|So that's what an "off" year by Albert Pujols looks like?|
(photo courtesy of Mike McCann's Field of Fotos)
Feel free to view our Catchers' list as we get ready for the 2013 baseball season, with a special emphasis put in place for fantasy baseball. Will try to be more succinct as it seems that every player who can lift up a bat qualifies at 1B.
GREEN=Currently on my keeper team.
1. Albert Pujols: It's Albert Pujols! Next!
2. Joey Votto: I'm a huge fan of Votto's and believe that he will return to form in 2013.
3. Prince Fielder: After much worry about Fielder playing in a bigger park, he only experienced the slightest of slight decrease in production. The only thing one should be concern about him is his weight and even then, he has proven time and time again that it's really a non-issue.
4. Buster Posey: Yes, I believe he's that good!
5. Billy Butler: Many publications believe that Butler has finally broken out. I'm still leery of him, but for now, he's top 5. And yes, he did play in 20 games at 1B, avoiding the "DH-only" stigma.
6. Adrian Gonzalez: He's due for a bounce back year as he returns for a full season in the NL and is out of the toxic environment in Boston.
7. Edwin Encarnacion: It is very strange to see Encarnacion on this list as I'm used to correlating the name to 3B. But this season, he only qualifies at this position and his breakout year last season places him in the top 10. The Toronto Blue Jays have caught lightning, twice! Once with Jose Bautista and now Encarnacion.
8. Allen Craig: Just like Encarnacion, Craig came out of nowhere to inhabit the 1B position for the St. Louis Cardinals. He did play well in very limited time in 2011, but the Cards, out of desperation, put him in the lineup and found themselves a legit power-hitter. He's already gotten the endorsement of teammates, such as Matt Holliday, referring to him as an "elite hitter."
9. Paul Goldschmidt: He showed last year that not only does he have potential to hit for power, but can steal bases as well. However, he needs to prove himself before we can bump him to the Top Tier.
10. Joe Mauer: What did we say about all of these players qualifying at 1B? Great contact rate and high on-base%, along with a respectable SLG% places him in the top 10. Clearly, the position is undergoing massive changes.
11. Paul Konerko: He can still bash, especially in his home park, but Konerko is a candidate to dip in the standings as age is finally starting to catch-up to the "Captain."
12. Mark Trumbo: Not a big fan of Trumbo (not a fan of any player that comes out of the Angels' system apparently--sans Mike Trout). But if we're just talking about pure power, this is your guy.
13. Mark Teixeira: Many publications seem to have grown weary of his slow starts, but last year, he never got it going. He's 32, but still plays at Yankee Stadium. I don't see why he cannot return to 30 HRs, 90 RBIs.
14. Freddie Freeman: I really like this kid. He's only 23, but he has already shown enough flashes of potential to overlook his low batting average.
15. Ryan Howard: I want to believe that Howard can bounce back this season as he has worked hard this offseason to be back in elite status as a power-hitting 1B. However, Howard is now 33 years-old and other players have leap-frogged ahead of him. His OPS has been dropping since 2009 and that was before the Achilles injury sustained in the 2011 playoffs.
16. Mike Napoli: In case you didn't know, Napoli qualifies at catcher...
17. Eric Hosmer: Very disappointed 2012 for the promising, young 1B. Major emphasis on the word "young," as he's only 23. The K.C. Royals will continue to be patient with him and he's really solid playing the 1B position so he will continue to get at bats as he tries to figure things out at the plate.
The rest of the field:
- Carlos Santana
- Ike Davis
- Nick Swisher
- Todd Frazier
- Adam LaRoche
- Anthony Rizzo
- Corey Hart
- Michael Cuddyer
- Kendry Morales
- Michael Young
- Chris Davis
- Kevin Youkilis
- Yonder Alonso
Other players to keep an eye on:
More MLB content is available here.
View our 2B fantasy list, here.