While Justin Smoak got the majority of the post-hype sleeper breakout at the first base position during 2017 fantasy baseball, previously failed prospect Yonder Alonso had his own big coming-of-age campaign last season. Having been a high first-round pick like his Toronto counterpart (7th overall in 2008), Alonso became a tremendous disappointment for the Cincinnati Reds as he showed virtually no power to go with decent contact skills. Eventually, the Reds gave up on Alonso which began a stint with the San Diego Padres that began in 2012. Moving from one of the best power parks in the game in Cincy to one of the worst in San Diego, Alonso’s power outage continued. Alonso then moved to the Oakland A’s in 2016 where it was more of the same as his recorded season-high in home runs going back to 2010 was a pathetic 9. Getting such little power from a first baseman is death in fantasy baseball and so Alonso went undrafted in the majority of leagues when 2017 got underway. In the insane power outburst that the season ultimately became however, Alonso joined in on the fun by hitting 28 home runs, driving in 67, and batting .266 in a year that was split between Oakland and Seattle (having been dealt over the summer). Clearly, the power stands out here but instantly you have to think Alonso’s production in that category was a tremendous outlier. The fact Alonso failed to even reach double-digits in home runs previously makes trusting in the 28 long balls from a year ago an almost impossible endeavor. With the .266 average and the 68 RBI’s not an impressive total by any means for a first baseman, Alonso’s bust potential for 2018 is very high as there will surely be a regression. What is really telling is the fact that MLB teams weren’t exactly beating down Oakland’s door to acquire Alonso over the summer; a sign that they didn’t believe in the numbers either despite him landing with the Cleveland Indians in late winter.
2018 PROJECTION: .263 19 HR 65 RBI 66 R 1 SB