Justin Morneau

On Feb. 14, I took a look at catchers. Now, let’s preview the first basemen.

Which first baseman should go off the board first?

Chris Davis (BAL) – Davis exploded last season, hitting 53 home runs, knocking in 138 runs and posting a solid .286 batting average. His on-base plus slugging percentage was a very high 1.004, just behind Miguel Cabrera. Last year’s success doesn’t mean he is going to do it again in 2014, but he seems like he is seeing the ball better at the plate. The power has always been there for Davis, but now the average is going up. Sure, you could go with Arizona’s Paul Goldschmidt and be fine, possibly even better, but I am all in for Davis as the number one first baseman.

Who is making a comeback from a disappointing 2013 season?

Albert Pujols (LAA) – Unfortunately for me, Pujols was my first-round pick last season, and he had the worst season of his entire career last year in a limited 99 games due to his plantar fascia in his left foot. However, this is Pujols we are talking about here, who is one of the best baseball players of all time. He will aim to turn things around in a big way in 2014. The fact that some fantasy experts rank him as low as 10th at his position is a rare site. Pujols should provide great value, especially when you can draft him later than he is used to being drafted in previous years. Also, look out for Victor Martinez of the Detroit Tigers.

Don’t sleep on this guy

Justin Morneau (COL) – In December, Morneau signed with the Colorado Rockies. Let me repeat that. Morneau just signed with the Colorado Rockies. This means he will be in a lineup with Carlos Gonzalez, Michael Cuddyer, Troy Tulowitzki, Wilin Rosario and Dexter Fowler, all good hitters. This also means Morneau will be playing 81 games in Coors Field where the air is thin in the mile high city of Denver, Colorado. The ball will travel much further than it will in any other park, so this could very well help his home run numbers. He has potential to be the guy he used to be in Minnesota, and he is going to have a better-than-expected season for the Rockies.

Bound to bust

Allen Craig (STL) – This is going against what I believe in because the St. Louis Cardinals are the gold standard of baseball in my opinion. However, Craig is ahead of guys like David Ortiz, Adrian Gonzalez and Mark Trumbo on fantasy rankings out there. I don’t see him being better than those guys this season. He had a great year last year and has performed well in place of Pujols for the Cardinals, but he is being picked among consistent fantasy stars. He may prove me wrong, but I don’t see him being as good as he is ranked or as good as last year.

My Pre-Season Rankings: First Baseman

  1. Chris Davis (BAL)
  2. Paul Goldschmidt (ARI)
  3. Prince Fielder (TEX)
  4. Joey Votto (CIN)
  5. Freddie Freeman (CIN)
  6. Albert Pujols (LAA)
  7. Edwin Encarnacion (TOR)
  8. Adrian Gonzalez (LAD)
  9. David Ortiz (BOS)
  10. Mark Trumbo (ARI)
  11. Michael Cuddyer (COL)
  12. Allen Craig (STL)
  13. Eric Hosmer (KC)
  14. Brandon Belt (SF)
  15. Mike Napoli (BOS)
  16. Justin Morneau (COL)
  17. Anthony Rizzo (CHC)
  18. Victor Martinez (DET)
  19. Mark Teixeira (NYY)
  20. Ryan Howard (PHI)

I’ll leave you with this...

First of all, keep in mind that I left off guys like Buster Posey, Joe Mauer and Carlos Santana because I have them as catchers. In addition, I left off Miguel Cabrera. There is no doubt that Cabrera would have been the number one first baseman, but I still have him at third base.

First base is generally a pretty deep position; so don’t feel like you need to grab one in the early rounds, unless of course a stud like Davis or Goldschmidt is available. Good luck.

Each week, Adam will give his two cents about the players at each position, naming a clear-cut number one, a comeback player, a sleeper, a bust, his full rankings and a little advice as to what to do in your draft and throughout the season.