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Rest of Season First Base Rankings (May Update)


The next stop in our Rest-of-Season rankings update is first base. Recently, RotoBaller writers and rankers Nick Mariano, Pierre Camus, Bill Dubiel and Scott Engel updated their 2019 fantasy baseball rankings, available on our dashboard. We always give our readers the very latest rankings, which are continually updated based on injuries, playing time, and performance trends.

If you recall from draft day, first base is largely devoid of high-end talent this year. Those who chose to forego a top-flight 1B pick like Cody Bellinger, Freddie Freeman, or Rhys Hoskins are likely kicking themselves. Many of the later options like Joey Votto, Jesus Aguilar, and Miguel Cabrera just haven't produced, while Matt Olson remains on the IL. Luckily, a few sleepers have emerged and you can see a dramatic shift in these rankings from just one month ago.

Since you're already here, why not stay a while and check out our analysis on updated rankings for second base, shortstop, outfield, and starting pitchers? Now, with no more delay, let's break down the 2019 first base rest-of-season rankings for May.

Editor's Note: Get any full-season MLB Premium Pass for 50% off. Exclusive access to our Draft Kit, premium rankings, projections, player outlooks, top prospects, dynasty rankings, 15 in-season lineup tools, and over 200 days of expert DFS research. Sign Up Now!

 

First Base Tiered Ranks - 5x5 Mixed Leagues (May)

In case you missed it, our very own "Big Pick Nick" Mariano was recently named the #1 overall most accurate industry expert ranker for the 2018 season. You can see his secret sauce below! Additionally, industry legend Scott Engel recently joined the RotoBaller team and provides his insights as well. Scott is an FSWA Hall Of Famer and award winner.

Rank Tier Player Position Nick Pierre Bill Scott
1 1 Cody Bellinger 1B/OF 3 9 19 6
2 1 Paul Goldschmidt 1B 16 20 21 19
3 2 Freddie Freeman 1B 29 18 20 18
4 2 Rhys Hoskins 1B/OF 22 28 40 24
5 2 Anthony Rizzo 1B 43 29 30 29
6 2 Jose Abreu 1B 52 58 68 47
7 3 Joey Gallo 3B/1B/OF 26 59 90 65
8 3 Matt Carpenter 1B/2B/3B 102 75 76 91
9 4 Daniel Murphy 1B/2B 72 107 60 114
10 4 J.T. Realmuto C/1B 119 83 94 58
11 4 Pete Alonso 1B 68 70 152 64
12 4 Luke Voit 1B 71 88 135 80
13 4 Edwin Encarnacion 1B 109 104 84 122
14 4 Robinson Cano 1B/2B 148 97 103 109
15 4 Joey Votto 1B 96 138 63 174
16 4 Josh Bell 1B 127 110 138 112
17 4 Travis Shaw 1B/2B/3B 159 140 113 147
18 5 Christian Walker 1B 137 136 158 145
19 5 Matt Olson 1B 100 175 157 167
20 5 Jesus Aguilar 1B 156 134 150 173
20 5 Carlos Santana 1B/3B 170 163 115 180
21 5 Max Muncy 1B/2B/3B 115 215 159 141
22 5 Trey Mancini 1B/OF 134 216 172 146
23 5 Ryan McMahon 1B/3B/2B 176 170 205 227
24 6 Ryan Braun 1B/OF 195 206 147 236
25 6 Miguel Cabrera 1B 212 248 129 213
26 6 Daniel Vogelbach 1B 152 249 209 229
27 6 Justin Smoak 1B 251 241 239 204
28 6 Niko Goodrum 1B/2B/3B/SS/OF 248 242 255 202
29 6 Jose Martinez OF/1B 269 196 201 285
31 6 Eric Hosmer 1B 229 284 219 226
32 6 Ian Desmond OF/1B 286 312 247 211
33 6 Jay Bruce OF/1B 153 265 362 281
34 7 Rowdy Tellez 1B 277 259 260 #N/A
35 7 Jurickson Profar SS/3B/1B/2B 275 301 225 264
36 7 C.J. Cron 1B 295 261 297 237
37 7 Jake Bauers 1B/OF 307 263 299 261
38 7 Mitch Moreland 1B 272 383 237 #N/A
39 7 Buster Posey C/1B 342 319 264 273
40 7 Ryan Zimmerman 1B 376 315 213 #N/A
41 7 Yuli Gurriel 1B/2B/3B 349 344 263 278
42 7 Eric Thames 1B/OF 233 270 437 295
43 7 Ryan O'Hearn 1B 312 266 383 #N/A
44 8 Ronald Guzman 1B 398 287 301 #N/A
45 8 Miguel Sano 1B/3B 278 391 366 289
46 8 Brandon Belt 1B/OF 352 353 318 #N/A
47 8 Ryon Healy 1B #N/A 309 444 299
48 8 Tyler White 1B 358 375 328 #N/A
49 8 Wilmer Flores 1B/3B/2B 341 355 376 #N/A
50 8 Tucker Barnhart C/1B 433 373 344 300
51 8 Ronny Rodriguez 1B/2B/3B/SS 374 #N/A #N/A #N/A
52 8 Nate Lowe 1B 265 490 #N/A #N/A
53 8 Marwin Gonzalez 1B/2B/SS/OF 408 463 279 #N/A
54 8 Justin Bour 1B 384 453 335 #N/A
55 8 Yonder Alonso 1B 499 330 467 290
56 8 Kendrys Morales 1B 402 481 309 #N/A
57 8 Neil Walker 1B/2B 359 414 421 #N/A
58 8 Chris Davis 1B 297 474 452 #N/A
59 8 Albert Pujols 1B 403 459 422 #N/A
60 8 Matt Adams 1B 407 454 #N/A #N/A
61 8 Colin Moran 3B/1B 477 397 476 #N/A
62 8 Steve Pearce 1B/2B/OF #N/A 439 471 #N/A
63 8 John Hicks C/1B #N/A 429 488 #N/A
64 8 Dominic Smith 1B #N/A #N/A 466 #N/A
65 9 Greg Bird 1B #N/A 470 477 #N/A
66 9 Adam Duvall 1B/OF #N/A #N/A 500 #N/A
67 9 Tyler Austin 1B #N/A #N/A 532 #N/A
68 9 Jedd Gyorko 1B/3B #N/A #N/A 534 #N/A

 

Rankings Analysis - Top Tiers

Tier One

It's Cody Bellinger's world - we're all just living in it and waiting for the natural regression of a player who hit in the .260s his first two years and is enjoying an even K-BB rate, despite striking out at a rate 10 points higher than his current 14.3% K%. This isn't to say Bellinger will be a second-half flop but if you have him on your team and need help elsewhere, it wouldn't hurt to try selling at peak value.

Tier Two

Like most Cubs, Anthony Rizzo was slow out the gate this year but is starting to heat up. He's logged four multi-hit games in the last seven and has slugged four homers since the calendar turned to May. As a reliable run-producer who's seen more than 600 plate appearances in six straight seasons, Rizzo is a solid top-five player at first base.

There were some concerns about Jose Abreu being in decline after a rough 2018 filled with slumps and injuries. I'd say he has allayed those concerns fairly well after one month. Abreu ranks in the 99th percentile in hard-hit rate, ranking fourth at 57.9%. He's also second in Barrel rate, ranks in the 95th percentile for xSLG and 91st for xwOBA. So he's doing OK.

Tier Three

I won't get too deep into Gallo's profile here because a) we know what he is by now, and b) you may not necessarily be using him at first base. I will note that the top fantasy baseball ranker in all the land last year, Nick Mariano, has him 27 overall, higher than Hoskins, Rizzo, and even Freeman. Maybe we should learn to love Gallo and live with the strikeouts.

Matt Carpenter is the only other 1B-qualifying player in this tier and if you're using him at this position rather than the middle infield, things have gone wrong somewhere along the way. He's supposed to be the type of player you don't need to use at the corners because he's better off giving you a power boost at second base, because that position is thinner in fantasy. At least it used to be.

 

Rankings Analysis - Middle Tiers

Tier Four

In this tier, it's a matter of which New York slugger you prefer. Both Pete Alonso and Luke Voit have lived up to their preseason sleeper status so far, although Bill Dubs is not buying it just yet based on his bearish ranking. They each have posted elite xSLG numbers and have locked down a starting job the rest of this season, barring injury. Between the two, I give the slight edge to Alonso because of lineup position. Both primarily reside in the second spot of the lineup but Voit could get pushed down once the Yankees actually get their main players like Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge back.

Is Joey Votto still on here? He's only two years removed from nearly being the MVP but since then it's just been downhill. Votto remains a top-100 player for Nick, while Bill may be having flashbacks to 2017 with a ranking of 63 overall but I'm done with him for good. The Reds as a team may improve their offense (they have nowhere to go but up) but that doesn't mean Votto will be a big part of that. As Kanye once said, "You can't tell me nothin'!"

I am totally buying the Josh Bell renaissance. A sophomore slump soured us all on the former top prospect in the Steel City, reflected in his 249 preseason ADP. Despite an increased strikeout rate, he's posting elite Statcast numbers in the 95th percentile or higher of exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xSLG and xwOBA. He could end up being the best value pick at this position by season's end.

Tier Five

Matt Olson is back in the A's lineup and went 2-for-4 with a double on the 9th. We heard the cautionary tales of how his wrist injury might affect his swing for a while even when he's cleared to play. Doesn't seem that way. Olson is someone I'll be moving back up the rankings soon.

It was pretty exciting when Jesus Aguilar went yard thrice in two days and we immediately assumed he was back. He hasn't homered since May began but at least his average has inched back up to .181! Believe it or not, his plate discipline is better than last year and there aren't any big red flags to worry about so keep exploring a buy-low scenario if possible.

Tier Six

In the same vein as Votto, I'm all but throwing in the towel on a pair of former MVPs. Miggy and Braun aren't recapturing their former glory and should be viewed as CI options in 12+ team leagues. Braun can still drive in runs in that Brewers lineup and Cabrera is hitting for average but that's about it. One look at the overall profile shows that these two rank 24th and 41st respectively in terms of overall value in 5x5 leagues among players who qualify at first base.

Can you ride with Daniel Vogelbach the rest of the season? Nick definitely thinks so, ranking him inside his top 150 while nobody else has him as a top-200 player. Since his amazing week, he's only homered once since April 20th (coincidence?) which is a span of 16 games. He's struggling hard against lefties with a .118 average, so don't be surprised if his ABs start to be limited, especially once Kyle Seager comes off the injured list in late May or early June.

 

Rankings Analysis - Lower Tiers

Tier Seven

Jay Bruce is doing his best Jay Bruce impression this year in Seattle. The power will play in roto but at the expense of batting average, which currently sits at .186. The fact that his BABIP is .164 isn't encouraging, it's downright scary.

I'm keeping the faith in Ronald Guzman as a less-frightening source of power among lower-tier first base options. He just came off the IL and should resume duties as an everyday starter. He is a lottery ticket at this point but one I'm willing to invest a roster spot in.

Same goes for Ryan O'Hearn, whose Statcast numbers suggest he's due for some better luck soon. He's got a tremendous 51.3% hard-hit rate, so if he can stop hitting the ball on the ground so much, the numbers could rise. Hear that, Rafael Devers?

Tier Eight and lower

Nate Lowe was a popular waiver add 10 days ago because of his mammoth raw power. 35 at-bats and zero homers later, he's already being dropped everywhere. As long as he doesn't embarrass himself at the plate, which he hasn't so far, the Rays will give him every chance to keep playing.

Yonder Alonso isn't exciting and never has been, but he's been at least a 20-HR guy the last two seasons that won't kill your average. This year, he's killing your average. For a young, non-contending team like the White Sox, Alonso might be cast aside if he doesn't turn things around quickly.

Kendrys Morales might also become a victim of the numbers game, as Oakland has plenty of young prospects ready to take his place.

I wish there were more young 1B prospects on the cusp of making an impact this year, but as of right now the best we can do is hope that Yordan Alvarez gets called up and sees enough time to qualify at the position. As you may know, I'm a big fan.

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