Paul Sporer’s Top 50 First Basemen

I didn’t even realize that Justin was doing his list today, but I love that we had this align so nicely. It’s a happy accident that is going to foster something of a rankings week, at least for the infield as we’ll have our 2B/3B/SS rankings out this week, too!

Justin’s 1B List

Here’s my list. I’ll have an update in early March to account for any moves, news, and/or injuries. Let me know what you think in the comments: how are you building your 1B plan? do you want 3 1B for 1B/CI/UT? who is your sleeper at the position?

2021 1B Rankings
1 Freddie Freeman ATL 1B 8-yr avg: .302/.394/.526; 110+ R/RBI per 162 gms since 2018 12
2 Cody Bellinger LAD 1B, OF 60-gm yr looked a lot like 2018, but he’s at 40 HR/15 SB per 162 gms in his career 15
3 DJ LeMahieu NYY 1B, 2B, 3B Elite work w/NYY looks remarkably stable as skills, park, and lineup are a perfect match 30
4 Max Muncy LAD 1B, 2B, 3B Was essentially himself save a .203 BABIP that ate up a bunch of hits; still triple elig., too 94
5 Luke Voit NYY 1B Top 4 in HR, RBI, R per 600 PA among 1B since ’18; with health he could reach 50 HRs 62
6 Pete Alonso NYM 1B Basically Voit with a bit less AVG (though also 4 yrs younger… it’s a coinflip between ’em) 57
7 José Abreu CWS 1B Damn fine player deserved his MVP, but I’m not overrating 2 mos. for a 34-year old 36
8 Paul Goldschmidt STL 1B Solid workhorse has six straight full seasons (90%+ of potential gms); SBs are about gone 100
9 Anthony Rizzo CHC 1B Nothing in profile says .222 AVG would’ve lasted in 6 mo. season, so why worry about it? 100
10 Matt Olson OAK 1B AVG tank feels mostly BABIP-related; put him down for .245 AVG/40 HR & go from there 90
11 Dominic Smith NYM 1B, OF NYM prefers a DH role for him, but bat is too good to sit even if it means primary LF 107
12 Alec Bohm PHI 1B, 3B Tasty little debut (139 wRC+) might push him in drafts; I’ll take anything past pick 100 105
13 Mike Moustakas CIN 1B, 2B Best used at 2B, though he’s a perfectly capable .250/30 bat to slot into 1B if you have to 123
14 Vladimir Guerrero Jr. TOR 1B Not out on potential studification, but why buy this high on pure spec at a position like 1B? 56
15 Jared Walsh LAA 1B Swing changes finally brought some of his MiLB shine to MLB & I’m a believer 198
16 Miguel Sanó MIN 1B Plan for an awful AVG but he hits hard enough to spike a decent one at times; enjoy the HRs 192
17 Jesús Aguilar MIA 1B No, ’18 isn’t coming back, but got back on track in late ’19 & had a solid ’20; sneaky AVG asset 311
18 Rhys Hoskins PHI 1B Oct. elbow surgery is a concern, but I’ll boost him to 12-13 if he’s healthy next month 171
19 Jake Cronenworth SD 1B, 2B, SS Talent plays, I’m staying invested on my boy, especially at his continually dropping price 169
20 Eric Hosmer SD 1B Major profile changes yielded power surge, but he has hold all the gains to earn this ADP 132
21 Trey Mancini BAL 1B, OF Return from cancer looking good which is great; don’t forget he hit >.290 in ’17 & ’19 183
22 Christian Walker ARZ 1B Late bloomer looks legit, though I don’t know about those 8 SBs from ’19 195
23 Josh Bell WAS 1B Team move alone can’t counter notable K spike & pwr dip back to ’18 levels, be careful 163
24 Carlos Santana KC 1B Use career .248 AVG as a guide after outliers in ’19 (high) and ’20 (low) 278
25 Rowdy Tellez TOR 1B If he keeps some of the K% gains (-12 pts to 16%), he could be a monster in that lineup 240
26 Ryan Mountcastle BAL 1B, OF Strong 35-gm sample is boosting his price too high for me, but .280/25 is very plausible 148
27 Yuli Gurriel HOU 1B The ’19 pwr surge wasn’t supported in profile & he’s now 37; pay for AVG to slot at CI/UT 271
28 Hunter Dozier KC 1B, OF Couldn’t carryover ’19 goodness, but added 5 pts to BB% and flashed above avg. wheels 231
29 Evan White SEA 1B Disastrous debut still yielded 8 HR and created a buying opportunity as the price has tanked 403
30 C.J. Cron FA 1B Needs a team, but this is a 30 HR bat if he finds 500+ PA somewhere 362
31 Renato Núñez FA 1B Needs a team, but this is a 30 HR bat if he finds 500+ PA somewhere 444
32 Joey Votto CIN 1B Boosted the pwr output in ’20 at the cost of AVG; merely a modest CI/UT option at age-37 354
33 Garrett Cooper MIA 1B Slotted into RF as of now w/a .281 AVG, 21 HR, 70 RBI, and 72 R in 554 PA since ’19 406
34 Tommy La Stella SF 1B, 2B Likely platooning w/Wilmer Flores & I’ll take a strong side hitting .280 w/15-20 HR 316
35 Nate Lowe TEX 1B Will he deliver on the hype or be the next Jake Bauers? 313
36 Ryan McMahon COL 1B, 2B, 3B Probably still 2-3 yrs until he’s in COL’s target age range… Coors doesn’t make a player 247
37 Brandon Belt SF 1B Love that he finally went off as Oracle played hitter-friendly… can’t pay for it, though 384
38 Jeimer Candelario DET 1B, 3B I want ’20 to be real, but a .372 BABIP won’t & he feels overpriced for ~.240/20 241
39 Michael Chavis BOS 1B, 2B, OF AVG sinkhole who might not have enough pwr to be worth it, even w/the triple elig. 401
40 Wilmer Flores SF 1B, 2B No longer needs a full platoon w/decent work vR since ’17 303
41 Bobby Dalbec BOS 1B 1st 23 gms: 8 HR, .263 AVG, .959 OPS; Chavis 1st 23 gms: 7, .282, .943… don’t overrate ’20 289
42 Andrew Vaughn CWS 1B This reminds some of Belly/AGonz, but Belly had 135 gms at AA/AAA by then to Vaughn’s 0 319
43 Mitch Moreland FA 1B Platoon bat destroys righties; needs a home and fits best in a deep lg as 450 PA is his cap 608
44 Ji-Man Choi TB 1B Per PA performance is nice, but there is no reasonable path to 500+ PA 560
45 Colin Moran PIT 1B Playing daily in PIT might actually hurt his fantasy value w/a .236 AVG & .636 OPS vL 469
46 Josh Fuentes COL 1B Arenado trade opens up a role, can he take advantage of it? Not a terrible deep lg spec 508
47 Marwin Gonzalez FA 1B, 2B, 3B, OF Where he lands will determine what league type(s) he can be considered in 510
48 Lewin Díaz MIA 1B Interesting prospect without a role right now… just keeping him in mind 673
49 Mike Brosseau TB 1B, 2B, 3B His .742 OPS vR would be fine in many spots, in TB you get short side platooned (.939 vL) 448
50 Travis Shaw FA 1B, 3B Strong side platoon bat w/some defensive versatility still in search of a home for ’21 612

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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Bob Anderson
Bob Anderson

Is D. Smith (NYM) basically a 3 AB/game guy and will yield to late inning defensive replacement in LF without the DH? Maybe an occasional start at 1B if Alonso needs a day off?


Well NYM news and reports thinks Alonso is the odd man out (if no DH), and I’d be inclined to agree.

Roster resource has Dom is in left, and people think the DH not happening is some sort of formality, but I think that is crazy. Still tons of negotiation going on regardless of what both sides let leak.

With that said, with news of MLB changing baseballs again, I’d be more inclined to be back in Alonso since he has man power that plenty of the guys who have been popping 20+ every year do not possess.

But at these ADPs I don’t really see the need to be in on either. Alonso has zero upside at that price imo. I am not one to give much thought to PT concerns, as talent plays, but at that ADP with Smith being the stronger side of the platoon and much better on defense, I’d be out. And what are you paying for? He projects basically similar to Olson who is going much, much later. And Olson is a guy who could play 162 games in a year, whereas Alonso has to be projected for fewer at bats. For that matter Hoskins/Alonso/Sano/Olson are all very similar players according to projections, and one of these guys is much more expensive than the other.


How do you figure that either of them is the odd man out? They both have starting jobs, even without the DH in the NL:

C: McCann
1B: Alonso
2B: McNeil
3B: Davis
SS: Lindor
LF: Smith
CF: Nimmo
RF: Conforto