Tuesday, March 14, 2006

The baseball blitz - 1st Basemen

It's time. Oh, thank God, it's time. Baseball is back, and over the next few weeks I'll be previewing the upcoming season. First I'm going to preview the fantasy season, position by position. I'm sure many of you will be doing fantasy baseball this year, and in preparation for your respective drafts, I'll be supplying my own bit of analysis based on my own draft prep. Of course taking fantasy baseball advice from a guy who finished eight in his league of fourteen may be not be the best course, so take it for what it's worth. Then, in the week before the season starts, I'll be previewing the real baseball season and making some pennant predictions.

So let the fantasy talk begin. First up: First Basemen(Click read more)

A note on methodology: The following numbers were devised in my own draft prep for my 5x5 roto league, thus the numbers may or may not correlate to your fantasy setup. Statistical projections were based on a combination of the following: 1) Past performance, 2)Dave Luciani's (of Baseball Notebook) projections, and 3) my own revision of number two. A player's value is arrived at by adding value in the following five categories: Homeruns, Batting Average, RBI, Runs, and Stolen Bases. The values in each category class were based on my own fantasy league's final standings last season. For example, I project Adam Dunn to hit 49 homers this year, which would be roughly 17.5% of the homers I need to finish near the top in homeruns for the season. His value in the other statistical categories add up to a total value of 36.90, putting him near the top for all first basemen. It should be noted that stolen bases are more heavily weighted because they are rarer than homers and runs, thus a player with a high stolen base projection might have a higher overall value than anticipated.

Now that I've utterly confused you, let's get down to business.

Player Team Value
Albert Pujols StL 65.01
Derek Lee ChC 45.78
Mark Texeira TX 44.17
David Ortiz Bos 41.12

Adam Dunn Cin 36.90
Todd Helton Col 34.87
Paul Konerko CWS 30.77
Lance Berkman Hou 30.38

Ryan Howard Phi 28.93
Aubrey Huff TB 28.27
Carlos Delgado NYM 27.05
Chad Tracy AZ 26.47
S. Hillenbrand Tor 25.48
Justin Morneau Min 24.35
Prince Fielder Mil 23.34
Darin Erstad LAA 22.06
Lyle Overbay Tor 21.66
Sean Casey Pit 21.08
Richie Sexson Sea 20.70

Dan Johnson Oak 19.73
Nick Johnson Was 18.76
Dmitri Young Det 18.22
Mike Sweeney KC 18.10
Conor Jackson Ari 17.74
Nick Swisher Oak 17.55
Ben Broussard Cle 17.42
Casey Kotchman LAA 17.34
Adam Laroche Atl 17.06
Jason Giambi NYY 16.50
Mike Jacobs Fla 15.54
Jim Thome CWS 14.50
Chris Shelton Det 13.89
Kevin Millar Bal 13.24

No big surprises here. Albert Pujols has already established himself as arguably the greatest offensive force in the game, and yet he is prepared I think to have a breakout season. He is the sort of player fantasy players drool over: dominant in all categories (save stolen bases, where he's merely above-average). In a position where you should wind up with a big bat unless you really screw up (like me drafting Lyle Overbay last season), Pujols shines above the rest.

But you can spend a few bucks less and still wind up with a dominant player. Texeira and Dunn are set to have breakout seasons as well, and if the other players in your league are asleep at the wheel, you should be able to swoop in and grab them and still have enough left over to form a more balanced team. Down even further is another emerging star - Chad Tracy of Arizona. He's a sleeper that should be easily gotten for a reasonable draft price, or if you're in a snake-draft league, in one of the middle rounds.

If you're a gmabling man, good value could be gotten with Jim Thome. A fresh start in Chicago could be the shot in the arm that boosts Thome's value to where it was but just a couple of short years ago. It should also be noted that I am far more down on Adam LaRouche than many others doing projections. If he realizes his full potential, then he's another good sleeper pick. But I expect he will continue to be a relative disappointment, so look elsewhere in this deep position.

And a word on Nick Johnson: I've already read a couple of articles about how this is the year he stays healthy and puts up great fantasy numbers. I ask you, how many years have we been reading that crap? If he hasn't put it together yet, he's not going to. Face facts and let him slip on through. You won't regret it.


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