2011 fantasy baseball is nearly here and it is time for prospective owners to begin to prepare for their drafts. I have decided to move on with the series on 2011 Fantasy Baseball by taking a look at the first base position; a position known for their power and ability to drive in runs. The following fifteen first baseman were selected based on their 2010 production and where they will be this year.
1. Albert Pujols – STL
No one can deny it that Pujols is not just the top first baseman in the game, but the top hitter in the game. Considering he has the chance to be a free agent at the end of the season, owners can expect Pujols to put up career numbers.
2. Adrian Gonzalez – BOS
The Red Sox sold the farm to bring Gonzalez in and for good reason, especially when you considered what he did at home for the Padres. Gonzalez is going to set career highs in every category in 2011 and should make a run as one of the top five picks in your fantasy baseball draft.
3. Miguel Cabrera – DET
The Tigers brought in another bat to help protect Cabrera who was just about unstoppable in 2010. Fantasy baseball owners should not worry too much about his off the field issues because he is not going to miss a beat as he races for a chance at the Triple Crown of baseball.
4. Joey Votto – CIN
The Reds success in 2010 is directly attributed to the emergence of Votto as one of the more feared hitters in baseball. While you may see a slight drop in power from the NL MVP, he is still going to bring to the table a better than league average and bring in over 100 runs.
5. Prince Fielder – MIL
The Brewers are hoping are going with the belief that Fielder is going to bounce back from an average 2010 season and return to his MVP like form. And there is no reason not to think so. Fielder should find his power stroke again and he will deliver big, because well it is contract year.
6. Mark Teixeira – NYY
The Bronx Bombers have the perfect model of consistency with Teixeira who has managed to hit 30 homeruns and drive in 100 runs during the last seven seasons. He will be more comfortable at home this year and owners will be rewarded as they get the same power with a higher average.
7. Kevin Youkilis – BOS
The Red Sox faithful were excited by Youkilis season in 2010 until it was derailed by a thumb injury. He is healed and back ready to show why he is one of the favorites in Beantown. Some fantasy owners may bid high on him considering the Red Sox powerful lineup.
8. Ryan Howard – PHI
Fantasy owners may be focused on the decrease in Howard’s homerun total, 45 in 2009 to 31 last year, but the one thing you should remember is he plays on a potent Phillies offense. Howard will bounce back some in 2011 and make any team he is on a contender.
9. Adam Dunn – CWS
The word on Dunn is all he does is hit homeruns and drive in runs. That would be just fine with the White Sox who brought him into a hitter friendly park. The chance of 50 homeruns should be enough for owners to deal with a .260 batting average.
10. Justin Morneau – MIN
The Twins enter the 2011 season with questions around Morneau’s health and that is enough to make any potential fantasy owner nervous about selecting him high in their draft. If he is able to bounce back, he could be a big pickup in the later rounds.
11. Buster Posey – SF
Will Posey suffer the sophomore slump or will he continue to improve upon his solid rookie season? If he avoids this, he should bring to the table a .305 batting average with 20 homeruns and 80 runs driven in. As an added bonus is that he will have eligibility for most fantasy baseball owners at the catch position.
12. Kendry Morales – LAA
Owners who normally steer clear of injured players should not avoid Morales. He is easily going to return to his potential All-Star form of a .295 batting average with 35 homeruns and 100 runs driven in. The other thing you can expect from Morales in 2011 is no more excessive celebrations on the baseball diamond.
13. Billy Butler – KC
The Royals put their money where their mouth was during the off-season by rewarding Butler’s performance in Kansas City. Butler should improve upon his 2010 number and end up with a .310 average and 25 homeruns.
14. Adam LaRoche – WAS
While LaRoche saw a slow start to the 2010 baseball season, patient fantasy owners were rewarded when he had an amazing August. With the Nationals improving offense, LaRoche should be good for another 25 homeruns and 100 runs driven in this year.
15. Paul Konerko – CWS
The White Sox held onto Konerko who had his best season since 2006 when he hit .312 with 39 homeruns. The problem is that it is unrealistic to expect the same numbers from him in 2011, especially with the addition of Adam Dunn.