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Early First Base ADP

We’re going to continue our look at preliminary ADPs and move onto the first baseman. In the past, the first base position has long been considered one of the deepest out there for fantasy owners. Back at the turn of the century (I love how old that statement makes me feel), the first base position had 30 players who hit 20 or more home runs. Last season there were 18. That’s a pretty significant drop-off, even over a 13-year span, and in looking at some of the early ADP numbers this year, it looks like more of the same.

First Basemen ADP – The Top 50

Rank Player Team Avg. Pick Min. Pick Max. Pick
1 Miguel Cabrera Det 1.90 1 5
2 Paul Goldschmidt Ari 3.13 2 4
3 Chris Davis Bal 7.32 3 14
4 Joey Votto Cin 16.84 8 48
5 Edwin Encarnacion Tor 19.58 12 64
6 Prince Fielder Tex 19.71 11 97
7 Freddie Freeman Atl 22.65 12 35
8 Albert Pujols LAA 47.87 22 176
9 Eric Hosmer KC 50.71 23 70
10 Allen Craig StL 51.97 26 70
11 Adrian Gonzalez LAD 59.77 48 168
12 Mark Trumbo Ari 70.10 37 101
13 Anthony Rizzo ChC 113.97 85 152
14 Jose Abreu CWS 123.16 51 226
15 Matt Adams StL 130.87 69 215
16 Brandon Belt SF 139.77 66 190
17 Mike Napoli Bos 145.84 87 294
18 Brandon Moss Oak 150.71 104 217
19 Kendrys Morales Sea 160.45 94 202
20 Mark Teixeira NYY 192.71 111 343
21 Nick Swisher Cle 213.16 138 364
22 Justin Morneau Col 216.03 163 348
23 Ryan Howard Phi 220.58 165 447
24 Corey Hart Sea 226.13 176 323
25 Adam Lind Tor 242.06 200 416
26 Adam Dunn CWS 267.47 213 368
27 Adam LaRoche Was 279.23 229 427
28 Yonder Alonso SD 299.42 205 379
29 James Loney TB 301.61 219 394
30 Mitch Moreland Tex 345.13 230 445
31 Justin Smoak Sea 349.03 271 431
32 Ike Davis NYM 353.68 282 419
33 Logan Morrison Sea 367.29 280 488
34 Garrett Jones Mia 401.43 293 544
35 Jon Singleton Hou 426.52 308 514
36 Mark Reynolds Mil 432.81 330 537
37 Juan Francisco Mil 436.57 343 514
38 Mike Olt ChC 477.65 332 555
39 Paul Konerko CWS 478.30 336 589
40 Brett Wallace Hou 500.13 397 605
41 Casey McGehee Mia 505.92 361 731
42 Gaby Sanchez Pit 581.27 424 721
43 C.J. Cron LAA 586.28 481 721
44 Nate Freiman Oak 592.91 346 747
45 Jesus Guzman Hou 601.47 459 695
46 Tommy Medica SD 607.35 487 750
47 Jordan Pacheco Col 615.90 520 741
48 Chris McGuiness Pit 621.86 345 725
49 Josh Satin NYM 625.55 346 723
50 Daric Barton Oak 634.38 489 747

As you can see, the top 12 first basemen are all off the board by roughly the 70th pick, or the sixth round for most standard 12-team leagues. That seems to be par for the course right now and should be the way things unfold even closer to the season. The problem is, there’s just not as much depth here as there used to be. Even just a few years ago, not only could you wait on the position through the early rounds, but there was so much power to be had, that you could also wait on your corner infield slot and still land a 20-plus home run guy. Nowadays, if you don’t jump on one of these guys in the first few rounds, you run the risk of being short on power for much of the season.

Obviously there are a few wild cards out there. Players like Anthony Rizzo and Brandon Belt are developing talents who could conceivably break the 20-home run barrier with ease. Jose Abreu and Matt Adams could as well, provided they see the regular at-bats we’d like them to see. And, of course, there are a few rebound candidates such as Adam LaRoche and Mark Teixeira who could also do some damage if they’re back to their old ways. But unlike years past, there are far too many ‘what ifs’ here to make a fantasy owner comfortable about waiting it out. If you’re looking for strength and you want to lock yourself into some decent power, then you need to act fast at first and leave the waiting for another position out there.

Now here’s a look at a few names I’m keeping tabs on and watching their ADP over the next couple of months:

Prince Fielder, TEX – Owners who have him in keeper leagues are still wiping away their tears of joy from when they received news that the slugger would be leaving Comerica Park to play half of his games at hitting-friendly Rangers Ballpark at Arlington. The power drop he experienced in his first season with Detroit was to be expected, but the struggles during last year seemed to take both us and him by surprise which led to his pressing at the plate. He tried to be more aggressive at the plate which turned into a higher strikeout rate and fewer walks and he just couldn’t get himself back on track like he did towards the tail end of the season before. The confidence with which he’ll walk into this season with will be high and he should start things off well this spring. That should start to push his ADP up as those in the back-end of Round 1 will start to go after him more.

Albert Pujols, LAA – How Pujols walks into camp this year will be a huge factor in his ADP trends throughout the spring. The gradual decline we’ve witnessed should be prevalent in everyone’s minds, but should he open the spring on a high note and we start hearing the ol’ “best shape of his life” cliché, many will buy into the hype and start plucking him earlier and earlier. Given the risk that comes along with him, a fourth or fifth-round pick seems about right for him. But all it will take is one big week and he’s back to the third and potentially even the second round.

Allen Craig/Matt Adams, STL – The rollercoaster ride that both their ADPs could take this spring should be interesting to watch. As it stands right now, Craig will be in right (still qualifies at first though) and Adams will be at first base. That’s the way the season is supposed to open. However, there are a number of things that could happen that could change all that and how both guys are valued in drafts. Craig isn’t exactly a picture of health, Adams had a great year but one year proves nothing, and what happens if Oscar Taveras comes out raking? There’s a lot that can happen in the Cardinals’ camp this spring, so if you’re drafting early, stay attune to the ADP trends.

Mark Trumbo, ARI – I actually debated whether to even mention Trumbo for fear that my excessive praise would shoot his ADP straight up the rankings, but I just can’t contain my enthusiasm. Back to back 30-home run seasons and now he’s moving to an uber-friendly hitter’s park where he and Paul Goldschmidt will bat third and fourth in the lineup? Come on! Um, Bob, I think that ISO number is gonna be a whole lot higher! Sure the batting average could be a disaster, but the potential 40 home runs we’ll likely see will certainly outweigh any negatives.

Justin Morneau, COL – Could the move to Colorado help resurrect the career? Can he stay healthy for the year? Will the move to Coors help him with his recent power struggles? Morneau looks like a dead pull hitter these days so the new park should help him out, but the splits from last year don’t show Target Field as too much of a hindrance as one might think. Still, a change of scenery could certainly help him and should he feel any kind of rejuvenation this spring, we’ll see it reflected in his ADP numbers, for sure.

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Howard Bender has been covering fantasy sports for nearly two decades on a variety of web sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @rotobuzzguy or email him directly at rotobuzzguy@gmail.com.

Comments

By: jerrydwiz
On: 1/19/2014 10:10:00 PM
In a 14 team league with 7 protected players, I am strongly considering drafting Jose Abreu in the 1st round even though I am protecting Hosmer. I am trying to rebuild and looking to grab some quick yield young players in the draft. Any opinions on whether or not this is a good idea?
 
By: Howard Bender
On: 1/22/2014 5:14:00 AM
I can understand the desire to grab a guy like Abreu early, but even with 7 protects, a first round pick on him seems a little high. It'd be one thing if the White Sox got rid of Adam Dunn or Paul Konerko retired, but with the three of them competing for at-bats, it seems a little dicey.
 

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