Just like our catcher targets post, here are the first basemen we are targeting in fantasy baseball drafts this spring.
Joey Votto: We chinstrapninjas had a lot of love for Votto at this point last season, and that excitement isn’t cooling off this year. Coming off a 2009 that saw him compile a career-best .322 batting average and .414 on-base percentage, Votto is on the verge of eliteness. In some leagues, he acually could be had in the middle rounds, but will produce early-round production and value.
ep: Miguel Cabrera: His aggregate statistics tell the story: Cabrera has hit .320 or better in four of the last five seasons, 30-plus homers in five of the last six and 100-plus RBI in the last six consecutive campaigns.
jzak: Adrian Gonzalez: Over the past three seasons, Gonzalez has consistently increased his home run output (30, 36 and 40) despite hitting in one of the biggest pitchers parks in baseball. He’s playing for a new contract likely on another team (with a more hitter-friendly park?) and you can have him a couple rounds after the Prince Fielders and Ryan Howards are off the board.
Chris Davis: Could have made the late-round picks list in many mock drafts so far this offseason. People were all over him in last year’s draft … now he’s a post-hype sleeper that should produce 30-plus homers for the Texas Rangers.
jzak: Kendry Morales: Morales made Teixeira expendable for the Angels by smacking 34 homers, batting in 108 runs and hitting at a .306 clip. Not shabby for a 27-year-old. The Angels did take a step back this offseason in losing table-setting players such as Chone Figgins, but I personally think he’ll continue to mature into a solid fantasy option.
ep: Carlos Pena: Pena can be had really cheap in many drafts considering his power potential. While he isn’t going to carry your team in batting average, he is going to supercede his average draft position.
Adam LaRoche: While he typically hits a few statistical swings up and down each year, he has finished the past couple seasons with consistent, underappreciated production. A baseline of .270 and 20-25 homers isn’t a bad jumping off point, and ep’s gut reaction is that LaRoche takes the next step in his development this year.
jzak: Billy Butler: A borderline middle-round first baseman in drafts (could possibly be switched with Chris Davis considering where the two are going in drafts), Butler finally started realizing his potential last season and should carry that momentum over into a full season of solid production in 2010.
ep: Kyle Blanks: A young player with huge power potential, Blanks will this year be hitting right after Adrian Gonzalez and Padres brass are expecting big things.