Cody Bellinger leads off this list after a monster 2019 season
The top of my fantasy baseball first base (1B) rankings for 2020 pretty much follows the status quo. You might see a little movement within the top 10 and even the top five. But Cody Bellinger, Freddie Freeman, Pete Alonso, Anthony Rizzo, and Paul Goldschmidt are all good foundations for your team.
I would not draft anyone in the back half of my top 10 in the first round, but they too are solid plays. I'm not really deviating from the experts' consensus (ECR below) on those.
However, as we start to get into the first basemen that you will likely use to fill your corner infield (CI) spot, that's where I start to deviate. I like Yasmani Grandal a lot... at catcher. He's an easy top-five catcher. But at first base, I want more. Plus the move from the Brewers lineup and stadium to the White Sox is not a positive one, in my opinion. If nothing else, expect fewer RBIs. And with Jose Abreu, Grandal, and Edwin Encarnacion all 1B-eligible, there's a little bit of a logjam at first on the Southside of Chicago.
- We all know that first base is not where you mine for stolen bases. Cody Bellinger had 15 steals but he made 28 starts at first compared to 123 in the outfield. Among primary first baseman, Christian Walker "led" the position last year with eight stolen bases. I do like Walker this year and I think he is even more productive this year. But if you're looking for speed at first, move along.
- You are likely going to have to make the "at what cost to average do I want power" decisions at first base though. I am willing to take the hit to batting average for another 30-plus HR season from Miguel Sano for example, but I don't see Joey Votto hitting even half the 36 HRs he hit back in 2017.
2020 Sleeper at 1B Not Included Here I Like As Of This Last Week of February: Ryan Mountcastle
Mountcastle will probably start the season at AAA, but that's because of service clock reasons. Last year he smacked 25 home runs with 83 RBIs in 127 games at AAA Norfolk, while hitting .300. I'm not taking him before any of the 40 guys below, but I love his upside.
Check out my top 1B below for yourself. Let me know your thoughts!
ADP - Average Draft Position
— Rankings by Mark Strausberg, a member of the Athlon Network Contributor, who despite his youthful exuberance and good looks has been playing fantasy sports before Wildcats or Hoosiers even made it to VHS. Got a fantasy sports question or thought? Hit him up on Twitter @MarkStrausberg.