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First Base: Overvalued/Undervalued for Fantasy Baseball Points Leagues

Paul Goldschmidt - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, DFS Picks

Teams have already reported to spring training, which means the MLB season is right around the corner. The first regular season series of the year will take place between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres on March 20-21 in Seoul, South Korea.

That means if you are in a fantasy baseball league, now is the perfect time to start prepping for your league. More specifically, if you're in a points league, this is the article for you. This piece will go through which first basemen are going too high and too low in fantasy drafts this year.

So, let's dive in and see which first basemen are being overvalued and undervalued in points leagues this year.

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Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals

St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Paul Goldschmidt has a current ADP of 65. This is too low for a player who has hit over 30 home runs and 30 doubles in five of the past six seasons. Of course, his ADP in the sixth round is this low because of his down year in 2023. Goldschmidt still finished the year with solid hitting numbers.

The Cardinals' first baseman finished with a .268 batting average, 25 HRs, 80 RBI, and 31 doubles in 154 games. Regression was expected for Goldschmidt as he entered his age-35 season. However, he was still hitting the ball hard with a 50.8% hard-hit rate -- which landed him in the top 7% in the Majors last year -- and his 12.7% walk rate was in the top 11%.

Goldschmidt also continues to stay healthy, which is another key to his fantasy value. He has played over 150 games in eight straight seasons, and that availability mixed with his power numbers make him a great high-floor pick in the early rounds. The first baseman should be going earlier than pick 65.

Verdict: Undervalued

 

Nolan Jones, Colorado Rockies

There's no doubt that Colorado Rockies first baseman/outfielder Nolan Jones had a fantastic rookie season in 2023. He finished the year with a .297 batting average, 20 HRs, 62 RBI, 22 doubles, and 20 stolen bases. On top of that, he gets to play at the most hitter-friendly ballpark at Coors Field. The future is definitely bright for Jones.

However, his ADP is way too high this year in just his second MLB season. His ADP on Yahoo is 47, and even his average ADP among all fantasy baseball sites (65) is too high in 2024.

Jones' numbers were great last year, though, there could be some regression coming for him at the plate. His expected batting average was .249, which was 48 points lower than what he finished with. The rookie also didn't hit the ball hard with a 41.3% hard-hit rate (below the league average), and he struck out on 29.7% of his plate appearances last year.

It wouldn't be bad to take a chance on Jones if he winds up falling in the eighth round, though, that seems unlikely. The first baseman is a risk at his current ADP, and there are certainly better options to choose from like Goldschmidt, Alex Bregman, and Logan Gilbert, all of whom are going around him in drafts.

Verdict: Overvalued

 

Spencer Steer, Cincinnati Reds

Cincinnati Reds first baseman Spencer Steer is another second-year player that makes this list. Steer also had a great year in 2023, hitting .271 with 23 HRs, 86 RBI, and 37 doubles. Like Jones, there should be some regression at the plate for the California native.

Steer's metrics do not back the year that he had in 2023, as his expected batting average (.252), average exit velocity (88.7 mph), hard-hit rate (37.2%), and expected slugging (.417) were all below league average. He did provide some solid numbers in several categories. However, his 95.2 ADP this year is a bit too high.

Steer should still be able to hit over 20 HRs in 2024, but his batting average and RBI numbers could take a fall this upcoming season. I'd prefer Dylan Cease, Nick Castellanos, or Cole Ragans over the Reds' first baseman at his current ADP.

Verdict: Overvalued

 

Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers

What more does Texas Rangers first baseman Nathaniel Lowe have to do to get more love in fantasy? Lowe's current ADP is 186, which is way too low for a player who hits at the top of one of the most potent lineups in baseball.

Lowe's numbers did decline from 2022 to 2023. However, there's no reason he should be going in the final rounds of fantasy baseball drafts in 2024. He hit .262 with 17 HRs, 82 RBI, 38 doubles, and three triples across 161 games. His 161 games last year also marked the third straight year he has played over 157 contests.

The thing to like most about Lowe is the fact that he will hit third in the Rangers' lineup, leading to plenty of opportunities to drive in runs. With Marcus Semien and Corey Seager hitting in front of him in 2023, the first baseman drove in a career-high 82 runs. That number might increase this season if Seager can stay healthy.

Lowe has driven in at least 70 runs in three straight seasons while hitting a career-high 27 HRs just two seasons ago in 2022. He is certainly worth a shot in the later rounds, and there's a strong chance he tops 20 HRs and over 80 RBI in one of the best offenses in the Majors.

Verdict: Undervalued

 

Josh Naylor, Cleveland Guardians

Cleveland Guardians first baseman Josh Naylor is coming off a career year in 2023, where he hit .308, 17 HRs, 97 RBI, and 31 doubles. However, Naylor's ADP currently sits at 128. He's usually the 16th to 17th first baseman off the board in drafts this year.

Naylor has proven that he can contribute at a reliable level in fantasy with his solid home run, RBI, and double numbers over his career. The first baseman has totaled at least 17 HRs, 75 RBI, and 28 doubles in back-to-back seasons, which are key categories for points leagues. He also only struck out 68 times last year and has a career .270 average over his five-year career.

That all makes Naylor a solid option in the middle round of drafts. Spencer Torkelson, Anthony Santander, and Yainer Diaz are all going sooner than him in drafts this year, but the Guardians' first baseman might be the better value -- given his consistency over the past two seasons.

Verdict: Undervalued



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