Hitting is down across the league. Strikeouts are on the rise, with the league-wide K% in 2012 reaching an all-time high of 19.8%, and power is way down from the steroid-fueled heydays of Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, and Co. But even when you adjust for the rapidly cooling offensive climate of the last few seasons, home run power at first base is still on the decline.
While homer totals at the position have been very stable over the last five seasons, it’s the elite home run production that has suffered.
In 2010, there were 42 players in all of baseball who hit at least 25 homers, 17 of whom (38.6%) qualified at first base in fantasy leagues. In 2012, there were 44 players who hit at least 25 homers, but just 12 of them (27.3%) qualified at first base.
At first glance, the decline in 25+ homer options from 17 to 12 might not seem like much, but take a minute to think about that in a few different ways.
That represents a 29.4% decline.
In 12-team fantasy leagues there’s now just enough ...