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Points Leagues ADP Busts: First Basemen To Fall Short Of ADP In 2023

Anthony Rizzo - Fantasy Baseball Rankings, MLB Injury News, Draft Sleepers

Spring training is winding down as teams prepare to finalize their rosters ahead of March 30, Opening Day. Simultaneously, fantasy managers are getting their notes in order for draft day, with a heavy dose of drafts to take place over the next week.

As a result, it's a great time to dial in on some position analysis. Draft day isn't only a time to target players but also to avoid those unlikely to live up to their ADPs. There's a wealth of reasons why a certain player is likely to provide the value required at prevailing ADPs, but it's not about targeting one specific area. Rather, it's best to look at all factors to decipher which players to avoid on draft day.

All that being said, let's take a look at some first basemen unlikely to live up to their current ADPs in NFBC points and H2H points leagues in 2023.

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Paul Goldschmidt, Cardinals

ADP - 24.29 PRK: 4 OVRK: 23

It's certainly rare to avoid a player coming off an MVP season, but Paul Goldschmidt will be hard-pressed to finish the 2023 season as a top-25 player.

Despite finishing in the top three of NL MVP voting three times with the D-backs from 2013-2017, Goldschmidt's stock is sky-high entering his age-35 season after capturing his elusive MVP in the 2022 campaign.

After hitting .260 with a career-low 117 wRC+ at age 31 in the 2019 season, it appeared Goldy might be on the decline. Three seasons later at 34 years of age, the Cardinals' first baseman hit .317 with 35 home runs, 106 runs, 115 RBI, seven stolen bases, a .982 OPS, and 177 wRC+. Overall, it was the best offensive season of his 12-year MLB career.

Goldschmidt posted plenty of big-time numbers in 2022, one of which was a .368 BABIP that is well above his elevated .349 career mark. While he still made plenty of hard contact, his hard-hit rate and barrel rate actually declined from 2021. While his walk rate bounced back to 12.1% in 2022, his 21.7% K% represented an increase for a second straight season.

While he's been extremely durable throughout his career, Goldschmidt's 151 games played in 2022 were his fewest in a single season since 2014. He still made 651 trips to the plate and will play every day when healthy, but at 35 it's difficult to guarantee full health over the 162-game regular-season grind.

There's plenty of reason to like Goldschmidt, but can we guarantee he'll be better than Matt Olson, who could be had 20 picks later? He'll need another MVP-type campaign to justify a top-25 pick this spring.

Anthony Rizzo, Yankees

ADP - 150.58 PRK: 13 OVRK: 144

Anthony Rizzo's first full season with the Yankees went swimmingly in 2022 as he clubbed 32 HR in just 130 games while producing a 132 wRC+ which represents his most productive season at the plate since 2019. However, Rizzo's roto stats weren't exceptional. It appears his health could be compromised moving forward.

Despite hitting more than 30 homers for the first time since 2017, Rizzo drove in just 75 runs while scoring 77 of his own. He also hit only .224 while posting an 18.4% K% which was his worst mark since 2014. Yankee Stadium is a perfect venue for the lefty-swinging veteran, but Rizzo wasn't lights out aside from the home run pop.

Additionally, the 130 games he logged a season ago were the fewest he's recorded in a single season since 2012 when he was a 22-year-old sophomore. Rizzo is already dealing with lower back issues this spring, saying it's something he'll have to manage for the remainder of his career. At 33, expect this issue to worsen, not improve.

While Rizzo ranked in the 76th percentile in barrel rate (hence the home runs), he also ranked in the 57th percentile in average exit velocity and 56th in hard-hit rate. His .256 ISO from last season was not only a 40-point improvement over his career mark but his best since 2016. In other words, it's hard to envision seeing as much power from Rizzo this season as he did in 2022.

ATC projects Rizzo to miss nearly 30 games this season while seeing his home run total dip to 25 with similar runs and RBI totals that he put forth last season. That's solid production, but it's also an optimistic view of his health, considering his plate appearances have sunk every season since 2017.

Hitting in the middle of a lethal Yankees lineup should prop him up, but Rizzo will be fortunate to provide value at this ADP in 2023.

Jake Cronenworth, Padres

ADP - 186.01 PRK - 19 OVRK - 184

Jake Cronenworth will give you some positional flexibility as an option at both first and second base in 2023, but it would be surprising if he lived up to his prevailing ADP.

Cronenworth was an All-Star in 2021 when he hit .266 with 21 HR, 94 runs, an .800 OPS, and .341 wOBA across 152 games. However, he slipped to a .239 BA with 17 HR and a .722 OPS across 158 contests. The 29-year-old's value with his bat exceeded the league average via his 109 wRC+ but that figure represented a decline from his 116 mark the season prior.

The drop in power was a notable concern. Cronenworth went from posting a healthy .194 isolated power in 2021 to a .152 mark in 2022. It also appears the dip was no fluke as we take a look at his Statcast percentile rankings from a season ago.

Drafting a first baseman without the ability to barrel the ball up while making consistent hard contact isn't a winning strategy, especially in points leagues. His bat profile fits second base more than it does a corner infield spot, but the Padres' off-season signing of Xander Bogaerts forced several infielders into different spots for the upcoming season.

Cronenworth is certainly a tough sell at first base, but it could be tough to outperform his overall ADP in the 2023 campaign.

Trey Mancini, Cubs

ADP - 255.48 PRK - 28 OVRK - 246

Trey Mancini is a solid big-league hitter that has hit for power in the past, but playing time concerns, in addition to a dip in power, represent significant red flags with the Cubs this season.

After launching a career-high 35 HR alongside a .244 ISO in the 2019 season with Baltimore, Mancini sat out the 2020 season while receiving cancer treatment. He was still an above-average player at the plate upon his return in 2021 but hit just 21 home runs with a .176 ISO. He split last season between the O's and Astros, seeing his home run rate dip once again to 18, along with a diminished .152 ISO.

He's appeared in at least 143 games in each of his five full big-league seasons, but with Eric Hosmer and Matt Mervis in the picture at both first base and designated hitter, Mancin's playing time is sure to plunge, barring injuries. He could see some time in the corner outfield spots, but his clearest route to at-bats this season is at first base or DH.

As a result, ATC projects a career-low 120 games played and 503 plate appearances for the 31-year-old this summer. Furthermore, they're chalking him up for just 15 HR and 58 RBI. Keep in mind Maninci benefited from one of the friendliest home run parks in Baltimore earlier in his career before they changed their dimensions prior to last season.

Maninci doesn't possess the power and sure-fire playing time required in a first baseman on draft day.

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