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First Base Draft Trends

Assuming a 12-team league, let's take a look at the typical draft trends for first basemen using Mock Draft Central data.

The first round usually contains three first basemen: Albert Pujols, Miguel Cabrera, and Ryan Howard.  In my book, Cabrera and Howard are similar in value but Pujols is worth a good $8 more than them.  Pujols' average draft position is 2.39, and he'll never go later than fifth.  Cabrera is just 26 in April, and his second half was insane, so he stands a good chance of closing that $8 gap.

Three more big name 1Bs drop in the second round: Mark Teixeira, Lance Berkman, and Justin Morneau.  Not that he'll be bad or anything, but I don't think Morneau is justified here.

The third round often sees Prince Fielder, Adrian Gonzalez, and Kevin Youkilis chosen.  Fielder strikes me as a mild bargain at 25.02, but Gonzalez and Youkilis are going dangerously early.

I like to try to get a $10+ player at every position, and I have 14 1Bs reaching that dollar value.  9 of the 14 will be off the board when the third round closes, creating the impression of scarcity if you don't have one yet.

The next group of 1Bs doesn't get moving until Chris Davis in the 6th round.  Davis may be a victim of too much hype, but he remains capable of 30 HR and 100 RBI without the cost of a third-round pick.  Carlos Pena will go right after Davis.  Both players carry some risk of a detrimenal batting average.

In the 7th round we see two "safe" picks in Derrek Lee and Garrett Atkins, plus the intriguing Joey Votto.  Might as well go with Votto for the upside and the possibility of 10 steals.

Still don't have a first baseman?  You're probably going to have to settle for less-than-ideal production unless you hit on a sleeper.  You'll see Aubrey Huff, James Loney and Carlos Delgado move in the 8-9th rounds.  These three, Loney especially, do not thrill me.

The dog days of the draft produce these picks: Jorge Cantu (13th), Paul Konerko (15th), Hank Blalock (16th),  Nick Swisher (16th), Jason Giambi (17th), Conor Jackson (18th) Pablo Sandoval (19th), Carlos Guillen (20th) and Casey Kotchman (20th).  Sandoval is solid here if he qualifies at catcher in your league (11 games played).  Out of this bunch, I'll take Jackson.  He's 27 in May and had a couple of 5 HR months last year; you never know.

In the last round of the draft, you may see Adam LaRoche, Casey Blake, and Mike Jacobs taken.  LaRoche is a very affordable 25 HR bat, and he's entering his contract year.  Jacobs is similar minus the contract year.

Undrafted: Todd Helton, Lyle Overbay, Billy Butler, and Ryan Garko.  Butler is your breakout candidate here.  Also keep an eye on Gaby Sanchez, Chris Duncan, and Matt LaPorta.


Full Story |  Comments (7) | Categories: First Basemen

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