Paul Sporer’s 2022 First Base Rankings with Comments

Mandatory Credit: Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

The difference being cited is from my first run of rankings. These are for standard league setups that include 1B, CI, and UT with 20-game eligibility. While I play mostly in 15-team mixers, these wouldn’t change much in 12- or 10-teamers. In the latter formats, I’d elevate injury concerns and small sample guys because the replacement level is much higher. The double- and triple-eligible guys also take a little hit in the shallower formats for that same reason.

2022 1B Rankings with Comments
1 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B 1 0 Will likely give back some from elite ’21, but remains a 4-category superstar
2 Freddie Freeman FA 1B 2 0 Elite regardless of where he signs; also has 7 SBs per 600 PA since ’16
3 Pete Alonso NYM 1B 4 1 Has an MLB-best 106 HR & .286 ISO since joining the league in ’19
4 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B 3 -1 Modern Iroman (most G since ’15); don’t bank on the 12 SBs at age-34, though
5 Matt Olson OAK 1B 6 1 Holding the K% gains (17%) is more important than where he plays
6 José Abreu CWS 1B 8 2 Even at age-35, it’s hard to poke holes in his premium profile
7 C.J. Cron COL 1B 5 -2 Lost gms dent his chances to set a new career high in HR (30, 2018)
8 Josh Bell WAS 1B 10 2 Took off after ugly Apr (.464 OPS) w/an .865 OPS & 25 HR in 508 PA
9 Ryan Mountcastle BAL 1B/OF 7 -2 Not particularly worried by the fence move for him
10 Jared Walsh LAA 1B 9 -1 Ugly .565 OPS vL included a .175 BABIP; could be a shift-ban beneficiary
11 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B 21 10 Should be 100% from ab surgery and the delay only helps that
12 Joey Votto CIN 1B 13 1  Concerted pwr focus paid huge dividends, can he maintain at age-38?
13 Nathaniel Lowe TEX 1B 24 11 There’s more pwr to tap into if he finds lift (55% GB); will SBs remain?
14 Trey Mancini BAL 1B 18 4 Fantastic comeback season; could be back to 30-HR level in ’22
15 Luke Voit NYY 1B 17 2 Oblique & knee ate 94 G; easy 30 HR bat w/health but has 6 IL stints since ’19
16 Anthony Rizzo FA 1B 22 6 Great plate skills (career 16% K, 11% BB) should aid smoother aging curve
17 Jake Cronenworth SDP 1B/2B/SS 12 -5 Probably lives in 17-22 HR range, but the AVG & SBs have upside
18 Ty France SEA 1B/2B 16 -2 Another candidate for a big pwr surge if he finds lift (46% GB)
19 DJ LeMahieu NYY 1B/2B/3B 11 -8 Played thru inj. (hip, core) & #s sagged; AVG & some pop will return w/health
20 Jonathan Schoop DET 1B/2B 23 3 Boring, but reliable 20/80/.260 & will singlehandedly win some H2H wks
21 Rowdy Tellez MIL 1B 26 5 Brosseau will eat some PA vL, but should he? Only 20 pt. OPS split for Tellez
22 Alex Kirilloff MIN 1B/OF 14 -8 Wrist recovery will determine how far he goes in ’22
23 Brandon Belt SFG 1B 19 -4 Destroyed the ball in 97 G (3x on IL) and has just 1 460+ PA yr since ’17
24 Yuli Gurriel HOU 1B 15 -9 AVG regressed after .235 BABIP in ’20, but pwr didn’t & suggests 31 HR were a product of ’19 ball
25 Max Muncy LAD 1B/2B #N/A #N/A Still playing things cautiously until whatever we get for Spring Training starts
26 Jesús Aguilar MIA 1B 25 -1 A bit underrated in MIA as a pwr bat w/out the normal AVG drag
27 Frank Schwindel CHC 1B 20 -7 Obviously won’t stay as hot as ’21 finished, but should avoid the LaHair fate
28 Miguel Sanó MIN 1B 29 1 You know what you’re getting (big pop, low AVG), just not sure how much of it
29 Bobby Dalbec BOS 1B 37 8 Kind of young Sano w/out injury history, but K-heavy profile yields volatility
30 Yoshi Tsutsugo PIT 1B/OF 28 -2 First bout of full-time PA w/PIT was fruitful (134 wRC+); could go .250/25
31 Pavin Smith ARI 1B/OF 27 -4 Makes a ton of contact & could reach mid-teens pwr as he develops
32 Spencer Torkelson DET 1B 32 0 Shouldn’t need much more time in AAA, but how long will it take?
33 LaMonte Wade Jr. SFG 1B/OF 31 -2 Nice breakout as strong side platoon looks legit
34 Darin Ruf 러프 SFG 1B/OF 36 2 NL DH will add PA, but will still be platooned regularly despite surge vR in ’21
35 Wilmer Flores SFG 1B/2B/3B 47 12 Has tightened platoon split & can play everywhere; offers some late AVG
36 Seth Beer ARI DH 44 8 (UT-only) Shoulder surgery ended ’21, but high contact & pwr are intriguing
37 Eric Hosmer SDP 1B 38 1 Gave back all the ’20 pwr gains and went back to smashing the ball into the ground
38 Eric Thames 테임즈 OAK 1B #N/A #N/A Olson trade would push him further; lost most of ’21 to Achilles injury
39 Bobby Bradley CLE 1B 35 -4 Could pop 30 HR if CLE commits to him, but the AVG might be south of .200
40 Ji-Man Choi TBR 1B #N/A #N/A Knee, groin, and hamstring injuries cut season in half; still a plus bat
41 Yandy Díaz TBR 1B/3B 42 1 Probably time to move on from the “if he just lifts the ball” wishcasting
42 Carlos Santana KCR 1B 30 -12 Low BABIPs have stifled AVG 3 of L4 yrs, but then pwr left in ’21; not a terrible rebound bet
43 Christian Walker ARI 1B 39 -4 .217 ISO in ’19, .155 in 688 PA since; more struggles like ’21 will cost him PT
44 Lewin Díaz MIA 1B 34 -10 Really like the bat, but Aguilar/Cooper/B.Anderson have that 1B/DH logjammed
45 Keston Hiura MIL 1B 40 -5 Retooling swing & setup after disastrous yr (52 wRC+); ADP is in the toilet
46 Jurickson Profar SDP 1B/OF #N/A #N/A Could be a cheap double-double, but definitely best deployed as OF
47 Juan Yepez STL 1B #N/A #N/A 4 corners guy, but all 4 are severely blocked in StL; be ready if something opens
48 Triston Casas BOS 1B 33 -15 Prefer his profile to Dalbec, but he’s just 22 y/o w/9 gms at AAA so they won’t rush
49 Nick Pratto KCR 1B #N/A #N/A Top 50 prospect smacked 36 HR at AA/AAA; could be up early if Santana doesn’t rebound
50 Matt Thaiss LAA 1B #N/A #N/A Could garner sneaky C eligibility giving him some deep lg appeal
51 Miguel Cabrera DET 1B #N/A #N/A Wasn’t terrible at age-38, but there’s no real upside for a surge, either
52 Evan White SEA 1B #N/A #N/A Hip inj. ended season after 30 G & there was no growth w/in that sample
53 Edwin Ríos LAD 1B #N/A #N/A Labrum surgery ended his season after 60 PA & could affect his pop upon return
54 Brad Miller FA 1B/OF 43 -11 Will likely move him up once we know where he will play
55 Vinnie Pasquantino KCR 1B #N/A #N/A Interesting name has some real pop, but the path to PT is really rough right now
56 Ryan O’Hearn KCR 1B/OF 50 -6 68 wRC+ in 756 PA since 2019 and now age-28
57 Jace Peterson MIL 1B/2B/OF #N/A #N/A Similar to Profar and also best used at his other positions
58 Travis Shaw FA 1B/3B 46 -12 Those 32 HR from 2018 came a long time ago at this point
59 Daniel Vogelbach FA 1B 45 -14 Looks like all-or-nothing pwr bat, but has career 8% SwStr rate; needs a job
60 Matt Beaty LAD 1B/OF 48 -12 DH could fuel some extra PT, but hard to see long-term path


Paul is the Editor of Rotographs and contributes to ESPN's Daily Notes. Follow Paul on Twitter @sporer and on Twitch at sporer.

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2 months ago

Is this the first year that Albert Pujols doesn’t make the list? If so, it was a good 20 year run even if these last couple weren’t so hot.