We are rolling out our 2021 fantasy baseball rankings this week, and there's no better place to start than first base. The first base (1B) rankings for 2021 look pretty similar to the ones from last year. Given that we had a shortened season, this should be of little surprise.
Yes, I had Cody Bellinger first last year, and I moved him down below Freddie Freeman this year. Playing in a slightly better park for hitters, I think Freeman outproduces by the slightest amount. But don't overweigh that too much.
Either one is a fine cornerstone to start your team, as are most of the top first base options. Expect many of them to go in the first round of your draft. It will just be a question of how much your league mates value position scarcity. Because first base, as usual, is loaded.
Because, yes, there is no question that I like Yasmani Grandal a lot... at catcher. He's an easy top-five catcher. But at first base, I want a lot more. Likewise, I like DJ LeMaheiu a lot, but I like him a lot more as my 2B than my 1B.
And I hope I can do a lot better than Joey Votto as my starting 1B this year. But the fact that a player who slashed .320-36-100 not too terribly long ago is my 37th-best option shows how deep the position is. Some other observations of note:
Thoughts and Other Rankings Notes:
- So, Goldschmidt did not have the best 2020. For that matter, did any of us? 2020 jokes aside, I'm willing to overlook his poor 2020. We are talking about a hitter who had at least 33 homers each of the three seasons previous to that. And now he has Nolan Arenado joining him in the heart of the order? He's definitely worthy of being a top-five first baseman, but apparently, I like him more than most. I am not the crazy one.
- Speaking of crazy, I know everyone is going ga-ga over Alec Bohm. And I like him too. I just like him a bunch more as a 3B than a 1B, and I think that's where he will play more. But I think the Bohm hype is casting a little too much shade on Rhys Hoskins. Hoskins is not going to suddenly hit .300, but he's the magic age of 27 and has plenty of years left to continue to display his 30-homer potential. I've got him just outside my top 15 1B, which is more optimistic than most.
- With me elevating guys like Goldschmidt, Hoskins, and Jake Cronenworth (more about him when we get to MI; stay tuned!), others had to fall. And Miguel Sano was an easy option. With so many other options at first base, I will be grabbing one with an OBP far higher than Sano's career .332 OBP.
Check out my top 1B below for yourself. Let me know your thoughts!
— 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.