Like many other sports, Major League Baseball is delayed in 2020. With this, fantasy baseball is also not operating as planned. However, there is still a possibility of the season happening, even if it is different than the typical major league season. Should the fantasy baseball season happen this year, a lot of participants will be doing research prior to their draft. Position rankings are a way for people to get an idea of who they might want to target in their fantasy baseball draft. Here is a ranking of first basemen and/or designated hitters for the 2020 fantasy baseball season.
Note: To be eligible for this list, the player’s first position listed on ESPN fantasy baseball must be either first base or DH. For example, since Cody Bellinger is listed as (OF, 1B) at the time of writing, he is eligible for the outfield in this series, but will not be included in the first base and DH rankings.
20.) Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres (1B)
Eric Hosmer‘s numbers were down for a second year in a row. He still managed to hit 29 doubles and 22 homers. A perk for Hosmer is the amount of playing time he gets. Since 2015, the least amount of games he played in a single regular season is 157.
19.) Daniel Murphy, Colorado Rockies (1B)
Daniel Murphy has played most of his big league games at second base. However, he played 110 games at first base in 2019. Murphy has hit lots of doubles over the years, but they declined to 15 in 2018. He then joined the Rockies and more than doubled that number to 35 two-baggers last season.
18.) C.J. Cron, Detroit Tigers (1B)
When it comes to extra-base hits, C.J. Cron has put up a pretty close number of doubles and homers. In his first six big-league seasons, Cron has hit 120 doubles and 114 round-trippers. Last season, Cron hit 24 doubles and 25 homers with the Twins. He has since joined the Detroit Tigers.
17.) Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (1B)
Although Joey Votto‘s numbers have clearly declined over the past few seasons, his numbers have still been pretty average in terms of the entire league, even if they’re not numbers that he is used to. In 2019, Votto slashed .261/.357/.411. That was the first time his OBP was below .400 since 2014.
16.) Khris Davis, Oakland Athletics (DH)
In 2018, Khris Davis hit 48 home runs and had a .549 slugging percentage. Then in 2019, he hit less than half that amount at 23, and he had a .387 slugging percentage. It may have just been a poor year for Davis, and he can get those homers back up at 32-years-old.
15.) Luke Voit, New York Yankees (1B, DH)
After 157 games played with the Yankees, Luke Voit has a line of .280/.384/.517. This includes 26 doubles, 35 long balls and 95 RBIs. Although these are some solid numbers, the club also has Miguel Andujar returning from an injury. The Yankees have Gio Urshela at third on the depth chart. This leaves Luke Voit, Miguel Andujar and even Mike Ford as potential first basemen with the team. The Yankees are also in the AL, so having a DH spot could give Voit some more playing time.
14.) Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros (1B, 3B)
Yuli Gurriel put up numbers with the Astros in 2019. His slash line was .298/.343/.541 and he hit 31 homers along with 40 doubles. Gurriel’s 104 RBIs were sure to help a lot of fantasy teams last season as well. Besides his 39 games played in his debut year, Gurriel has played in at least 136 games in each of the last three seasons.
13.) Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks (1B)
After playing a handful of games with the Orioles and Diamondbacks from 2014-through-2018, Christian Walker got to play in 157 contests last season. He slashed .259/.348/.476 in those games. Walker accumulated 137 hits last season with 56 of them going for extra-bases.
12.) Miguel Andujar, New York Yankees (DH)
Miguel Andujar‘s only long season came in 2018 when he played in 149 regular-season contests. In those games, he hit a whopping 47 doubles along with 27 round-trippers. An injury shortened his 2019 campaign to just 12 games, where Gio Urshela took over at third base. Andujar is listed as a DH, but that could change depending on where the Yankees put him once the MLB resumes.
11.) Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies (1B)
Through his first three big league seasons, Rhys Hoskins has a career .858 OPS. Although his average was down at .226 last season, over half of his hits went for extra-bases, including 29 home runs. He also drew a bunch of walks last season with 116 of them.
10.) Carlos Santana, Cleveland Indians (1B, DH)
Carlos Santana made his first All-Star game last season. It was also his first year back with Cleveland after spending 2018 with the Phillies. Santana hit 34 homers and 30 doubles last year. He also had a high OBP at .397. If he can keep that going, he should provide some solid fantasy points this season.
9.) Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals (1B)
After a down year (for Paul Goldschmidt‘s standards), it could be hard to predict how he will perform this season. His slash line was .260/.346/.476. However, he hit a lot better after the All-Star break, slashing .267/.349/.538 as his slugging percentage is up by over 60 points compared to his full-season slash line.
8.) Jose Abreu, Chicago White Sox (1B, DH)
The 2014 AL Rookie of the Year had another solid season with the White Sox in 2019. Jose Abreu led the American League with 123 RBI last season, a career-high. He also hit 38 doubles and 33 homers. His slash line went up in all three sections in 2019 compared to 2018. His line last season was .284/.330/.503.
7.) Anthony Rizzo, Chicago Cubs (1B)
Anthony Rizzo had a slugging percentage of .520 last season, his third-highest in his nine-year career. That contributed to his .924 OPS which is the second-highest of his career. Rizzo tallied 150 hits last year, including 27 homers and 29 doubles. He also totaled 94 RBIs in 2019.
6.) Josh Bell, Pittsburgh Pirates (1B)
Josh Bell had a hot start to the season, but he cooled down post-All-Star break. At the break, Bell had a line of .302/.376/.648. He finished the season at .277/.367/.569. He hit 37 doubles and 37 homers. If Bell can stretch those numbers out throughout the season, he could help fantasy teams quite a bit in the upcoming season.
5.) Yordan Alverez, Houston Astros (DH)
Yordan Alvarez had a notable year in 2019. He played in just 87 games and still won the American League Rookie of the Year award. In those 87 games, Alvarez hit 27 homers and 26 two-baggers. He finished the regular season with a slash line of .313/.412/.655.
4.) Nelson Cruz, Minnesota Twins (DH)
Although Nelson Cruz turned 39 on July 1 of 2019, he still had potentially one of the best seasons of his career. He played in 120 games and hit 67 extra-base hits including 41 via the long ball. Cruz had a line of .311/.392/.639 last season.
3.) Matt Olson, Oakland Athletics (1B)
Matt Olson provided a boost in his offensive numbers last season. His line of .267/.351/.545 is up in all three phases from 2018. He played in 126 games and hit 36 homers along with 26 doubles. Should he keep that pace up and play in closer to 162 games next season, he could potentially be involved in MVP discussions.
2.) Pete Alonso, New York Mets (1B)
After one of the best rookie seasons in recent major league history, Pete Alonso could go in the first round of a lot of drafts this season. He played in 161 games in 2019, hitting 30 doubles and a rookie record 53 home runs. Alonso won Rookie of the Year and finished seventh in the NL MVP voting in his first big league season.
1.) Freddie Freeman, Atlanta Braves (1B)
Freddie Freeman has shown so much consistency at the major league level for years now. In 2019, he hit a career-high 38 homers and still managed to hit 34 doubles. He won a Silver Slugger award and finished eighth in the NL MVP voting. Freeman will commonly be taken early in fantasy drafts.
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