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First Base 2024 Fantasy Rankings

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

First Base Overview

This year’s group of first base eligibles is not your grandmother’s player crop. The depth here just ain’t great and feels thinner than during my younger years, before some of my hairs decided “salt and pepper” was the new brown.

What’s interesting here is how many first basemen also steal bases, as four of them are forecasted for double digits, and another three feature upper single digit projections that could easily end up higher. So fantasy managers now have more options — do you target an all-around contributor who essentially gives you contributions you might expect from an outfielder or the traditional masher to lock down 10% or more of your team’s home run total? The choice is yours, but hopefully these tiered rankings will help you make such an important decision.

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2024 LABR Mixed Draft Recap

Last Tuesday night, the competitors of the LABR Mixed draft virtually congregated for our annual mid-February 15-team draft. Drafts this early are challenging. On the one hand, the early timing benefits the prepared and the more highly skilled. On the other hand, there remains a great many unknowns that we need to make educated guesses on at best, and complete shots in the dark on at worst. In addition, the longer time between the draft and opening day means more opportunity for injuries to decimate your roster before the season even begins (Kodai Senga’s new owner is already shaking his head)!

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Looking to Fill Your League or Join a League? Click Here! 2024 Edition

Welcome to the 2024 edition of the RotoGraphs Matchmaker Service! No, I cannot find you a date. However, I could hopefully facilitate the marriage of league owner with leagueless owner. If you are seeking an owner to fill your fantasy league or are the owner hoping to be seeked to join that unfilled league, this is your new home.

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2024 Projection Showdown — THE BAT X vs Steamer Hitter wOBA Forecasts

Let’s start looking toward 2024 and dive into the projections that are now all available on individual player pages and on the 2024 Pre-Season Projections page. It’s pretty clear that the projection systems are all pretty darn similar, or you would see far more variation between forecasts for individual players. That doesn’t mean they are identical, of course, with some regressing certain metrics more aggressively, or perhaps using Statcast metrics more than others. I don’t know all the ins and outs to compare, so instead, we’ll just focus on the players that THE BAT X and Steamer disagree on most.

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Corbin Burnes and Justin Turner Are On the Move

Amid a flurry of free agent signings over the past week, we got a blockbuster trade snuck in as well! Former Brewers ace Corbin Burnes was traded to the Orioles, a team that’s still going to take a while longer for me to recognize as being good now. Justin Turner also signed a one-year contract with the Blue Jays, where he figures to rotate between DH, 1B, and 3B. Let’s review the park factors to determine how the change in home parks might affect their results.

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Rhys Hoskins and Joey Gallo Find New Homes

Since Friday, there have been two fantasy relevant free agent signings. On Friday, Rhys Hoskins, who missed all of last season due to a torn ACL in his left knee, signed a two-year, $34 million contract with the Brewers. Then on Saturday, Joey Gallo signed a one-year, $5 million contract with the Nationals. Let’s consult the park factors and determine how their new home parks might affect their results.

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2023 Review: Pitcher ERA vs xERA

Last week, I reviewed the hitters with the largest differences between their actual wOBA and their Statcast calculated xwOBA. Unlike wOBA that’s typically not a fantasy category and has an indirect effect on fantasy value, ERA is almost always a fantasy category. So it’s pretty clear why it’s important to compare it with Statcast’s xERA equation.

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2023 Review: Hitter wOBA vs xwOBA

Let’s start reviewing 2023 performance. We’ll start with hitter wOBA, comparing it to Statcast’s xwOBA. Why should we care how a hitter’s actual wOBA compared to his xwOBA? Because if you’re reading this, you’re probably a fantasy baseball player, and if you’re a fantasy baseball player, you probably want to either get your hands on a good set of projections or forecast players yourself.

Identifying the hitters who both underperformed and overperformed their xwOBA marks might help you recognize hitter projections that might be too optimistic or pessimistic, if your source isn’t incorporating Statcast data. If you’re manually projecting players yourself, you might want to weigh the player’s actual performance less heavily, and rely more on how that hitter was expected to perform given the underlying drivers of the xwOBA calculation.

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Eduardo Rodriguez Signs With Diamondbacks

Last week, left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez signed a four-year, $80 million contract with the Diamondbacks, ending his two-season stay in Detroit. After posting the lowest ERA of his career, let’s consult the park factors to figure out whether the change in park might impact his results.

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Tyler O’Neill Heads to Beantown

Last week, the Cardinals traded Tyler O’Neill to the Red Sox to help alleviate their outfield glut. After a 2021 breakout, O’Neill has battled injury and disappointed offensively. Can a move to Fenway be the trigger that drives a rebound? Let’s dive into the park factors.

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