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2013 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: First Basemen

Plenty of power and production on top of first base rankings

By

Updated March 30, 2013

For the fifth season, About.com Baseball is back with its comprehensive fantasy baseball rankings. We've added some tweaks to the formula for 2013 and are confident the rankings are as accurate as ever. They'll be updated weekly in March, looking at trends, injuries and other developments.

The trend in fantasy baseball is more toward the head-to-head formats that became popular in fantasy football over the years. However, the original rotisserie-style, cumulative 5x5 format is still out there, especially among established leagues. These rankings are weighted toward head-to-head, but can easily be tweaked toward rotisserie, and there are notes under certain players who are more valuable in rotisserie-style play, where the lost art of stolen bases has a big reward. Some players who are highly ranked in a rotisserie-style format are worth a lot less in a points format.

Make sure you know the exact format your league is using, because it will affect the way you should prepare. You can learn more about the different formats here.

Baseball guide Scott Kendrick has been with About.com since 2007, has been playing fantasy baseball for 20 years and has ranked players for the last decade. He's perused just about every preseason magazine, scoured the other baseball websites and taken some of the best expert opinions into account.

As always, first base is a position crowded with big hitters. Scarcity is not a big issue, but the Tier-1 players should all go very early in most leagues.

On to the rankings of first baseman, looking at the top 20 prospects, led by a two former NL MVPs:

TIER 1: No-brainers

1. Joey Votto, Reds

  • Age on opening day: 29
  • 2012 stats: .337, 14 HR, 56 RBI, 1.041 OPS
  • Three-year average: .321, 26 HR, 90 RBI, .998 OPS

2. Albert Pujols, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 33
  • 2012 stats: .285, 30 HR, 105 RBI, .859 OPS
  • Three-year average: .298, 36 HR, 107 RBI, .926 OPS

3. Prince Fielder, Tigers

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: .313, 30 HR, 108 RBI, .940 OPS
  • Three-year average: .291, 33 HR, 103 RBI, .930 OPS

4. Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: .280, 42 HR, 110 RBI, .941 OPS
  • Three-year average: .269, 26 HR, 72 RBI, .850 OPS

TIER 2: Elite

5. Adrian Gonzalez, Dodgers

  • Age on opening day: 30
  • 2012 stats: .299, 18 HR, 108 RBI, .806 OPS
  • Three-year average: .312, 25 HR, 108 RBI, .890 OPS

6. Billy Butler, Royals

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: .313, 29 HR, 107 RBI, .882 OPS
  • Three-year average: .307, 21 HR, 93 RBI, .854 OPS

7. Paul Goldschmidt, Diamondbacks

  • Age on opening day: 25
  • 2012 stats: .286, 20 HR, 82 RBI, .850 OPS
  • Three-year average: .278, 14 HR, 54 RBI, .840 OPS

8. Allen Craig, Cardinals

  • Age on opening day: 28
  • 2012 stats: .307, 22 HR, 92 RBI, .876 OPS
  • Three-year average: .300, 12 HR, 50 RBI, .863 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: OF

TIER 3: Serviceable starter

9. Freddie Freeman, Braves

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .259, 23 HR, 94 RBI, .796 OPS
  • Three-year average: .269, 15 HR, 57 RBI, .789 OPS

10. Mark Trumbo, Angels

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .268, 32 HR, 95 RBI, .808 OPS
  • Three-year average: .259, 20 HR, 61 RBI, .780 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: OF, 3B

11. Paul Konerko, White Sox

  • Age on opening day: 37
  • 2012 stats: .298, 26 HR, 75 RBI, .857 OPS
  • Three-year average: .304, 32 HR, 97 RBI, .914 OPS

TIER 4: Worth a look

12. Mike Napoli, Red Sox

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: .227, 24 HR, 56 RBI, .812 OPS
  • Three-year average: .261, 26 HR, 66 RBI, .875 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: C (and move up to Tier 3 if that's the case in your league)

13. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .285, 15 HR, 48 RBI, .805 OPS
  • Three-year average: .245, 8 HR, 28 RBI, .722 OPS

14. Ike Davis, Mets

  • Age on opening day: 26
  • 2012 stats: .227, 32 HR, 90 RBI, .771 OPS
  • Three-year average: .252, 19 HR, 62 RBI, .797 OPS

TIER 5: Backups only

15. Chris Davis, Orioles

  • Age on opening day: 27
  • 2012 stats: .270, 33 HR, 85 RBI, .827 OPS
  • Three-year average: .258, 13 HR, 36 RBI, .761 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: OF

16. Eric Hosmer, Royals

  • Age on opening day: 23
  • 2012 stats: .232, 14 HR, 60 RBI, .663 OPS
  • Three-year average: .262, 16 HR, 69 RBI, .730 OPS

17. Adam LaRoche, Nationals

  • Age on opening day: 33
  • 2012 stats: .271, 33 HR, 100 RBI, .853 OPS
  • Three-year average: .255, 20 HR, 71 RBI, .788 OPS

18. Ryan Howard, Phillies

  • Age on opening day: 33
  • 2012 stats: .219, 14 HR, 56 RBI, .718 OPS
  • Three-year average: .256, 26 HR, 93 RBI, .822 OPS

19. Corey Hart, Brewers

  • Age on opening day: 31
  • 2012 stats: .270, 30 HR, 83 RBI, .841 OPS
  • Three-year average: .279, 29 HR, 82 RBI, .857 OPS
  • Other potential eligibility: OF

20. Lance Berkman, Rangers

  • Age on opening day: 37
  • 2012 stats: .259, 2 HR, 7 RBI in 32 games
  • Three-year average: .275, 15 HR, 53 RBI, .874 OPS

Next five: Mark Teixeira, Yankees; Lance Berkman, Rangers; Brandon Moss, A's; Justin Morneau, Twins; Mark Reynolds, Indians

2013 position rankings

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