A list of the top first basemen to draft for 2014 fantasy baseball.
1. Paul Goldschmidt Arizona Diamondbacks
The brightest star in Arizona's lineup, Goldschmidt had an MVP-worthy year, hitting 36 home runs and driving in 125 runs, while slugging .551. It was the kind of breakout year the organization knew he was capable of, and MVP voters took note, as he finished second to Andrew McCutchen for the honors during the offseason. He's the biggest constant in the batting order, and 2014 figures to be another outstanding campaign for the 26-year-old stud, as his contributions as a five-category player will make him the first player off the board at his position in many leagues this spring.
2. Joey Votto Cincinnati Reds
Votto was a lightning rod for criticism among Reds fans and the local media, but for all the wrong reasons. Way too much bandwidth was spent on discussing his walk rate - as if having a .435 OBP could ever be construed as a negative! But it is true that at times he failed in high profile situations, most notably with the bases loaded. He did struggled defensively in the first half of the season. And most importantly, his power was down - his ISO dropped from .230 to .186. That last factor, combined with the absolutely horrid No. 2 hitters in front of him most of the year contributed to a steep decline in RBI, which has a tangible impact on his fantasy value. He's still an elite player in real life, but in our game those shortcomings knock him out of the first round in traditional formats.
3. Edwin Encarnacion Toronto Blue Jays
With a second big season under his belt, Encarnacion can officially be labeled as a late bloomer rather than a fluke. He followed up his breakout 2012 campaign with an impressive 2013 season that saw him slash .272/.370/.534 on the strength of 36 home runs and a 13.2% walk rate. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Encarnacion's profile is that he's lowered his strikeout rate in each of the last four seasons, peaking at a 10.0% mark last season. With Jose Bautista expected to enter 2014 at full health, the Blue Jays should field one of the league's most formidable lineup pairings, and Encarnacion should be primed for another huge season provided that he recovers as expected from offseason wrist surgery.
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2014 Fantasy Rankings
Who are the top players you should be considering in your fantasy baseball drafts this year? Find out by browsing our overall rankings for 2013.
Find out where Carlos Santana, Buster Posey, Matt Wieters, Wilin Rosario and other catchers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Joey Votto, Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Paul Goldschmidt and other first basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Robinson Cano, Jason Kipnis, Chase Utley, Jose Altuve and other second basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Hanley Ramirez, Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jean Segura and other shortstops are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Evan Longoria, David Wright, Pablo Sandoval, Brett Lawrie and other third basemen are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Ryan Braun, Mike Trout, Josh Hamilton, Jose Bautista and other outfielders are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Clayton Kershaw, Gerrit Cole, Matt Moore, Mike Minor and other starting pitchers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.
Find out where Aroldis Chapman, Greg Holland, Craig Kimbrel, Kenley Jansen and other relievers are ranked going into your fantasy draft.