2013 First Base Tier Rankings: May by Mike Axisa May 7, 2013 Not a whole lot changes during the first month of the season. There simply haven’t been enough plate appearances yet to knock established players for poor performances, ditto boosting them due to strong performances. Injury is the biggest reason why players move from tier to tier at this point of the season. Our preseason consensus rankings can be found right here while the April tiers are right here. Tier One Joey Votto Prince Fielder Albert Pujols How much longer do we consider Pujols an elite player? He’s off to another slow start (89 wRC+) and it’s painful just watching him run these days because of his knees and plantar fasciitis and whatever else. The homers and RBI totals are still there, but everything else is going south. Pretty scary. Tier Two David Ortiz Paul Goldschmidt Buster Posey Billy Butler Allen Craig Edwin Encarnacion Adrian Gonzalez Big Papi is back from his Achilles/heels problem and he is mashin’ (246 wRC+). His performance will return to Earth as the season progresses, no doubt about it, but the track record is there. The only reason he’s not in Tier One are the lingering injury concerns. Gonzalez’s declining power, which Eno Sarris looked at in depth yesterday, is pretty terrifying. He can still hit for average and drive in runs with the best of them though. Tier Three Chris Davis Anthony Rizzo Carlos Santana Joe Mauer Freddie Freeman Mark Trumbo Nick Swisher Brandon Moss I buy into Davis breaking out as a top first baseman thanks in part to the adjustments he’s made to get to the outside pitch, but I’m going to need to see a little more before running him higher up the ladder. Before this year he was just a homer source. Trumbo got off to a torrid start last year before disappearing in the second half, and I won’t made the mistake of buying into it so soon again. Tier Four Mike Napoli Paul Konerko Adam LaRoche Ryan Howard Justin Morneau Ike Davis Michael Cuddyer Eric Hosmer Konerko and Davis are just bad at this point. They don’t look good at the plate and there really hasn’t been much of a hint of a breakout. I have (much) more faith in Konerko becoming useful again than I do Davis, but I’m still staying away right now. It’s early, but Hosmer is really bumming me out. Outside of Freeman and Goldschmidt, when was the last time a true first base prospect legitimately hit their ceiling? Hosmer still has time of course, but the track record of young players at his position isn’t great. Tier Five Mark Reynolds Todd Frazier Garrett Jones Kevin Youkilis Kendrys Morales Chris Johnson Brandon Belt Lance Berkman Yonder Alonso Chris Carter Daniel Murphy Michael Young Dustin Ackley Lyle Overbay Reynolds is off to a ridiculous start but at some point he’ll come back to reality with a low-.200 average, lots of pop, and not much else. I’d rank Berkman higher if he was showing a little more power and just wasn’t so damn injury prone. Overbay is worth owning in super-deep leagues if you only play him against righties and at Yankee Stadium. Tier Six Corey Hart Adam Dunn Mark Teixeira Mitch Moreland John Mayberry Jr. Martin Maldonado Logan Morrison Matt Carpenter Carlos Pena Adam Lind Chris Parmelee James Loney Jordan Pacheco Tyler Moore Greg Dobbs Jeff Keppinger Brandon Laird Todd Helton Justin Smoak Luke Scott Alex Gonzalez Nate Freiman Tyler Colvin Brett Wallace Mike Olt Daric Barton Carlos Lee Casey Kotchman Chad Tracy Justin Turner Joaquin Arias Sorry, but I’m not buying into Loney as a legit hitter just yet despite his awesome start. Dunn is partying like it’s 2011 while Hart and Teixeira are hurt with no real return date in sight. Could be two weeks, could be four. Hopefully you have a strong stopgap if they were your projected starters.