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Saturday, February 16, 2019

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL FIRST BASE PRIMER: THOSE WILL DRAFT/AVOID

With the initial batch of first baseman fantasy baseball rankings having been posted earlier in the day, here is how yours truly will handle the following players in terms of my interest in drafting them or avoiding them altogether. 

FIRST BASEMAN I WILL DRAFT

Freddie Freeman, Paul Goldschmidt, Anthony Rizzo:  As I have said numerous times in the past, I am always interested in having a first baseman and five tool outfielder among my first two picks but this season the top-tier at the position are limited to these three.  I would be fine owning any of these perennial All-Stars and that goes for Goldy who I think simply had an extended slump to begin 2018 and nothing more.  Yes, the steals are likely eroding for good but the new start in St. Louis should further reinvigorate him.  Rizzo is another one who is likely looking at improved numbers across the board this season after he too came out of the gates slow.  The advanced metrics were all friendly for Rizzo though as his K rate was never lower and he continues to draw walks.  Get back on board fully.  Finally, Freeman can be a bit annoying with the injuries and fluctuating power but this is truly one of the best hitters in the game.

Jose Abreu:  Now moving squarely into the boring veteran category, Jose Abreu still is as consistent as they get in terms of 25 homers, 90 RBI, and a useful average.  Sign me up.

Miguel Cabrera:  Yes the injuries are becoming a big problem for the aging Cabrera but when on the field, his hitting has been as good as ever as the exit velocities all check out and the power is still apparent.  With the draft price as cheap as ever, Cabrera is worth one last look.

Ian Desmond:  One of the most beat up players in fantasy baseball the last few seasons given the fact he has not exactly exploded since landing in the friendly confines of Coors Field, Desmond is still doing the 20/20 dance and qualifies at more than one spot on the diamond. 

Jose Martinez:  Having hit .300 each of the last two seasons with moderate power, Martinez will work nicely in your CI or UTIL slot as he helps everywhere but stolen bases.

FIRST BASEMAN I WILL AVOID

Edwin Encarnacion:  There is no debating the fact the power remains potent but everywhere else seems to reveal trouble when it comes to Seattle Mariners first baseman Edwin Encarnacion.  Now in his mid-30's, Encarnacion is striking out like never before and his walk are way down also.  Those are trends you don't want to see in terms of possible ownership.

Max Muncy:  It was an amazing breakout for the Los Angeles Dodgers' Max Muncy during the first half of the 2018 season but a lot of those good vibes went away after the break as opposing pitchers began to figure him out.  While you like the eligibility at first and second base, Muncy could be another flash in the pan who got exposed the more he played. 

Matt Carpenter:  Kudos to St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenters for going nuclear with his power a year ago but I am not paying for a career-year and also given the injury issues which have cropped up lately. 


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