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Fantasy baseball player profiles: AL - First basemen

Fantasy baseball player profiles: AL - First basemen

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Quick Jump: Fantasy Baseball Player Profiles

1 Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
2 Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
3 Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Boston Red Sox
4 Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota Twins
5 Kendry Morales, 1B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
6 Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City Royals
7 Carlos Pena, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays
8 Chris Davis, 1B, Texas Rangers
9 Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox
10 Nick Johnson, 1B, New York Yankees
11 Jake Fox, 3B/OF, Oakland Athletics
12 Russell Branyan, 1B, Cleveland Indians
13 Garrett Atkins, 1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles
14 Lyle Overbay, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays
15 Willy Aybar, IF, Tampa Bay Rays
16 Daric Barton, 1B, Oakland Athletics

Mark Teixeira, 1B, New York Yankees
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4285810523761.245.331.472.803

The Bronx bandbox enhanced skills already among the upper ranks, especially with Mark Teixeira's ballooned flyball rate; keeping this up will play well in his park. He once again overcame early struggles and added a few taters to his already gluttonous potato basket, all while being more aggressive at the dish. Few bats are as bank.


Miguel Cabrera, 1B, Detroit Tigers
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
572100185391242.323.416.582.998

Miguel Cabrera's increasing grounder tendency is unnerving, and he'll be in his eighth MLB season when he turns 27 in April. We're not telling you to panic, just be aware of the trend. He's still a first-rounder - steady, elite power and skill otherwise.


Kevin Youkilis, 1B/3B, Boston Red Sox
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

Despite a swelling K presence, Kevin Youkilis maintained his '08 breakout while going back to his original walks mantra. His BABIP has gone up in each of the last two years, though; he isn't short on hard contact. That climbing OPS wasn't affected much by his back-injury-spawned power drop in the second half. He's a top-30 mixed player. His dual eligibility is worth reaching for.


Justin Morneau, 1B, Minnesota Twins
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4966713722790.276.340.472.812

First half? MVP pace. Later on in the year? Justin Morneau tried to play through a lower-back injury, which only aggravated his second-half woes. The post-break dips are becoming a pattern, but if his offseason recovery comes out clean, he should build on his climbing flies and free passes. Don't shy away.


Kendry Morales, 1B, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4805613420690.279.337.460.797

Chomping at the bit for years, Kendry Morales exploited his full-time duty; they let him face lefties. His K's spiked, but so did every meaningful offensive stat. His line-drive rate went up, but his contact doesn't look like it'll creep above the mean. While his HR/FB raises skepticism, that jump wasn't unfounded. He's a low-end starting first sacker.


Billy Butler, 1B, Kansas City Royals
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5936917318871.292.368.435.803

Billy Butler's extra-base knack not a question. Career-best flyball percentage and improvements against righties support blossoming batting average. Clip improvement might be held back with likely-normalizing BABIP. As his fame grows, his draft stock will follow, which may sap some profit opportunity. A sound investment as a midrange mixed starter anyway.


Carlos Pena, 1B, Tampa Bay Rays
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
741015270.203.330.324.654

Carlos Pena missed 25 games to end the year and STILL won the AL homer crown; he should be ready for Spring Training after breaking two fingers. He walks a ton but rarely puts the ball on the ground or on a laser, making his slumps grotesque. That being said, his middle-round power is nearly unmatched if you can compensate elsewhere.


Chris Davis, 1B, Texas Rangers
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
54979147381012.268.350.545.895

Chris Davis' ample whiffs weren't surprising. Positives? The contact improvements he made after he came up from the minors. Make him a middle-range first baseman for his power and hope everything else comes around. He hits enough line drives to give drafters some faith in a slight batting average rebound. Eligible at third base in many formats.


Paul Konerko, 1B, Chicago White Sox
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
23523648290.272.344.413.757

The BABIP and power rebounded last year, even if Paul Konerko walked less. In his 14th season, he's baseball old, but Konerko is only 33. You should draft him expecting his '09 line to be a foundation. Anything else is gravy for this stable deep-mixed CI that could be grabbed at a discount.


Nick Johnson, 1B, New York Yankees
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

The Stick, with prime line-drive and walk rates, ranks as one of the best on-base threats in the bigs. Nick Johnson second trip in the Bronx has a grander offensive feel. Anything close to a full season as the No. 2 in this lineup spells CI value in everything but dingers. Banking on his health, however, still carries risks.


Jake Fox, 3B/OF, Oakland Athletics
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

This power threat doesn't have a starting spot right now in a crowded outfielder/DH/corner infield picture. Jake Fox's pure pop would be an immediate addition to the everyday slate if injury or slacking performance opens up a spot; GM Billy Beane doesn't shy away from trading from surplus, either. Fox's versatility makes him a premium AL-only bench target and a deep mixed post-draft watch candidate.


Russell Branyan, 1B, Cleveland Indians
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

Russell Branyan is lined up for full-time duty in Cleveland. Visual exercises improved hand-eye coordination, which probably aided in sustaining power. Batting eye is still terrible. His BA eventually slipped along with his health. Can he hold up for a full season? Increased exposure to lefties gives hope for growth, but how much can the 34-year-old former platoon player add to his skill set? Bid cautiously for the bench power in deep leagues.


Garrett Atkins, 1B/3B, Baltimore Orioles
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

Garrett Atkins' formerly gradual decline became ano crash in '09. The 30-year-old's dropping BABIP, line-drive rate and homers-per-flyball percentage are hard evidence; he can still take a walk, for what it's worth. The O's will give him a chance to rebound, but they're waiting on youngsters Josh Bell and Brandon Snyder, so Atkins' leash will probably be short.


Lyle Overbay, 1B, Toronto Blue Jays
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
24919617281.245.298.394.692

A roto placeholder, Lyle Overbay has seen his batting eye trend upward in the last four years. Makes hard contact but doesn't provide much lift; his batting average won't reach '06 levels without some luck. Ride his streaks as a pickup during a deep mixed season; he'll set you back as a power-desperate first baseman in ALs.


Willy Aybar, IF, Tampa Bay Rays
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

Carlos Pena's fractured digits led to more Aybar time. Aybar makes hard contact despite his dropping flyball rate. He's eligible at first, second and third in many leagues, making him a roster capper in AL setups. With a few breaks (sorry, Carlos), Aybar could again have spurts of deep mixed relevance, too.


Daric Barton, 1B, Oakland Athletics
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
32838835292.253.352.345.697

Post-hype youngster has shown little in bigs. His extra-base ability is in question despite his rising flyball rate. Daric Barton's contact is a better bet to keep him afloat as the A's give him what could be his last chance to win the job. Oakland has the powerful Chris Carter waiting. Barton should be a cautious AL-only investment if you miss out on more acceptable power options at first base or CI. Have a backup plan ready.