(Photo by Stephen Hopson/Icon Sportswire)
2018 End of the Season Positional Dynasty Rankings
The season may have ended, but dynasty baseball never stops.
|Top 25 Catchers||Top 60 Outfielders|
|Top 30 First Basemen||Top 90 Outfielders|
|Top 30 Second Basemen||Top 30 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Shortstops||Top 60 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Third Basemen||Top 90 Starting Pitchers|
|Top 30 Outfielders||Top 50 Relief Pitchers|
The Top 30 First Basemen
|1||Freddie Freeman||Atlanta Braves||29||+1|
|2||Paul Goldschmidt||Arizona Diamondbacks||31||-1|
|3||Cody Bellinger||Los Angeles Dodgers||23||—|
|4||Anthony Rizzo||Chicago Cubs||29||—|
|5||Rhys Hoskins||Philadelphia Phillies||25||—|
|6||Jose Abreu||Chicago White Sox||32||+2|
|7||Jesus Aguilar||Milwaukee Brewers||28||UR|
|8||Matt Olson||Oakland Athletics||24||+5|
|9||Max Muncy||Los Angeles Dodgers||28||UR|
|10||Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds||35||-3|
|11||Joey Gallo||Texas Rangers||25||+7|
|12||Eric Hosmer||San Diego Padres||29||-3|
|13||Tyler White||Houston Astros||28||UR|
|14||Yordan Alvarez (P)||Houston Astros||21||+6|
|15||Matt Carpenter||St. Louis Cardinals||33||+13|
|16||Jake Bauers||Tampa Bay Rays||23||+8|
|17||Luke Voit||New York Yankees||28||UR|
|18||Ian Desmond||Colorado Rockies||33||-1|
|19||Miguel Cabrera||Detroit Tigers||35||-8|
|20||Peter Alonso (P)||New York Mets||23||+5|
|21||Edwin Encarnacion||Cleveland Indians||36||-11|
|22||Kevin Cron (P)||Arizona Diamondbacks||25||UR|
|23||Nathaniel Lowe (P)||Tampa Bay Rays||23||UR|
|24||Josh Bell||Pittsburgh Pirates||26||-9|
|25||Matt Thaiss (P)||Los Angeles Angels||23||UR|
|26||Jose Martinez||St. Louis Cardinals||30||UR|
|27||Chad Spanberger (P)||Toronto Blue Jays||22||UR|
|28||Bobby Bradley (P)||Cleveland Indians||22||-6|
|29||Frank Schwindel (P)||Kansas City Royals||26||UR|
|30||Josh Naylor (P)||San Diego Padres||21||UR|
- Paul Goldschmidt‘s stolen base count has steadily declined over the past three years and should continue to decline as he now enters his age-31 season. Freddie Freeman is two years younger, set career steals, and despite the fewest home runs per plate appearance since 2014 is a good bet to bounce back in 2019. Atlanta’s lineup will only get better over the next few seasons and there is some uncertainty as with Goldschmidt as he is a free agent after 2019.
- Cody Bellinger saw a .100 point drop in his ISO this past year and was inconsistent with high-highs and low-lows. He managed to finish with 28 home runs and 14 stolen bases. Bellinger is still 23 years old, saw his strikeout rate decline, and is only a season removed from a 39 home run season – his best is yet to come. While he will cede quite a few starts to Max Muncy, Bellinger should safely have first base eligibility for years to come.
- Anthony Rizzo is amazingly consistent and if not for a putrid March/April where he batted .149 and only one home run, would have been a good bet to repeat 31+ home runs and 100 RBIs.
- Rhys Hoskins will not start the 2019 season with first base eligibility, but he came close. Hoskins is tentatively poised to at least split time at first in 2019 and projects as the team’s long-term first baseman after Carlos Santana‘s contract expires. Hoskins is still looking for his ceiling and a 40+ season at .250 is well within reach.
- Starting May 1, Max Muncy posted a .268/.399/.593 line with 33 home runs in 366 at-bats. Muncy has an aggressive ranking here after breaking out of obscurity, but at this point in the rankings, Muncy is well worth the risk.
- Joey Votto at #10 is still giving some hope that he can turn it around in his age-35 season and is some degree of respect for the top-10 bat that he was in 2017. He should continue to fall even if he has a successful season as age is catching up with him. For dynasty teams expected to compete in 2019, Votto should be a great buy-low target.
- Joey Gallo replicated his 2017 season, hitting 40 home runs, striking out at a 35% clip, and batting in the low .200s. Gallo derives nearly all of his value from his home runs (48% of runs & 62% of RBIs). I prefer a few fewer home runs for a more balanced average.
- Hitting 28 home runs between Triple-A and the MLB, Tyler White should have a bigger role in Houston’s offense and eventually take over for Yuli Gurriel at first base full time.
- The only thing that could threaten Tyler White‘s playing time at first would be if Yordan Alvarez sticks at first base. Alvarez will bounce between first base and outfield, but is the clear top offensive prospect at the position. Alvarez had 20 home runs in 335 at-bats, hitting .293 between Double-A and Triple-A. Alvarez should spend 2019 in the minors and could get a cup of September tea if he performs well enough.
- Stolen bases at first base are a hot commodity, Ian Desmond is still a good bet for a 20/20 season even at a .240-ish batting average for the fifth time in eight years. Desmond just turned 33 and should retain fantasy relevance so long as he continues to steal.
- In his sole healthy season in the past four years, Miguel Cabrera hit 38 home runs and batted .316. Chances of another full season from Cabrera are low, but despite being 35-years old could still be a key part of a weak Detroit lineup. At #18, Cabrera has his risk built in and could still produce in the top-15 at his position few years if healthy – and that is a growing if.
- For a while, it looked as though Peter Alonso may have forced his way onto the Mets in 2018, but initially struggled to hit in Triple-A. His final month saw a .308 average and 12 home runs – most importantly, a decreased strikeout percentage (to a palatable 23%). Alonso finished his season with 36 home runs and is a good bet to be called up sometime in 2019.
- Edwin Encarnacion continued his decline in 2018 and there are red flags everywhere – decreased power, increased strikeout rate, declined average. Encarnacion will be 36 years old and may well be in the final year of fantasy relevance with Cleveland unlikely to exercise his option in 2020 (at $20 million).
- Kevin Cron has been a consistent source of power, hitting 20+ home runs each of the past four years and each as he steadily climbed through the minors. Had Cron played a full minor league season, he would have had a career-high amount of home runs and a did have a career-high batting average (granted, supported by a .359 BABIP). If Arizona opts to not retain Paul Goldschmidt after 2018 – Cron is the heir apparent.
- Josh Bell saw a significant course correction in 2018. 2017 might represent career-high home runs, but Bell is an improving hitter that may yet end up an average power, high average player. That is not enough to warrant fantasy ownership in most leagues.
- Chad Spanberger struggled once he was traded to Toronto, but prior to that he hit 22 home runs and 16 stolen bases in 92 games. A paltry 5% walk rate is keeping his value from being elite, but he has an intriguing mix of power and speed that few other prospects have. Spanberger is a bit older and will need to move quickly to stay relevant.
- Frank Schwindel has a strikingly similar profile to Kevin Cron and after two years in Triple-A has only continued to refine his approach. Kansas City will be testing Schwindel out at a few roles, but he is a first baseman by trade and heir to Eric Hosmer more so than Ryan O’Hearn or Hunter Dozier.