Preseason Deep Leaguer Team: First Base

DeepLeaguer 1B Rankings: High School Mark Grace Approved

The Preseason Deep Leaguer Team features players that lurk just beyond the top of the rankings.  Guys that you can find later in drafts that have potential to give you "top ten" value at a position without spending a "top ten" price.

So by that logic, when considering players for the team, Rotofunk and myself will automatically exclude the guys at the top of the list.  We know Robinson Cano is great already, but have you met (insert lesser known second basemen here)?

Now it's time to focus on first base.  Usually the deepest infield position as far as fantasy talent goes, most managers look to first base as a source of power.  But what if you forego the position early in the draft?  What sort of value is out there?  Let's break down those possible gems whether you need a starter late or just a valuable bat to fill the UTIL slot in your lineup.

Once again, we'll go ahead and exclude the top 12 from consideration here.
  1. Albert Pujols, LAA
  2. Joey Votto, CIN
  3. Prince Fielder, DET
  4. Edwin Encarnacion, TOR
  5. Adrian Gonzalez, LAD
  6. Billy Butler, KC
  7. Paul Goldschmidt, ARI
  8. Buster Posey, SF
  9. Allen Craig, STL
  10. Mark Teixeira, NYY
  11. Freddie Freeman, ATL
  12. Anthony Rizzo, CHC
Jake's picks

David Ortiz, BOS - There's a chance that Ortiz doesn't qualify at 1B in your league.  If so, you can skip to further down the article.  However thanks to 7 starts at 1B last season, he qualifies there in Yahoo leagues.  First let's look at the cons.  Ortiz is old, and there's always going to be a concern of the 37-year old DH finally breaking down.  While a foot injury hampered the end of his season last year, when healthy Ortiz showed that he could still produce at a high level.  In just 90 games he managed to still hit 23 homers with 65 runs and 61 RBI.  He also walked more than he struck out which bodes excellent for OBP leagues.  His age and confusion on position eligibility may cause him to slide down the draft board.  If so, he'll could be a solid pick.  Just be aware of the risks involved.

Adam LaRoche, WAS - How often does a 30 homer, 100 RBI guy fall in your lap so late in the draft?  LaRoche ain't sexy by any means but he can certainly get the job done.  He's returning to what should be a solid Nationals lineup and with Mike Morse gone there's no doubt on his starting job at 1B.  Even if he doesn't match last year's numbers I think 25 HR and 80 RBI is a safe bet.

Rotofunk's picks

Ike Davis, NYM - For those of you in keeper leagues, this is probably the last time you'll get a chance to snag Ike Davis. Entering his 4th year, he's always had the ability, just never the luck to completely bust out. I predict that happens in 2013. After a solid 2010 debut, Davis was a hot target coming into 2011. And he did break out...for 36 games before he got Kendrys'd. And then he started 2012 with the strength-sapping (like your mother) Valley Fever (also your mom's high school nickname), which led to an absurdly slow start.  After hitting only 11 homers in the first half of the season, Davis regained his power and parked 21 in the seats the last 3 months of the season. With a walk rate over 10% in every stop of his career, he's especially useful in OBP leagues. The second half Davis, the one on the 42 homer pace, is the real Ike Davis. Expect a minimum of 30 bombs, with 35 pretty likely.

Kevin Youkillis , NYY - Do I want to go into 2013 with YOUUUUUUK as my starting 3B? Absolutely not. But for a guy going around pick 270 in standard leagues, there is some upside here. Youk has always had a great eye and taken a bunch of walks. That fits in pretty well with what the Yankees have historically liked to do. There should be ample opportunities for Youk to knock in runs in the Yankee lineup, and the change of scenery and playing for Girardi might make his hot-headedness and hard-nosed playing style a benefit instead of a burden. A guy in the late stages of the draft that can play 3B and 1B in a pinch? Take a shot.

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