2012 Fantasy Baseball NL ONLY 1B First Basemen Rankings
Joey Votto - CIN - There is only one sure-fire elite 1B in the NL and his name is Joey Votto. How good is Joey Votto? Votto last season was a bit off but still put up numbers of 29HR, 103RBI, 101R, 9SB, .309 AVG, .416 OBP. That's how good Votto is to be a bit off and put up those kind of numbers. Votto was only one of 3 NL hitters to have over both 100+ Runs & RBI's. The Reds look like a contending team this season and I think Votto has an excellent chance to return to his 2010 MVP numbers in 2012.
This group is a solid bunch and just maybe one or two of them will emerge as elite players this year but let's not count on it. The players are in alphabetical order.
Lance Berkman - STL - Also qualifies at OF. Last season was a bit of a renaissance season. Berkman looked shot at the end of 2010 but then he dedicated himself last off-season and got into great shape. The reason Lance is not on the elite list is because he does turn 36 this week and there will always be questions if Berkman can last a full season health wise. I would expect Berkman's numbers to come down some in 2012 but still a solid year.
Ike Davis - NY - Ike was off to a great start last season showing 2010 was no fluke before a bizarre ankle injury in Colorado on a pop up that ended his season. It was hard to believe but it is the Mets. Read a recent article in one of the New York papers a couple of weeks ago that Ike feels 100% and his old self. Watch to see how Ike is doing health wise in spring training. Davis should get a lot of opportunities as I believe he will be the Mets cleanup hitter. Remember they did move in the fences and lowered some of the walls in Citi Field.
Freddie Freeman - ATL - After a horrible first three weeks, Freeman relaxed and produced the rest of the season. I think Freeman will take the next step and see his numbers get a bit better this year but I think he is a year or two away from being a breakout player although the potential is there. I think 25HR's with Runs and RBI's in the 80's and batting average north of .285 will happen this season.
Mike Morse - WAS - Qualifies also for OF where he should be playing most of his games this year. Had an unbelievable year with 31HR, almost 100 RBI's and a .303 batting average. When you consider for the month of April Morse's numbers were at 1HR, 9RBI, 4R, 1SB and a .224 Avg that's remarkable. Now the question is can Morse do it again? Is he a one hit wonder or future NL top power hitter? I wish I had the answer for you guys. If he goes elite level prices in your draft spend that kind of money on a player who has done it more than once.
Gaby Sanchez - MIA - Steady Eddie. That's Gaby Sanchez. Numbers last 2 years very similar expect the same this year, solid player.
The Young Guns
This group has guys with a lot of potential but now its time to show it as all of them will get their chances in 2012.
Yonder Alonso - SD - Being blocked the last couple of years by Joey Votto is not good for one's career. Should be a line drive machine. Don't expect a ton of home runs due to the type of hitter he is and the ballpark. I would expect a better version of Gaby Sanchez. Alonso could wind up being the Padres number 3 hitter for years to come.
Brandon Belt - SF - Belt made the team out of spring and then a lot of starts and stops last season. Turns 24 in April so he is still very young but the time is now to show the Giants he is their 1B for the next few years. He also qualifies for OF.
Mat Gamel - MIL - Has been blocked by Prince Prince the last few years. He has never be given a real opportunity to get everyday AB's. Now he will he has the ability to be a middle of the lineup hitter with good but not great HR's and a high batting average.
Paul Goldschmidt - ARZ - While there are a lot of swings and misses, Goldschmidt goes up to the plate with a game plan and has awesome power. In that ballpark with that lineup should be a real good source of power with a .250 or so average.
Todd Helton - COL - Solid option if he stays healthy which is a huge if. You know he won't give you a ton of homers but some, the other numbers will be pretty good especially average but he is now 38 with a host of injuries the last few years.
Aubrey Huff - SF - He seems to be feast or famine. Given his age and the other players on the roster and Huff is on the last year of his contract he better be a solid player for them otherwise by late May he could be getting very little AB's.
Adam LaRoche - WAS - Pretty much missed all of last season due to a shoulder injury. Shoulders scare me. But word is he is feeling pretty good. Watch his spring to see how he is doing health wise could be a good draft day gamble for a few bucks.
Carlos Lee - HOU - Wound up putting decent numbers last year on a terrible team. On the last year of a huge contract and could be traded and DHing the 2nd half of the year.
Garrett Jones - PIT - More of the same in 2012 for Jones if the Pirates give him the same number of AB's.
James Loney - LAD - Same here more of the same, he just doesn't have a lot of power.
Ty Wigginton - PHI - Also qualifies for 3B and OF. Will play just about every day until Ryan Howard come back. Could put some real nice numbers and Wiggy has quietly had some real productive seasons in the past. Keep in mind he has hit in the .240's the last 2 seasons.
Jesus Guzman - SD - I don't know if the Padres have a place for him to play with their off-season moves but he deserves a chance to show if last summer was the real deal.
Bryan LaHair - CHC - He will get an opportunity to win the 1B job believe it or not. He has been a career minor league as he has spent the last 6 years in AAA and is now 29 years old. But the Cubs don't want to rush Rizzo so LeHair could get the month of April to show what he can do.
John Mayberry - PHI - I've liked what I've seen in small samples. He did have 15HR's and 49RBI's in 250 AB's last season.
Anthony Rizzo - CHC - The Cubs hope their 1B of the future starting sometime in 2012. Was a key part of the Adrian Gonzalez trade between the Red Sox and Padres. Unless he has a big spring Cubs might want to start him in AAA to build up his confidence after an awful debut at the show last year.
Brett Wallace - HOU - Was supposed to be a big power bat but between 2010 and 2011 has just hit 7 HR's in his 1st 166 games. Could get an opportunity if one of the young outfielders struggle or an injury or when Carlos Lee moves on. He is on 25.
The Howard Factor
Ryan Howard deserves to be on the elite list as big power bat. Last two years Howard has been good not great like he was from 06 through 09. Believe it or not he is now 32 but the key is when will he be back with the Phillies due to this Achilles injury? Again follow in the spring as Howard's return could be anywhere from Memorial Day Weekend to the end of July.
NL King - C.Lizza