2019 Fantasy Baseball Preview and Projections – First Base

Welcome back to Fantasy Baseball Now! The 2019 season begins next week and in earnest on Thursday, March 28, and over the next week we’re going to be posting our player projections by position.

We started yesterday with Catcher, providing projections and tiered rankings for the top 29 backstops. Let’s move over now to First Base, starting with raw projections for the top 41 and moving in to our analysis and tiered rankings after that.

First Name Last Name AB H HR  RBI SB AVG
Paul Goldschmidt 592 172 103 32 101 10 0.290
Freddie Freeman 593 179 96 28 96 9 0.301
Cody Bellinger 558 147 89 31 91 15 0.264
Anthony Rizzo 568 159 87 29 101 7 0.280
Edwin Encarnacion 551 137 83 35 106 2 0.248
Jose Abreu 583 165 82 28 95 2 0.283
Joey Votto 525 155 87 24 81 3 0.294
Ian Desmond 541 139 78 19 77 19 0.257
Matt Carpenter 533 136 99 29 76 3 0.256
Matt Olson 568 141 85 33 89 2 0.248
Jesus Aguilar 521 134 75 31 96 0 0.258
Eric Hosmer 606 164 81 21 81 6 0.270
Carlos Santana 563 140 87 25 86 3 0.249
C.J. Cron 505 131 67 28 81 2 0.260
Justin Smoak 528 131 74 29 81 0 0.248
Tyler White 515 133 71 24 82 2 0.258
Wilmer Flores 544 147 66 22 80 1 0.270
Trey Mancini 586 154 72 25 71 1 0.263
Jake Bauers 505 121 75 17 72 12 0.240
Max Muncy 433 108 72 26 69 3 0.250
Ryan Zimmerman 448 118 64 23 78 1 0.264
Yuli Gurriel 502 145 64 14 73 4 0.288
Josh Bell 506 135 72 18 72 3 0.266
Miguel Cabrera 459 127 62 20 74 1 0.278
Justin Bour 442 112 59 25 77 1 0.253
Ryon Healy 515 131 58 24 74 0 0.254
Yonder Alonso 486 122 63 22 71 1 0.250
Luke Voit 450 123 62 24 69 1 0.273
Ryan O’Hearn 543 126 65 23 75 2 0.231
Jose Martinez 412 121 54 15 62 2 0.293
Mitch Moreland 444 110 61 19 69 1 0.248
Brandon Belt 416 107 58 18 54 4 0.256
Ronald Guzman 418 104 52 17 59 2 0.248
Eric Thames 288 69 51 18 44 5 0.240
Ryan McMahon 350 96 43 12 50 4 0.274
Matt Adams 289 74 38 18 52 0 0.255
Hunter Dozier 457 106 51 14 48 4 0.232
Tyler Austin 262 63 36 15 43 1 0.241
Peter Alonso 243 59 33 12 40 0 0.242
Peter O’Brien 280 58 32 14 41 0 0.208
Greg Bird 166 37 21 9 27 0 0.225

Tier 1
1. Paul Goldschmidt
2. Freddie Freeman

We admit our projection might be a tiny bit light on Freeman’s upside in a deep Atlanta lineup. That said, if we were forced to take one of these guys at their current mid-second round ADP, we’ll take the safety of Goldy over the slightly higher upside of Freeman.

Tier 2
3. Cody Bellinger
4. Anthony Rizzo

Bellinger seems underrated this year based on his low-40s ADP, as he has a very safe floor in terms of power and speed when considering his position flexibility between first base and the outfield. We also like Rizzo a lot, and when you add it all up it has us leaning toward taking a first baseman in one of these top tiers rather than taking a risk later.

Tier 3
5. Edwin Encarnacion
6. Jose Abreu
7. Joey Votto

Encarnacion is an outlier in our rankings compared to many others and compared to ADP, as he is usually going in the 130-160 range in the NFBC’s recent Online Championship drafts (12-team leagues, 30-man rosters). The RBI projection may be a tad high, but Encarnacion is going to play everyday if he is in Seattle or elsewhere.

Tier 4
8. Ian Desmond
9. Matt Carpenter
10. Matt Olson (NOTE: Daniel Murphy would rank above Olson if you wanted to play him at 1B over 2B)
11. Jesus Aguilar

There’s too much depth in Milwaukee for us to feel comfortable taking Aguilar at his 7th/8th round ADP. He could be a great pick for your team if you’re ok with risk and are looking for incredibly high power upside, but at that point you may as well take Tyler White (Tier 6) nearly 200 picks later.

Tier 5
12. Eric Hosmer
13. Carlos Santana

It is funny these two guys are together in a single tier, because they have a similar surface profile: they’ve both been fantasy assets for a long time, so all of the luster is off; they’re both coming off down seasons relative to expectations; and they both have very safe playing time floors. We’d be comfortable with either one as our starter at first base at the current ADP (170-200 range).

Tier 6
14. C.J. Cron
15. Justin Smoak
16. Tyler White

If Cron gets 500 at-bats, he’s going to hit 25 homers and drive in 75 at a minimum. There’s some risk for him to lost PT in the Twins lineup (Marwin Gonzalez, Willians Astudillo, Tyler Austin), though.

Tier 7
17. Wilmer Flores
18. Trey Mancini
19. Jake Bauers
20. Max Muncy
21. Ryan Zimmerman
22. Yuli Gurriel

Flores will have 2B eligibility early in the season, adding to his value. We’re skeptical that Muncy is going to get the playing time needed to be a viable 12-team league starter; our projection isn’t lower on his power output (26 homers), though, so if you think he can get to 550 at-bats, he’s someone you should target.

Tier 8
23. Luke Voit
24. Josh Bell
25. Miguel Cabrera
26. Justin Bour

Tier 9
27. Ryon Healy
28. Yonder Alonso
29. Ryan O’Hearn
30. Jose Martinez

Tier 10
31. Mitch Moreland
32. Brandon Belt

The Rest
Ronald Guzman, Eric Thames, Ryan McMahon, Matt Adams, Hunter Dozier, Tyler Austin, Peter Alonso, Peter O’Brien, Greg Bird, Dan Vogelbach

 

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