First Basemen to Target & Avoid at ADP (2023 Fantasy Baseball)
As you prepare for your fantasy baseball drafts, figuring out who you want to target in drafts and who you want to avoid is important. Culling your draft list is crucial to make it go seamlessly.
First base is a difficult position to cull. There are a lot of viable options, no matter the depth of your league. You have numerous tiers that range from elite options with safe floors to high-upside risky hitters. Here are my picks for first basemen to target and avoid at the first base position in 2023.
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First Basemen to Target or Avoid at ADP
Paul Goldschmidt (1B, DH – STL) | 26.42 ADP
If you aren’t willing to pay up for the uber-elite players at first base, Paul Goldschmidt is the last of the elite tier. He offers five-category production and is hitting in a prime spot in what may be the best lineup in baseball. We could even see him push back into the double-digit stolen base numbers with the new base running rules. He is about as safe as you get at first base.
Jose Abreu (1B, DH – HOU) | 99.56 ADP
Jose Abreu could not have ended up signing in a better spot than Houston. The Crawford Boxes should give him a nice boost in terms of power, as his xHR in Houston would have been 22 bombs. He is hitting in the middle of one of the best lineups in baseball, so it is pretty easy to pencil in 100+ RBIs. He is a four-category monster that is about as safe as they come.
Nathaniel Lowe (1B – TEX) | 106.47 ADP
Nathaniel Lowe completely broke out in 2022, hitting .302/.358/.492 with 27 home runs and two stolen bases. He did this by closing a hole in his swing and improving his contact skills on breaking pitches. He is another player that could benefit from the new base running rules, so we may see him get back to the eight stolen bases we saw in 2021. He is one of my favorite targets after the elite options go.
Wil Myers (1B, OF – CIN)| 292.24 ADP
It has been a few years since Will Myers delivered fantasy goodness, but Great American Ballpark cures a lot of ills for hitters. The main question on Myers isn’t talent; it’s health. He should play pretty much every day in the middle of the lineup for the Reds and could be this year’s Brandon Drury.
Matt Olson (1B – ATL) | 45.71 ADP
There isn’t anything necessarily wrong with Matt Olson. He gives you a ton of power and great runs and RBIs. However, he delivers virtually no stolen bases, and the average isn’t likely to be a benefit. When you can get four-category production later in the draft, it just doesn’t make sense to take Olson in the top 50 of a draft.
Ryan Mountcastle (1B, DH – BAL) |154.44 ADP
Ryan Mountcastle was one of those players that people faded early on in his career for the wrong reasons, but it ended up biting him later on in an unexpected way. He has hit almost every level through the Minors and the Majors, but there were concerns that his poor StatCast numbers meant the power wouldn’t continue to deliver.
He proved people wrong in his first full season in the Majors with 33 home runs, but then he crashed back down to earth last season in large part because the Orioles moved the fences back. He, unfortunately, is a player with “wall scraping power,” which means that the new dimensions are going to prevent him from getting back to that 30-homer mark.
Jake Cronenworth (1B, 2B, SS – SD) | 191.62 ADP
At this point, it is clear that Jake Cronenworth isn’t much more than a compiler. There is nothing wrong with that, as there are some great compilers in fantasy like Marcus Semien. However, to have value as a compiler, typically, you want players able to compile in every category, and you want them to hit high up in the lineup to rack up as many plate appearances as possible.
Cronenworth doesn’t run or offer a good batting average, and now in the improved Padres lineup, it is likely that he will hit in the bottom half of the lineup once Fernando Tatis Jr. is back from suspension. He is boring at a position with too much to choose from.
Jared Walsh (1B – LAA) | 330.94
Seeing Jared Walsh on the field after recovering from Thoracic Outlet Surgery is great. However, the problem is we have little to no data on how hitters return from that surgery. We have some data that it devastates most pitchers’ careers, but Walsh is the guinea pig for hitters. On top of that uncertainty, he also has playing time risk because of his awful platoon splits. At best, he is a strong side platoon bat, and at worst, he is pretty much washed.
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