Good Day All, Thanks for returning once again to check out the updated rankings for First Base. I can’t remember ever seeing so many hard hit balls fall short at the warning track before as I’m sure you have all noticed as well. In some cases it’s worked out as I’ve either had the pitcher going and been like welp that’s a bump in my ERA or I’ve had the side in a wager but jeez when you hear that crack of the bat you want to see that ball heading over that fence as a fan. Anyway, I’m sure it will turn around the other way eventually so watch those overs if you’re into putting down some wagers. All right let’s get to First Base, shall we?
1. Vladimir Guerrero Jr Blue Jays Still the #1 1B in my book, since I talked about him last he had a so-so couple of weeks as I mentioned I was concerned he was swinging at too many pitches outside the zone. His chase rate is a little problematic at 23% percentile but when he does get a pitch in the zone he likes he can turn on it on a dime like Friday night against Urquidy where he hit one out. A couple of other 1B have closed the gap as I will mention below.
2. CJ Cron Rockies Cron is simply mashing the ball right now at Home and on the road. The Rockies have had 15 home games as opposed to 9 away games so I do think Cron’s numbers will dip slightly but you cannot deny the fact the power is real and he is the type of player that can sustain this production the entire season. We have seen a 30 HR season from him in 2018 while in Tampa so a 40 HR is not entirely out of the question once summer hits in the Rocky Mountains oh boy. Cron is currently slugging .693 and 1.047 OPS so this will come down but don’t look for a huge dropoff here.
3. Matt Olson Braves I’ve flipped flopped Olson and Freeman a couple of times but they are so close to one another. Freeman has the elite plate discipline and can steal you a few bases but Olson has the power edge.
4. Freddie Freeman Dodgers Has only gone more than one game without a hit once so far. With the ball issues the way they are the constant elite hitter day in and day out is Freeman. The power will come and RBI’s will be aplenty.
5. Anthony Rizzo Yankees I jumped up Rizzo from #14 as I’ve really liked what I’ve seen from Rizzo this season. He’s squaring up the ball, not swinging at bad pitches, and working the count. Almost as many walks as K’s 11/13 Rizzo doesn’t have to carry the team as Judge/Stanton get most of the attention but if he can stay around .265/.270 in avg with his power production he’s been a steal so far in drafts.
6. Josh Bell Nationals Talk about not striking out. Only struck out 9 times in April while hitting .366. Another steal so far in drafts.
7. Pete Alonso Mets Dropped out of TOP DOGS bracket but still provides what you need him to. Those Polar Bear HR’s.
8. Ty France Mariners Another hitter with elite plate discipline similar to Bell above. Having a career year so expect a slight dropoff but France is locked in at the plate and don’t expect anything drastic to happen anytime soon.
9. DJ LeMahieu Yankees DJ has been a constant riser in the rankings due to his consistency to get on base. Similar to Freeman above DJ knows how to make pitchers throw everything they got at him and more often than not DJ seems to get the upper hand and drive the ball hard somewhere. I think DJ will hit over .300 this season once again and be at the top of the leaderboard in AVG. He looks really good so far.
10. Paul Goldschmidt Cardinals
STUCK IN MIDDLE
11. Jose Abreu White Sox Has been a bit unlucky so far in his batted balls. Still has elite power and hard hit rate% is off the charts so there is definitely some production value arriving very soon.
12. Eric Hosmer Padres Can’t deny what Hosmer has been doing any longer. You have to hand it to him the way he goes about his business after the criticism he has taken the past couple of seasons. Good for him, I hope he can keep it up but regression will come eventually so temper expectations going forward but might as well ride the wave while it lasts.
13. Rhys Hoskins Phillies Average is no bueno at 202 but still puts together some good at-bats and is hitting the ball well when making contact. I think he comes around sooner than later and the Phillies aren’t going to give up on him.
14. Jake Cronenworth Padres The Cron Zone just does too much right to be kept down in the rankings for too long. His elite plate discipline gets him on base frequently and just seems prime for a nice run here.
15. Rowdy Tellez Brewers Excellent Power numbers so far. Would like to see the avg get up into the .260’s to become a top 10 1B but he’s close. Playing time doesn’t look to be in jeopardy so keep him in your lineup.
16. Owen Miller Guardians Keeps on hitting the ball hard and getting on base so what’s not to like here. Will come down to earth soon enough but then again Cleveland weather will also get better so a nice player to have as your MI or CI.
17. Nathaniel Lowe Rangers
18. Andrew Vaughn White Sox Not sure what exactly is going on with him but looks like a nagging injury has prevented Vaughn from playing so he’s down a little in the rankings but he’s got a good shot to rise up once he’s healthy. Hopefully soon as I’ve got a few shares of him on my team. Pretty frustrating player to own as we all know he’s got the talent to be a top 10 1B.
19. Jared Walsh Angels
20. Max Muncy Dodgers Like Walsh above, I haven’t liked what I’ve seen from Muncy and Walsh so far. They don’t seem to be in sync with what we have seen in the past from these two. Muncy is putting together some good at-bats so maybe they will start to produce some hits but pretty ugly so far from the veteran.
21. Daniel Vogelbach Pirates
22. Ryan Mountcastle Orioles
23. Brandon Belt Giants On COVID IL so he might have been a few spots higher. Still very streaky so a lot of ups and downs with Belt.
24. Tyler Stephenson Reds Not too much for Reds fans to be excited about but Stephenson is back off the IL so that’s a positive.
25. Christian Walker Diamondbacks Walker sneaks in the Top 25 due to his 6 HR’s. We will see if he gets the avg up past .200 because now it’s pretty dreadful.
Honorable Mention: Ji-Man Choi Rays (IL) Josh Naylor (Guardians)
I hope everyone enjoys the rest of the week and plenty of good baseball today. I’ll be back next week with an update on 3B.