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2024 Fantasy Baseball First Base Preview: Elite draft options at the position are scarce

If you don't want to use a premium pick on first base, Christian Encarnacion-Strand is an intriguing option to consider. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Cincinnati Reds/Getty Images)

Longtime untruth baseball managers keep in mind the heyday for first bottom, when the placement integrated many elite avid gamers. However the ones days are lengthy long gone, and the wave manufacturing on the place is unremarkable. Usually referred to as a place for sluggers, the primary bottom puddle for 2024 comprises simply two avid gamers (Matt Olson, Pete Alonso) who have been a few of the 15 males to form no less than 35 house runs utmost season.

Much less strangely, only one (Freddie Freeman) of the 64 avid gamers who stole greater than 15 bases will perceptible ‘24 with 1B eligibility. The recent rise in steals across baseball means that managers can attack that category throughout their drafts, which increases the appeal of drafting one of the few impactful first basemen in the early rounds.

[2024 Fantasy Baseball Draft Rankings: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Of course, getting an elite first baseman will be an option for just a handful of teams. Most managers will need to sort through a large group of serviceable players in hopes of finding a breakout performer. Here are a few options to target:

Christian Encarnacion-Strand mostly met the lofty expectations for his rookie year when he posted an .805 OPS across 63 games with the Reds. The slugger has the skills to combine 30 homers with a high batting average in his first full MLB season, and his draft value is about to skyrocket now that an 80-game suspension to Noelvi Marte has cleared up a crowded Reds infield. By the time Marte returns, Encarnacion-Strand will have slugged his way into an every-day role.

Rhys Hoskins is a forgotten man in fantasy circles after missing the 2023 season due to a torn left ACL. But the 30-year-old recently joined the Brewers on a two-year deal, and he will have an every-day role on a team with a homer-happy venue. Hoskins ranked 15th in baseball in home runs from 2018 to ’22, and he should produce 30 long balls in his first year in Milwaukee.

[More Baseball Positional Previews: C | 1B | 2B | SS | 3B | OF | SP | RP]

Anthony Rizzo is an excellent candidate for a bounceback year. He performed at his typical level at the outset of last season before post-concussion syndrome ruined his summer production and caused him to finish the season with just 12 homers and 99 games played. The 34-year-old is just one-year removed from a 32-homer campaign.

Now let’s take a look at the lead canine amongst first basemen.

Freeman is the lone first-round possibility at this place. The veteran every year ranks a few of the league leaders in batting moderate, posts triple-digit totals in runs and RBIs, and is one of the few first basemen who frequently swipes bases.

[Join or create a Yahoo Fantasy Baseball league for the 2024 MLB season]

Olson led MLB in homers and RBI utmost season pace rating 3rd in runs scored. Such is generation as an elite slugger in baseball’s maximum fruitful lineup. A rarity of velocity combines with some batting moderate volatility to push Olson right down to Spherical 2 in drafts.

Managers who need a extra constant slugger may select Alonso over Olson. The Mets’ lineup centerpiece leads MLB in homers since his debut in 2019, and he ranked a few of the lead 3 utmost 12 months in each lengthy balls and RBI. Like Olson, Alonso can’t be counted directly to plank a useful batting moderate.

Harper had no longer began an MLB recreation in the beginning bottom till utmost season, however he’s now the Phillies fixture on the place. Staying clear of the outfield may backup Harper keep wholesome, and he’s on a shorten listing of first basemen who may collision .300 with 30 homers and a double-digit steals overall.

One of the vital touted potentialities of his month, Guerrero seemed able to bring on expectancies when he collision .311 with 48 homers in 2021. His effects have been much less notable within the next two seasons, which leaves managers questioning whether or not the 24-year-old is simply a excellent participant who had one admirable season.

Bellinger resurrected his profession through hitting .307 with 26 homers and 97 RBI in his lone marketing campaign with the Cubs. The previous NL MVP has each fleet ft and a potent bat, however he logged 3 disappointing seasons from 2020 to ’22 and due to this fact can’t climb any upper in this listing.

All excellent issues come to an finish, together with Goldschmidt’s future a few of the lead tier of untruth first basemen. The 36-year-old took a important step again utmost 12 months however was once nonetheless excellent plethora (25 HR, 89 R, 11 SB) to be a lineup fixture. Managers must be happy with this unused efficiency degree.

Walker repeated the distinction of his career-reviving 2022 season when he tallied 33 homers and 103 RBI utmost 12 months. The 32-year-old is a gentle middle-round possibility because the cleanup guy in a cast Arizona lineup.

Evaluations space wildly on Jones, who wanted simply 106 video games to form a 20-20 season. Those that are skeptical of a repeat efficiency level to an unsustainable .401 BABIP and a lackluster supporting solid. This scribbler is firmly within the skeptical staff.

Casas is without doubt one of the most attractive avid gamers to rank. Is he the rising celebrity who posted a 1.034 OPS in the second one part of utmost season or the mediocre slugger who posted a .727 mark previous to the All-Superstar crack? Sensible managers will see Casas as a chance significance taking.

By way of hitting 31 homers and riding in 94 runs, Torkelson established himself as a leading energy hitter. However to rank any upper in this listing, the 24-year-old will want to produce primary enhancements on his lifetime .222 batting moderate.

Like Encarnacion-Strand, Steer was a more secure select when Noelvi Marte was once suspended. The 26-year-old, who’s eligible at 4 positions, must utility his flexible fielding abilities to earn habitual paintings, which provides him the possible to check the 23 homers and 15 steals he logged utmost 12 months.

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