someone with more upside such as a Cavan Biggio or Jesus Luzardo.

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Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (Heath Capps)

NFBC ADP: 268

Maybe this one’s low-hanging fruit. I’ll accept that. But mostly it’s because I’ve come around on Eric Hosmer as a value in 2020, so this is basically a proclamation of Hosmer’s usefulness—as well as an indictment of Votto. You can snag Hosmer around pick 220, so these guys aren’t mountains apart per NFBC ADP. But production-wise, I’ll take Hosmer’s guaranteed 20 homers, 150+ R+RBIs, and tolerable batting average (career .278 hitter). I don’t see why you’d wait a couple of rounds later for Votto, who is six years older and clearly on a decline. He’s amassed only 12 and 15 homers in his last two seasons, and only mustered a .261 batting average last year. If Votto isn’t giving you power or batting average...what are you really chasing after? Give me Hosmer a little earlier, or give me upside plays like CJ. Cron, Nate Lowe, or Evan White instead.

That’s it for avoids. Be sure to catch the Friday Fanbag, and follow @DadSox on Twitter so you can interact each week if you’ve got questions we can answer!