The first two months of the 2013 fantasy baseball season are in the books, and we've gotten a good look at which players are off to hot starts and which guys are struggling in the early going. RotoBaller will be updating our positional rankings over the coming days, and today, we're revisiting the first base rankings we initially published in April and updated in May. All the ranks below are compared to the FantasyPros ECR (Expert Consensus Rank), which will show you where RotoBaller differs from the expert community and by how much. Check out our tier-by-tier analysis below the rankings, and let us know where you agree or disagree with us!
Tier 1: A month ago, I was trying to choose between Prince Fielder and Joey Votto as the number one overall first baseman. I went back and forth but eventually gave the nod to Fielder because he had a much better month of April. Then May happened, during which Votto notched a batting average near .400 and an OBP near .500. Wowza. On the flip side, a notable omission from this tier is Albert Pujols, who posted a .289 OBP clip last month. Note: that’s OBP, not batting average. Not a good sign for someone who used to walk more than he struck out. I really hate to say it, but the premier slugger of this past decade is in the declining stages of his career.
Tier 2: Chris Davis and Paul Goldschmidt continue their ascension in the rankings after absolutely murdering the ball in May. Adrian Gonzalez had a fine month as well, but slips a few spots below them. Pujols slots in between Edwin Encarnacion and AGonz.
Tier 3: Despite their lack of power production thus far, Freddie Freeman and Allen Craig continue to be solid run producers. Both should still finish the year with 20+ bombs. Mark Trumbo continues to prove his detractors wrong. He’s on pace to hit 36 round-trippers.
Tier 4: Adam LaRoche turned things around in May after another sluggish April. Matt Carpenter isn’t offering much in terms of HRs or RBIs but he’s on pace to score 133 runs hitting atop the St. Louis lineup-- the guy just knows how to get on base. Michael Cuddyer missed some time in May, but he continues to rake in Colorado. Kendrys Morales appears to be returning to his pre-freak-injury form (.300-30-100). Todd Frazier struggled last month but appears to be turning things around with three straight multi-hit performances to open June.
Tier 5: There are some nice options in this tier but all of the players come with some flaws or question marks attached. Mark Teixeira could certainly move up a tier or two next month if his wrist doesn't act up and impact his power.
Tier 6: I like the upside of some of the players in this tier (Yonder Alonso, Brandon Belt, Eric Hosmer, Ike Davis). Any of these players could easily leapfrog the players ranked ahead of them in Tier 5 with a solid month of production more in line with what we expected from them at the start of the season. Chris Carter is on pace to strike out 229 times, but the HRs and RBIs are certainly nice.
Tier 7: James Loney is a hot waiver wire add right now, but I’m not a believer.