- Paul Goldschmidt (Auction $41): There really isn't much to say, he's the best in class. Consistent power year to year and an added bonus of 10-15 SB per season. In addition he's been over 0.300 for three consecutive years and there's no reason to think he's not going to continue this pace.
My projections for Goldschmidt: 100 / 31 / 106 / 16 / 0.304
- Anthony Rizzo (Auction $35): I wasn't buying Rizzo last season and boy was I wrong. I expected a bit more of a sophomore slump out of him and he just continued to excel. To me, he's very similar to Goldschmidt, just with a bit more power upside and average downside. He's the only other top 1B with 10+ SB upside like Goldy.
My projections for Rizzo: 91 / 34 / 102 / 11 / 0.281
- Miguel Cabrera (Auction $34): Last year was one of the worst years we've seen from Miggy in a while. He only played in 118 games, but he still managed to hit .338 and win the batting title. If he did play a full season he was on pace for 30+ HR's and 110+ RBI. That said he's entering his 13th season. I have him projected with a bit of natural regression and he's still the #3 first baseman on my board. I understand why some might shy away from him for someone younger, but I'm fine taking him near the end of the first round in most drafts.
My projections for Cabrera: 90 / 26 / 96 / 2 / 0.312
- Edwin Encarnacion (Auction $30): You basically know what you're getting when you draft Encarnacion: power. He peaked a bit later in his career than others, but 4 years in a row at 34+ HR's isn't matched by many. He doesn't run and his average is going to be lower that my top 3, but he's almost a lock for 30+ HR's and 100+ RBI's. In the Blue Jay's lineup, I think there's even more RBI upside than that.
My projections for Encarnacion: 88 / 35 / 108 / 2 / 0.273
- Jose Abreu (Auction $29): Not that he's the forgotten talent, but I've seen a number of people that don't believe in Abreu's chance for continued success. In his first 2 MLB seasons, he's average slash line looks like: 84 / 33 / 104 / 2 / 0 / .303. If you were going to give me that out of my first round pick, I'd be thrilled. The best part is, this year, you don't need to take him in the first round. I understand the White Sox aren't great, but there are many batters on other teams that continue to thrive in poor lineups.
My projections for Abreu: 84 / 31 / 94 / 0 / 0.288
- Buster Posey (Auction $27): Posey is dual eligible at C and 1B. Check out what I wrote about Posey in my catcher projections here.
My projections for Posey: 75 / 21 / 88 / 0 / 0.313
- Chris Davis (Auction $25): Full disclosure, I've never been a Davis supporter. I've always felt like his 2014 season was closer to the player he really is, but he proved me wrong both in 2013 and 2015. That said my projections in 2016 are probably a bit higher than I want them to be, but the numbers don't lie.
My projections for Davis: 86 / 36 / 105 / 2 / 0.258
- Joey Votto (Auction $24): Votto had a huge year last year compared to what most thought he would do. He's one of the best hitters in the game and has one of the best eye's at the plate. However that doesn't necessarily translate into an amazing fantasy player. In most standard scoring leagues, walks don't help you, and he walks a LOT. That simply removes opportunities for AB's and equates to less HR's and RBI's. He's a very good hitter, just make sure you temper expectations for fantasy relevant numbers. OBP leagues, he gets a massive boost.
My projections for Votto: 86 / 22 / 84 / 5 / 0.293
- Freddie Freeman (Auction $21): Freeman is a very good hitter in a terrible lineup. Last year people were shying away from him because many were afraid he would be pitched around. He missed almost 1/4 of the season with a reoccurring wrist injury and still put up better numbers than many projected him for. If he comes into the season healthy, this year he should be able to produce at a reasonably high level once again.
My projections for Freeman: 77 / 22 / 82 / 3 / 0.287
- Eric Hosmer (Auction $20): Just about every year, I have Hosmer higher on my board than most others. He doesn't have tremendous power or speed. He's just a very good hitter in a good lineup that contributes across the board. It accumulates in more value than people expect and I'm happy yo take that as my 1B if I miss out on the top guys.
My projections for Hosmer: 82 / 19 / 84 / 6 / 0.284
- Adrian Gonzalez (Auction $18): Another year older and Gonzo is still a steady-Eddie producer. He will be 34 this year, but still batting in the middle of a good Dodgers lineup. He should be close to the consistent Gonzalez production we're used to.
My projections for Gonzalez: 77 / 24 / 87 / 0 / 0.275
- Albert Pujols (Auction $16): Pujols rounds out my top 12 first basemen. To be honest, I did everything I could to try and keep him out of it, but couldn't find another guy I thought was worthy of bumping up the list. I'm worried about Pujols coming into this year. He had foot surgery to alleviate pain from his previous plantar fasciitis injury, but only time will tell what that recovery looks like. He will likely miss most of spring training and even if the surgery did correct the issue, the 36 year old 1B may not bounce back to his old form. My projections for Pujols are already conservative and even knowing that I would still probably shy away from him this year. The floor is a lot lower than the ceiling is high in my opinion.
My projections for Pujols: 72 / 25 / 84 / 1 / 0.268
- Brandon Belt (Auction $11): Belt is a player that has been full of upside but hasn't quite ever lived up to expectations. The last 2 seasons he hasn't played a full season so we don't really know what we might see from him. I think he has 20 + HR and 10+ SB upside, but I can't project him for that quite yet.
My projections for Belt: 68 / 16 / 65 / 8 / 0.273
- Lucas Duda (Auction $9): We saw a great power surge from Duda in 2014 and 2015 and I expect similar production from him in 2016. He is an average drain however with no speed, so it's tough for me to project him as a top 1B with essentially only 3 positive categories of production.
My projections for Duda: 70 / 27 / 72 / 1 / 0.246
- Carlos Santana (Auction $8): I liked Santana a lot more when he qualified at catcher, that's for sure. Now, he's just an average 1B/DH at best. He also has the same issue Votto has: walks way too much for standard fantasy production. He would get a huge bump in OBP leagues as well, but otherwise, he's just fine.
My projections for Santana: 73 / 22 / 77 / 5 / 0.243
- Mark Trumbo (Auction $6): Trumbo could be a nice source of power later in drafts and has multi-position edibility with OF. If you can absorb the lower average, the other production may be worth it. I think he has power upside higher than my projections and I wouldn't mind having him.
My projections for Trumbo: 64 / 24 / 72 / 0 / 0.248
- Mitch Moreland (Auction $6): Moreland isn't one of those names with a lot of household recognition, but his production is on par with many other middle of the road first baseman. You might be able to get some good value if he slips in drafts.
My projections for Moreland: 53 / 22 / 74 / 1 / 0.254
- Mark Teixeira (Auction $5): I keep waiting for the wheels to fall completely off with Teixeira, and the years keep going by, and he keeps producing. Even missing 51 games in 2015 he managed to hit 31 HR's. Now, so many things went right for that to happen for him last year and I expect things to regress a fair amount in 2016.
My projections for Teixeira: 54 / 24 / 72 / 1 / 0.246
- Byung-ho Park (Auction $5): I don't know a ton about Park, but what research I did shows him to be a big power bat. He hit 50+ HR's in his last 2 seasons in the Korean Baseball Organization, but it's difficult to equate that to MLB production. Our pitching isn't just better, it's different than what he's used to seeing. I know I'm being conservative in my projections, but it's slightly uncharted territory as well.
My projections for Park: 52 / 20 / 50 / 4 / 0.266
- Adam Lind (Auction $3): Another new team for Lind and another year older, but similar projected production. This guy is usually a later round value.
My projections for Park: 59 / 15 / 62 / 0 / 0.273
- Justin Bour (Auction $3): Bour has some upside for a later round pick. In his first almost-full season last year, Bour showed off his power in the terrible Marlins lineup. With Stanton back this year, things should be a bit better, but I'm a bit cautious of second year players as pitching begins to adjust to his approach at the plate.
My projections for Bour: 55 / 21 / 66 / 0 / 0.251
- Stephen Vogt (Auction $3): Vogt is dual eligible at C and 1B. Check out what I wrote about Vogt in my catcher projections here.
My projections for Vogt: 54 / 14 / 65 / 0 / 0.268
- Ryan Zimmerman (Auction $2): Zimmerman lost his 3B eligibility this year which is a negative for him. He's also missed a significant amount of playing time over the last 2 seasons. Last year he was battling a similar plantar fasciitis problem as Pujols and it caused him to miss almost 1/2 of the season. All reports are that he should be coming into 2016 healthy and thoughts are that playing 1B should keep him healthy. I'm still projecting him a bit more on the pessimistic side.
My projections for Zimmerman: 53 / 16 / 60 / 0 / 0.265
- Joe Mauer (Auction $2): Mauer is the same guy he has been for a few years now. Not much power or speed, but a very good contact hitter. He's reliable and you know what you're getting from him. Whether you want that or not is a different story.
My projections for Mauer: 64 / 9 / 51 / 1 / .277
- Chris Colabello (Auction $2): Colabello was essentially a career minor league before he got his big chance in 2014 with the Twins. Not often you see a guy get his first chance at age 31. Colabello has taken advantage of that chance and has been reasonable productive for a low end 1B. He will likely be hitting near the bottom of the Blue jays order but has dual 1B and OF eligibility.
My projections for Colabello: 46 / 16 / 57 / 1 / .267
- Yangervis Solarte (Auction $1): 60 / 11 / 58 / 1 / .268
- Pedro Alvarez (Auction $1): 50 / 21 / 63 / 1 / .244
- C.J. Cron (Auction $1): 40 / 18 / 55 / 1 / .263
- Matt Adams (Auction $1): 52 / 16 / 58 / 0 / .260
- Ben Paulsen (Auction $1): 48 / 14 / 46 / 1 / .273
- Ryan Howard (Auction $1): 50 / 20 / 72 / 0 / .231
- Wil Myers (Auction $1): 49 / 11 / 46 / 6 / .261
- Chris Carter (Auction $1): 53 / 26 / 67 / 0 / .212
- Luis Valbuena (Auction $1): 58 / 17 / 52 / 1 / .235
- Yonder Alonso (Auction $1): 46 / 7 / 41 / 5 / .268
- Mike Napoli (Auction $1): 46 / 16 / 51 / 2 / .240
- Brandon Moss (Auction $1): 49 / 16 / 52 / 0 / .238
- Adam LaRoche (Auction $1): 43 / 13 / 50 / 0 / .237
Like I mentioned earlier, this feels like a slightly down year for 1B. There are still plenty of guys I'd be happy to have at my 1B and CI slots though. If you are going to wait on a 1B, you'll likely still be able to get decent power, but you may also have to take a low average with it.
Check out my other positional breakdowns:
First Base: here
Second Base: here
Third Base: here
Designated Hitter here
Starting Pitching: here
Relief Pitching: Coming soon