2014 Fantasy Baseball Rankings: First Basemen

These 2014 Fantasy Baseball First Baseman Rankings will be updated occasionally, so make sure you check back from time to time. Also, be sure to check out WalterFootball.com’s 2014 Fantasy Football Rankings articles, which will include sleepers, busts, tons of 2014 Fantasy Football mock drafts and other material. Follow @walterfootball for updates.

By Bill Williams

  1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona Diamondbacks OBP SB+ Dynasty+
    The reigning National League Hank Aaron Award winner will most likely be a top-five pick in your upcoming draft and will be quite worth it. He’s improved on his numbers each of the last three seasons, and I see no reason why he can’t equal, or top, last year’s numbers. Also, he will likely lead first basemen in stolen bases.

    Projections: 100 R 33 HR 103 RBI 15 SB .285 AVG .378 OBP

  2. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds OBP+ K+
    Joey won the MVP two seasons ago, but had an injury-riddled season last year. He has one of the best eyes in all of baseball and will be amongst the league leaders in walks. Playing in home-run friendly Great American Ballpark sure doesn’t hurt either. Votto isn’t the biggest home-run hitter, but the consistency he provides across all categories cannot be denied.

    Projections: 95 R 25 HR 105 RBI 7 SB .300 AVG .426 OBP

  3. Chris Davis, Baltimore Orioles HR+ K-
    Davis led the league in home runs, and his power is no joke. The knock on him over his first few seasons was his discipline. He still strikes out a ton, which is why he is ranked so low here. That’s something to keep in mind if your league scores strikeouts. I’m not sure he can put up an average as high as last year’s again, but I expect him to settle in around .270 for a few years.

    Projections: 87 R 42 HR 108 RBI 2 SB .267 AVG .346 OBP

  4. Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves Dynasty+
    Truth be told, I love Freddie Freeman. Great stroke and power, plus young. Freeman has increased his walks and decreased his strike outs each year. I think he will take the next step this season and finish amongst the top finalists for the National League MVP. Not that this matters in fantasy, but he also plays plus defense and hardly ever takes a day off. Freeman will be one of my main targets in all of my drafts. The only downside here: I’m not completely sold on the Braves’ lineup around him currently, so his RBI�s may suffer.

    Projections: 90 R 28 HR 102 RBI 4 SB .310 AVG .400 OBP

  5. Prince Fielder, Texas Rangers HR+ OBP+
    Fielder has one of the most consistent on-base percentages I’ve seen. He always takes a lot of walks. His average has fluctuated all over the place over the past couple seasons, and most expected a lot more out of him batting behind Miguel Cabrera last year. Fielder moves into a new hitter-friendly park and should rebound nicely for your team this upcoming season.

    Projections 79 R 30 HR 96 RBI lol SB .285 AVG .380 OBP

  6. Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto Blue Jays 3B++ OBP+ K+
    Encarnacion has really blossomed for the Blue Jays over the last few years after flaming out as a top prospect in the Reds’ system. The last three years, his batting average has remained steady and he provides plus pop.

    The reason I have Encarnacion ranked lower than most is that I’m slightly worried about the offseason wrist surgery he underwent; Encarnacion uses his wrists in his swings a little more than your average batter. If your league only requires 10 games to be eligible at third base, Encarnacion is a major upgrade as he qualifies at two spots.

    Projections: 88 R 32 HR 98 RBI 6 SB .275 AVG .365 OBP

  7. David Ortiz, Boston Red Sox OBP+ Dynasty-
    OK, Ortiz doesn’t qualify in many leagues as a first baseman, but if he does for your league, this is where he ends up. His days of hitting 40-plus home runs are far behind him, but the good news is that he has increased his contact rate exponentially over the years. Ortiz gets more days off now than most players at this position, and his age may finally catch up to him. But currently, he is in the final year of his contract and may make one final pay-day push. Not to mention his spot in one of the best lineups in baseball.

    Projections: 90 R 28 HR 95 RBI 1 SB .290 AVG .390 OBP

  8. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles Dodgers
    Gonzalez is just what he is, a top-10 first baseman. If you want a guy with a high ceiling and a low floor, this is your man. Gonzalez has hit near .300 each of the last four seasons, and his power has leveled out to where he should hit around 25 bombs in the Chavez Ravine. Gonzalez has a sweet spot in a high-scoring offense and plays almost everyday. There is no risk at all in taking Gonzalez, but you are not gonna end up with a top-tier first baseman at the end of the year either.

    Projections: 85 R 25 HR 95 RBI 2 SB .285 AVG .355 OBP

  9. Eric Hosmer, Kansas City Royals SB+ Dynasty+
    I really really liked what i saw out of Hosmer at the end of last year. For those who took him early in their drafts last year, you know his first two months were simply brutal. He batted around 260 with just 1 home run headed into June. However, with the help of then coach George Brett, Hosmer discovered a flaw in his swing, and, man, did he take off. From June on, he hit a robust .318 with 16 home runs.

    I’m not sure Hosmer will be able to continue that path, but his potential is very much a high-batting-average, 20-25 home-run kind of guy. If he can lower his strikeout rate, he could be competing for batting titles in the near future. Plus, Hosmer is one of only two first baseman you can count on for more than 10 steals, which can make the difference in roto for a season.

    Projections: : 80 R 18 HR 90 RBI 14 SB .308 AVG .369 OBP

  10. Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs
    Say hello to your boom-or-bust first baseman for 2014. Rizzo is a highly touted player from the physical standpoint, but for some reason, he just really regressed last season. His swing looked slower, and he just couldn’t make contact. Of course, being in the league’s worst offense probably didn’t help.

    There is a chance Rizzo has a Hosmer like breakout and it clicks, but unless this kid learns some more patience, I could easily see him back in the minors by the end of the year. If Rizzo puts it all together though, watch out. He has the ability to hit .290 with 30 homers.

    Projections: 80 R 26 HR 80 RBI 6 SB .260 AVG .340 OBP

  11. Mark Trumbo, Arizona Diamondbacks Position+ BA- K-
    I want to show you something…

    Player A Home Runs 34, RBI 100, Runs 85
    Player B Home Runs 36, RBI 104, Runs 90

    Player A is Mark Trumbo; Player B is Edwin Encarnacion. Encarnacion will be a first- or second-round pick this year, while Trumbo you can get much later in your drafts. Now the obvious difference is Encarnacion will hit about 30-40 points higher than Trumbo, but if you can make up that difference at other spots by taking a top-tier middle infielder, you can live with it.

    Trumbo moves to a more hitter-friendly park in Arizona where he will likely bat cleanup behind Paul Goldschmidt, which should lead to a boatload of opportunities for RBIs. Trumbo had a lot of bad luck last year, and I expect his batting average to improve slightly in the National League

    Projections: 80 R 33 HR 95 RBI 2 SB .255 AVG .320 OBP

  12. Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals BA+
    Butler is simply a professional hitter. He is going be in the league for a long time. Unfortunately, Butler may not qualify at first base in many leagues, but as a DH, he’s also a good add for the pure consistency he provides, Butler�s batted .289 or higher in each of the past five years with no less than 15 bombs. 2012’s 29 home runs are probably an outlier, but you can pretty much mark him down for 15-23 home runs every year. If you�re in a crazy league that counts double plays, knock Butler down a few notches.

    Projections: 85 R 19 HR 91 RBI 0 SB .301 AVG .375 OBP

  13. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels Dynasty-
    Once one of the most feared hitters in baseball history, Pujols is now on the backside of his career. His batting has gone down each of the past five seasons, and his home run numbers have decreased with it. I don’t think Pujols will have anywhere near as bad a season as his injury-riddled 2013, but don’t expect a return to his heyday. A 2012-type season seems more logical to me as his bat speed has really decreased.

    Projections: 80 R 23 HR 80 RBI 5 SB .280 AVG .350 OBP

  14. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants
    If you are looking for just a consistent first baseman who is going to play every day and not hurt your lineup, Belt is your guy. He’s a left-handed hitter with a solid swing and good eye. With a little more contact, he could easily be a Billy Butler who can actually play defense. Belt’s numbers also are hurt by playing in San Francisco’s spacious park. Regardless, he has a solid spot in an ok lineup and can be owned without worries. Belt also should provide 5-10 steals.

    Projections: 75 R 15 HR 75 RBI 9 SB .270 AVG .348 OBP

  15. Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox Dynasty+
    Ok, here’s a guy who can make or break your draft if you�re a gambler. Abreu has outrageous power, but will he adapt to big-league pitching as fast as the pitchers adapt to him? If so, Abreu could easily be a top-10 first baseman. However, if he doesn’t adjust, he�s gonna strike out a ton and kill almost all your roto categories. The White Sox are gonna give him every opportunity to succeed however, so if you can withstand what is likely to be a roller coaster first season, you may be heavily rewarded.

    Projections: 81 R 30 HR 77 RBI 5 SB .263 AVG .338 OBP

  16. Allen Craig, St. Louis Cardinals Position+ Dynasty+
    Craig is coming into a season with high hopes after having missed parts of the last two years with injury. When healthy, he is a cornerstone to the Cardinals and provides them with excellent flexibility. If your league uses left field and right field instead of just outfield, make sure to bump up Craig as he qualifies at both. If the scouts were right when he was coming up and he develops a little more power, he could be a breakout performer.

    Projections: 75 R 18 HR 92 RBI 2 SB .288 AVG .341 OBP

  17. Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox BA- K-
    Napoli used to be greatly more valuable when he qualified at catcher. Unfortunately for us, he played zero games there last season in Boston. Napoli both sizzled and struggled for most of 2013 as he shattered his previous high in strikeouts. However, Napoli also shattered his previous high in RBIs. If you are in a league that doesn’t care about strikeouts, he is a solid choice to provide solid pop and a solid on-base percentage. If your league does count strikeouts, you may want to bump Napoli down a handful of spots here.

    Projections: 70 R 26 HR 75 RBI 1 SB .260 AVG .344 OBP

  18. ***Posey begins the section of guys who qualify at catcher and first base. Chances are you will be taking these guys to play catcher and will only be using them at first for extreme emergencies as their numbers don’t exactly translate over as well.***

  19. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants Position+ OBP+
    Perennial MVP candidate Buster Posey is the face of the Giants franchise. He�s gritty, he’s tough, he has no major flaws in his game, and he’s a clubhouse leader. Posey is a guy you can draft without worries about playing time or inconsistent play. Week in and out, you�re gonna get good numbers from this guy. Great swing, solid pop, and a great approach at the plate. There is no real reason not to draft him.

    Projections: 80 R 19 HR 85 RBI 4 SB .295 AVG .380 OBP

  20. Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians Position+
    Santana is the type of player who drives me crazy. He is as streaky as any player in the league, and if you are in a head-to-head league, his ups and downs may be too hard to take. However, for most of us in a roto league, that variation tends to even out over the season to yield a pretty solid ball player. Santana plays almost every day for the Indians and generally in the heart of the lineup. He needs to improve his contact rate to reach to his potential. Unfortunately, at this point in his career, I�ve seen no signs of that happening.

    Projections: 79 R 20 HR 84 RBI 4 SB .260 AVG .357 OBP

  21. Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins BA+ Position+
    Mauer is one of the best pure hitters in all of baseball. He doesnt provide much power, but he makes up for it by consistently being near the top of the league in average. What really hurts him are the Twins having a really lackluster offense and playing in a non-hitter-friendly park.

    If Mauer played for a better team, he could be the top catcher in baseball. Devastatingly, this should be his last year qualifying as a catcher as the Twins plan to move him to first base full time in 2014. Hopefully, this doesn’t mess with his head at the plate.

    Projections: 82 R 13 HR 70 RBI 3 SB .315 AVG .400 OBP

  22. Victor Martinez, Detroit Tigers K+
    Martinez used to be the most valuable catcher in major league baseball. Then his legs went on him, and he is now one of the worst base runners in baseball. However, none of this deters from Martinez’ bat, and his spot in the lineup batting either before or after MVP Miguel Cabrera. This fantastic spot in the lineup should lead to lots of fastballs, which Martinez destroys, and high averages. He is also one of the toughest batters in baseball to strike out.

    Projections: 70 R 16 HR 85 RBI 0 SB .303 AVG .364 OBP

  23. Adam Dunn, Chicago White Sox BA- K-
    Let us start with the obvious. If you are in a league that uses batting average instead of on-base percentage, knock Dunn down a bit. If you are in a league that counts strikeouts, knock him down even more. Got it? Good.

    Now, I will be honest, Dunn is one of my favorite players to watch. When he is at the plate, something is going to happen. Dunn is going to get a home run, a walk, or a strikeout. You�re not gonna see many meekly hit grounders to second with this guy. Dunn was almost out of baseball after a disastrous 2011, but due to his contract, he got an extra chance to prove himself and the numbers returned. Dunn may be able to hit the ball further than any player in the league, and I wish he would be in the Home-Run Derby at least once.

    Projections: 68 R 35 HR 80 RBI 2 SB .230 AVG .333 OBP

  24. Matt Adams, St. Louis Cardinals K-
    I know, I know, postseason hero Matt Adams as a bust? Yep. It’s not due to talent. He is being way overdrafted as his playing time isn’t guaranteed and his numbers pre-playoffs weren’t very good. Adams has decent talent, but he’s not a world-beater. Keep your expectations low and let someone else roll the dice on Adams. The one thing you should always look for in a first baseman is one who will rarely not appear in the lineup. Adams isn’t that guy.

    Projections: 58 R 20 HR 61 RBI 2 SB .265 AVG .303 OBP

  25. Nick Swisher, Cleveland Indians
    Swisher is a first baseman you can count on to put up 20-25 home runs, a solid on-base percentage, and decent RBI numbers. At this point in his career, that’s what he is. There’s no breakout ability, here, but there’s also little risk. Consider Swisher a very low 1B option and a great utility option as he should qualify in the outfield for your team as well. The Indians’ lineup is surprisingly solid, so he should not have to worry too much about being pitched around.

    Projections: 81 R 23 HR 82 RBI 1 SB .260 AVG .361 OBP

  26. Adam Lind, Toronto Blue Jays
    I am gonna go out on a limb and really back Adam Lind as a breakout candidate for 2014. Last year, he put up his best contact rate of his career with a .288 average. Lind has 20-25 home-run potential and should have a nice spot behind Edwin Encarnacion. If Lind’s power develops a little more, he could have 30 home-run potential. Put it all together and I highly recommend you give Lind a trial as a late-round flier in your drafts if you don’t land a top-tier first baseman.

    Projections: 75 R 23 HR 80 RBI 0 SB .280 AVG .354 OBP

  27. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies K- Dynasty-
    Ryan Howard is obviously on the wrong side of his career. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy, and the decline has really sapped a lot of his bat speed. If Howard guesses correctly, he still has the power to hit it a country mile, but just don’t expect that to happen as often as it used to. I would personally avoid Howard at all costs, but there is always the potential for a bounceback year, which is why he is rated this high. I just don’t see it myself.

    Projections: 65 R 23 HR 75 RBI 0 SB .248 AVG .321 OBP

  28. Brandon Moss, Oakland A’s HR+
    Notice the home-run plus; that is what Moss provides. If you have solid on-base percentage and average guys elsewhere, you can stomach what Moss will penalize you with there as he will likely again get close to 30 home runs. Another down factor for me is his ball park, which generally does not play well to home-run hitters. An assured spot in the order is a plus, so roll the dice if you need the power. Just note he often sits versus tough lefties.

    Projections: 65 R 29 HR 75 RBI 3 SB .240 AVG .316 OBP

  29. Kendry Morales, Free Agent
    I have no idea how high or low to rank Morales at the moment as he is teamless. Morales has a solid stroke with plus power and in the right situation, could really move up this list. I just can’t project Morales higher until I know he has an everyday gig.

    Projections: 75 R 23 HR 75 RBI 1 SB .270 AVG .330 OBP

  30. Mark Teixeira, New York Yankees Dynasty-
    Teixeira looks like he is done to me. He�s lost bat speed, can’t stay healthy, and generally makes way too much money. Now, the last part actually works in his favor for fantasy purposes as it basically ensures him a part in the Yankees’ lineup. Teixeira can still put up decent power numbers, and being in Yankee stadium will help, but I cannot let you draft this guy. Don’t take the risk unless you are stuck.

    Projections: 70 R 24 HR 85 RBI 1 SB .243 AVG .344 OBP

  31. Yonder Alonso, San Diego Padres
    Alonso should be renamed YAWNder for fantasy purposes. If you are in an extremely deep league, he can be a steady source of well, not hurting your ranking in any category. Alonso has marginal power but gets hurt by playing in a bad lineup in a large park, and he has a long injury history. The only thing Alonso has going for him is that he is going to play a lot and doesn’t strike out much.

    Projections: 60 R 12 HR 65 RBI 5 SB .274 AVG .348 OBP

  32. Garrett Jones, Miami Marlins BA-
    Your guess is as good as mine. Over his career, Jones’ batting average has jumped all over the place. He has had a season high of .293 and a low of .233. In my opinion, chances are it’s much closer to the low end. Jones has a lot of power though and can hit 25 home runs easily – with playing time. If he is on your team, know he probably will not play against left-handed pitching as he is totally incompetent against southpaws. However, this is more of a volume playing-time selection. Yeah, we are at that point.

    Projections: 60 R 18 HR 63 RBI 1 SB .244 AVG .306 OBP

  33. Justin Morneau, Colorado Rockies
    It really is a shame how numerous injuries have taken away a lot of Morneau�s abilities. He was once a dominant first baseman with one of the prettier swings in the league. Last season, Morneau started the season hot, but really struggled in the second half as pitchers adjusted to him and he stuggled to adjust back. However, Morneua is a solid ball player, who at this point in the draft, is a safe-choice, low-ceiling player.

    Projections: 60 R 16 HR 70 RBI 0 SB .275 AVG .341 OBP

  34. Chris Carter, Houston Astros BA- K-
    Chris Carter lives by the “swing as hard as you can and see what happens” mantra. He struck out a ridiculous 212 times last season. However, when he did nudge the baseball, it went a long way as he finished just one shy of 30 home runs. Carter plays in a terrible lineup, but, luckily, plays in the most hitter-friendly park in baseball. Expect a lot of home runs and little else for as long as the Astros leave him in the lineup.

    Projections: 61 R 28 HR 72 RBI 4 SB .225 AVG .315 OBP

More 2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
Fantasy Football Rankings

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings:
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Quarterbacks - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Running Backs - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide Receivers - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Tight Ends - 8/27 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Defenses - 6/4 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Rankings: Kickers - 6/4 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings - 5/18 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Rookie Rankings: Dynasty - 8/22 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Mock Drafts:
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 2-QB - 8/21 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 8/14 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 8/12 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 8/7 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/31 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: 3-WR - 7/24 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: PPR - 7/17 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft: Standard - 7/10 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheets:
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - PPR - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - 2-QB - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Top 250 - TD - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Cheat Sheet: Custom - 9/3 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Spreadsheets - 8/28 (Walt)

2014 Fantasy Football Articles:
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2014 Fantasy Football: It's All About Value - 9/1 (Kenny)
2014 Fantasy Football Sleepers - 8/31 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Busts - 8/31 (Walt)
2014 NFL Preseason Recap, Fantasy Football Notes - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Preseason Stock - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Quarterback Targets - 8/30 (Walt)
FanDuel $1 Million Contest - 8/30 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Mock Draft Simulator - 8/30 (Walt)
Fantasy Football Round-by-Round Strategy - 8/17 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football Stock Report: Running Backs - 3/28 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: Overdrafted Players - 2/16 (Walt)
2014 Fantasy Football: First-Round Bust History - 2/14 (Walt)
Running Backs with Most Carries - 2/14 (Walt)

Fantasy Football Rankings - May 23

2025 NFL Mock Draft - May 21

NFL Power Rankings - Feb. 22

NFL Picks - Feb. 12

Injured/injury risk
Potential bust
Potential sleeper