As a part of our 2015 Fantasy Baseball Draft Kit, we examine the elite options at each position. Let’s take a look at our top fantasy first basemen for 2015, and compare our rankings to their current Average Draft Position (ADP) 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. Miguel Cabrera
Just to put things in perspective…if you take the breakout season that Jose Abreu just had, and then you have him do exactly that for maybe eight more years consecutively, then we might begin to talk about him as the next Miggy Cab. He’s been over 600 AB every season since 2004, and hasn’t hit less than 25 HR or batted less than .292 in that span. What more do you say about a legend in his own time? He’s the top 1B pick by so much that he should potentially occupy his own tier.
2. Jose Abreu
I’m not even sure if the term ‘breakout’ is really enough to describe what Abreu did in 2014. In fantasy terms, he was a landscape changer, and folks smart enough to draft him would have been hard-pressed not to make the playoffs. What made his 36 HR / 107 RBI / .317 season even more insane is that he battled ankle tendonitis (requiring a DL stint) and also had to make second-half adjustments to major league pitching. And he got better. What’s his upside? I have no idea, but it’s really, really high.
3. Paul Goldschmidt
There aren’t many guys that could suffer a wrist injury, cutting their season drastically short, and still be taken inside the top six picks the next year. Goldy isn’t just anyone though – he still managed to drop 19 HR for his owners in under 500 AB. What’s insane is that he’s a pre-eminent power threat, yet he’s a career .292 hitter with a .381 OBP and a sick 13%+ BB rate. You grab Goldschmidt in round one, and you write 25 / 80 / 80 / 10 / .300, with upside, into your lineup in pen.
4. Anthony Rizzo
Rizzo has really shot up draft boards, but after his 32 HR / .286 campaign in 2014, I can understand why. There are other factors here too: The Cubs improved lineup, Rizzo’s drastic improvement against lefties, and his age / upside combination. Here are his HR totals for the last three years: 15, 23, 32. Could we be looking at 40 in 2015?
5. Freddie Freeman
Freeman is one of the most consistent performers at his position, if not in the game. Since breaking onto the scene in 2011, his worst HR number is 18, and his worst OBP has been .340. He’s had as many as 109 RBI, and his BB rate is over 10%. Basically, his floor is really, really high. Would you believe he’s still only 25 despite being around forever? That power stroke is still a work in progress, and he’s entering his prime.
Edwin Encarnacion, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, and Joey Votto 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.