The 2014 Fantasy Baseball Draft season is officially upon us. As a part of our draft packet for this season, we’re going to examine the elite options at each position. Let’s take a look at our top 5 fantasy first baseman for 2014, and compare our rankings to their current ADP (average draft position) in mock drafts. As always, if your thoughts differ from these, please comment below or make use of our Fantasy Baseball Forum to share.
1. Paul Goldschmidt
In 2013, Goldy hit .300+, hit 30+ bombs, stole 15 bases, scored 100+ runs, and drove in 120+ RBI. In his spare time, he also saved multiple cute fuzzy animals for good measure. Point being, there isn’t much he didn’t do in his breakout campaign. He’s been arcing up for several years, is still only 26, and plays in a strong lineup in a park that favors hitters. What’s not to like?
2. Prince Fielder
After a messy divorce / trade with the Tigers, Price managed to land in yet another prime situation for power hitters – The Ballpark at Arlington. It’s an offensive launching pad, and acts as a trampoline for offensive numbers. Prince’s ‘down’ year in 2013 included 25 HR, 106 RBI, and a .362 OBP. He’s not yet 30, in an even stronger lineup, and could easily provide top 5 value for a second round price tag.
3. Joey Votto
If you’re one of those drafters who want their top picks to have the highest fantasy floor possible, then Votto is your guy in round 2. Like Fielder, Votto had a ‘down’ year in 2013 that was good for 24 HR, 73 RBI, 101 Runs, and an absolutely obscene .435 OBP. He hits in the middle of an excellent lineup that may get exponentially better if the Billy Hamilton hype is true – his 73 RBI are indicative only of the troubles that the Reds 1 & 2 hitters had getting on base in 2013. You can pencil him in for 2013’s numbers with a little room for growth. Without a doubt, Votto is one of the safest picks out there at any ADP.
4. Chris Davis
Crush Davis had a season for the ages in 2013 – 53 homers, 138 RBI, 103 Runs, and .370 OBP. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that there is likely going to be some regression taking place here. The question is, how much? Davis struggled mightily both against lefties (.235 AVG) and after the break (.245 AVG). He was a total monster against righties and before the break. He does hit in the middle of a stacked Orioles lineup with plenty of protection, but his lefty splits mean he’ll be facing an awful lot of lefty-specialists late in games. Add it all together, and we believe you probably have 35 HR and 100 RBI while batting .265ish – lofty totals, but not worthy of a top 3 selection in a stacked 1B field.
5. Freddie Freeman
Freeman continued his ascent into the top tier of 1B in 2013, and makes our top 5 for the first time in 2014. He hit .319, homered 23 times, drove in 109 runs, and had a tidy OBP of .396. Pretty strong numbers for a 24 year old who only had 551 at-bats. Elite players typically develop their power strokes in their mid-to-late 20’s, and while Freeman may not hit .319 again, his power is very real and still developing. He hits in the middle of a talented, deep Braves lineup that should afford him plenty of opportunities to both score and drive men in. We love Freeman for his elite combination of power, average, and ability to take a walk. He could easily eclipse this ranking in 2014.
Edwin Encarnacion, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Eric Hosmer, and Allen Craig round out our top 10 at the position. A lot can change during spring training, so be sure to check out our most up-to-date first base rankings.