A quick overview and a few comments on 2020 rankings for first basemen. As always, you can find all of our rankings updated periodically by clicking the "Rankings" link at the top of the website.
Here are the positions we've covered thus far:
Historically one of the deeper positions in fantasy baseball, that's no longer the case, as a lot of those superstars are now waiver wire additions. Overall, the position does have enough players to hopefully allow owners to get a slugger in the middle rounds. As I've stated in previous articles, we take the tier approach with the rankings, because at the end of the day, there isn't much difference between the number 4 first baseman and the number 6 first baseman.
Tier One, and you can't go wrong with anyone below.
Every player in the first tier is a power guy with the exception of Anthony Rizzo, who is a very good hitter, but won't hit 40 home runs. Pete Alonso can flip home runs at the drop of a hat, so he's an easy pick for your every day first baseman. Cody Bellinger and Freddie Freeman are both very good, so you can't go wrong with either. If I had to pick one, I would go Bellinger due to the extra position eligibility and injury concerns with Freeman's hand/wrist.
Tier Two has plenty of power guys for fantasy owners who wait on the first base position.
Matt Olson could easily be in the Tier One, but his OBP and RBI totals were a little low in my projects, but I have him hitting around 40 home runs in 2020. Regardless, he's a fine pick, and anyone could draft him in front of Rizzo. I believe Jose Abreu was passed over due to the White Sox being terrible, but with a better team - will his draft value go up? Likely yes.
Three stolen bases for Paul Goldschmidt last year, so it appears the days of the 20/20 potential are gone, which may just be St. Louis playing it safe. Max Muncy is just a delight for fantasy owners, as he has multiple position eligibility, hits homers, and has a high on-base percentage. The only downfall is the fact that his batting average is all or nothing and the fact that Dodgers' manager Dave Roberts will platoon him with other players.
Tier Three has your mix bag of sleepers and un-proven superstars.
Josh Bell put on a terrific first half season in 2019, and then disappeared. I truly hope he comes back like he did in the start of 2019, but there is some concern. Miguel Sano is your full time first baseman in Minnesota, as Josh Donaldson signed with the Twins during the off-season. Sano can hopefully ditch worrying about defense and hit 40 home runs. I always flip back and forth on Rhys Hoskins, thinking he will put everything together and hit 40 home runs with a .270 batting average, but I don't know if 2020 is that year. His .226 batting average last year was a super roster killer.
Christian Walker is like Pete Alonso, minus the 50 home runs, but he'll hit 30 home runs with a batting average around .260. Danny Santana is my interesting pick for another 20/20 season, plus the additional position eligibility is always a plus.
Tier Four first basemen are mostly bounce-back candidates, but don't put too much stock into them.
The biggest name on here is Joey Votto. Once an elite talent, his days as a reliable Tier One guy appear to be over. He was never one to hit many home runs, but his .421 OBP always helped him win over fantasy owners. Votto has hit the 30 home run mark twice in his career. I think if you're lucky, you get 20 home runs and a .380 OBP out of him, even with the new and improved lineup in Cincinnati.
Eric Hosmer continues to disappoint fantasy owners each year. C.J. Cron finds a new home and hopefully starting job in Detroit, after a year with the Twins. When Cron was a fulltime player with the Rays, he hit 30 home runs in 2018, but was always a platoon player prior to the 2018 season.
Tier Five, and it's mostly just for amusement, as I wouldn't look for too much help with these players.
We find this tier to contain our favorite aging superstars such as Miguel Cabrera and Albert Pujols. Brandon Belt's hype-train left the station years ago, and he's to be avoided. Eric Thames and Howie Kendrick are are on the same team in Washington, but don't pay for Kendrick's postseason success, as that first base position is a mess for the Nationals, and it doesn't even include Ryan Zimmerman.
The Mariners appear to be all-in with prospect Evan White, even if that means he's not major league ready in 2020. Seattle signed White to a six-year extension, and he's never played above Double-A. In three minor league seasons, he's a career .296/.361/.471 hitter with a total of 32 home runs. I'm not ready to draft him right away, but if he continues to stick with the team as they reach Opening Day, he may be a player worth taking a late round flier on.