THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2021 TOP 50 DYNASTY LEAGUE FIRST BASEMEN #31-50
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Without further ado, it’s time to continue our 2021 consensus rankings by looking at the 31-50 first basemen in dynasty leagues.
31) Jesus Aguilar, Miami Marlins, (Age 30, Previous Rank: NR)
Aguilar is like Los Del Rio; no one remembers those guys right? well, they write and interpreted The Macarena song, possibly the most seasoned one-hit wonder of all time. Like those guys, I think Aguilar is a one-season great player- 2018 was a great season for him. Now he’s entering the wrong side of 30 and with Lewin Diaz on deck plus a capable first baseman defender in Garrett Cooper, if he falters he leaves (dancing the Macarena of course). He can be a decent player anyway; a good first base backup or an option in NL-only leagues. 2021 personal projection: .265/.340/.450/19/65 (Marino Martinez)
32) Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros, (Age 36, Previous Rank: 13)
Yuli will be part of the credits from “2019: The Last Banged Trash Can;” someone will make that movie/documentary, right? His 2019 season was insane, not aligned with all the other seasons he played before and after, and of course, regression came to hunt him last year. A player who takes a walk only with a gun to his head needs to be well above .290 in order to be a useful player. I think Yuli can hit for average but he has no first baseman power, and if you didn’t sell him high last offseason, sorry: he just exploded in your hands. 2021 personal projection: .275/.305/.415/15/55 (Marino Martinez)
33) Carlos Santana, Kansas City Royals, (Age 34, Previous Rank: 11)
Apparently 2019 was a dream for him- .281/.397/.515, with 34 dingers and 85+ runs and RBI, the best Santana’s season so far without a doubt. 2020 was a totally different story; the worst season for him. Even with an 18.4 BB%, he finished the season with an awful .199/.349/.350, 8 homers and just north of 30 runs and RBI. I don’t think he is as good as 2019 or so bad as 2020, maybe he has a couple of seasons of high OBP and decent power numbers left in the tank. He can climb again the ranks if he rights the ship in the first half of the season. 2021 personal projection: .245/.370/.440/24/75. (Marino Martinez)
34) Garrett Cooper, Miami Marlins, (Age 30, Previous Rank: 31)
Cooper is a decent player, but nothing special, and with the rumors of no universal DH he can make a platoon with Lewin Diaz. If Diaz earns the job, he also can play OF occasionally to open a spot for Aguilar. 2021 personal projection: .260/.330/.450/17/50 (Marino Martinez)
35) Pavin Smith, Arizona Diamondbacks, (Age 24, Previous Rank: NR)
Drafted two spots ahead of Keston Hiura, Smith’s calling cards are his raw power and on base abilities. But the power hasn’t come just yet, for a first baseman and corner outfield prospect this is a capital sin. Anyway, he has an above-average hit tool (for me, a better hit tool than Hiura), but he needs to put that in practice. Blocked by Christian Walker in the big show, he can find some playing time vs RHP at first or corner OF, but his ideal scenario is being traded to a team where he can play everyday like Milwaukee or Cleveland. 2021 personal projection: reserved. (Marino Martinez)
36) Bryce Ball, Atlanta Braves, (Age 22, Previous Rank: NR)
Drafted in the 24th round of the 2019 draft, Ball put up some nice numbers in the minors, over 62 games (.329/.395/.628, 17 homers). We need to see more of him, but this guy has power and can be one of the bargains from the 2019 draft. 2021 personal projection: NA (Marino Martinez)
37) Michael Chavis, Boston Red Sox, (Age 25, Previous Rank: 14)
Chavis needs to get traded so badly. He definitely can be a better asset in another town, a town more… tropical, like Miami for example. Just imagine him, Jorge Alfaro and Lewis Brinson together; they’ll be like eco friendly air ventilators. Chavis’ first season was promising to say the least, but last year was very bad, with nothing positive to highlight… Oh! Wait, he lowered his strikeout rate from 33.2% to 31.6%. Once a second base prospect, he’s now a first baseman without a clear future. With Bobby Dalbec on the bigs and Triston Casas waiting on deck, I don’t see a future there. 2021 personal projection: .235/.285/.390/13/40 (Marino Martinez)
38) C.J. Cron, Detroit tigers, (Age 30, Previous Rank: 26)
He has the potential to climb the ladder in these rankings; last year a season-ending knee surgery sent him home, but 2019 had inspiring signs (15% barrel, 91.1 EV, .369 XWOBA). Keep an eye on him on the waiver wire. 2021 personal projection: .250/.320/.450/25/70 (Marino Martinez)
39) Ji-Man Choi, Tampa Bay Rays, (Age 29, Previous Rank: 30)
Choi has a good eye, great plate discipline(13% BB% last two years) if he can replicate his 2019 season, he can be a valuable asset in very deep leagues or AL only leagues. 2021 personal projection: .245/.340/.390/12/45 (Marino Martinez).
40) Mason Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates, (Age 20, Previous Rank: NR)
Took the South Atlantic League by storm in 2019 (.262/.361/.575, 23 homers, 83 RBI), when Pittsburgh assigned him to the more challenging Florida State League, his numbers dipped a bit (.239/.333/.528, 12 homers, 46 RBI), but he was 2 years younger than the league average. Put him on your watch list ASAP. 2021 personal projection: NA (Marino Martinez).
41) Daniel Vogelbach, Milwaukee Brewers, (Age 29, Previous Rank: 24)
Wave the white flag. We are at that point. The fact that Vogelbach still has a job, possibly batting cleanup, paints a picture of how bad the first base position is entering 2021. After being cut twice last season the Brewers gave him a shot and he managed to hit .328 with four home runs and a .987 OPS in 58 at-bats. The bad news is he hit .088 in the other half of the season which brings us very close to his career average of .206. His minor league numbers gave us hope, and his 704 MLB at-bats have taken it away. If the NL keeps the DH and you need a corner infielder in a 30-team OBP league, he might be ok. (Paul Monte)
42) Blaze Jordan, Boston Red Sox, (Age 18, Previous Rank: NR)
Think back to when you were 11 years old. I’m willing to bet that you weren’t hitting 395-foot home runs. Blaze Jordan was. The internet did a great job of being the hype man for Jordan and after reclassifying into the 2020 draft class he was one of the youngest players available. His power has never been questioned but his ability to make contact and athletic ability may have caused him to slide to the third round. We have him ranked as a first baseman here, but the Red Sox are allowing him to stay at third and hope that he will stick. Reports are that he did well in instructional leagues this fall. (Paul Monte)
43) Mitch Moreland, Free Agent, (Age: 35, Previous Rank: NR)
At 35 years old the options become slim. The Padres declined the team option for him which left him searching for a new team. Boston cashed in on his smoking hot start to 2020 and he could not continue that in San Diego. You know what you are going to get from him: a .250 batting average and about 20 home runs. It’s unlikely that he will find a team that will slot him into the starting lineup, so a bench role is coming. Another deep league first baseman who may be worth rostering if he can find some at-bats. (Paul Monte)
44) Danny Santana, Free Agent, (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 65 OF)
2020 was a disaster for most people, but it was especially rough for Santana. One year after posting a 28 home run and 21 stolen base season he struggled badly for 15 games and then was lost for the season with an elbow injury. That same injury will likely cost him several months of the 2021 season as well. At 30 years old and without a team he is likely to sign a one-year deal to prove that his 2019 season was not a complete fluke. It’s a tough spot to be in, but if he does come back healthy, he could easily shoot up this list in 2021. (Paul Monte)
45) Jhonkensy Noel, Cleveland Baseball Team, (Age: 19, Previous Rank: NR)
Another young guy with a massive body for his age and a suspect hit tool with massive power. This is a common profile for this point in the first base rankings and Noel fits it well. The power is there and it’s huge. Unlike Jordan, we have a couple of years of professional baseball to evaluate with Noel. He has progressed as you would want him to, cutting down his strikeouts as he advanced. The ETA is several years away so this is someone that you will need to have patience with. (Paul Monte)
46) Ronald Guzman, Texas Rangers, (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 38)
This ranking was made before the Rangers traded for Tampa Bay first baseman and 13th ranked Nate Lowe. The trade relegates Guzman to either the bench or Triple-A. It will be tough for him to get the at-bats unless he finds himself traded soon. The decline in the rankings in the last couple of years matches the production on the field for Guzman. You must squint hard to see much hope left for him; this may be the last time we see Ronald Guzman’s name on the dynasty rankings for first base. (Paul Monte)
47) Bobby Bradley, Cleveland Baseball Team (Age: 24, Previous Rank: 35)
The exit of Carlos Santana has opened the door for the 24-year-old slugger to finally get the call to the big leagues. His main competition at this point is fellow lefty Jake Bauers who is just a year older. Bauers is now out of options so it is likely that he will get the first shot as Bradley still has one option left. Bradley was part of the 60-man roster in 2020 but was never needed at the major league level. He does not have much left to prove at the minor league level, his 2019 season in Triple-A saw him swat 33 home runs in 402 at-bats. The payoff may finally be here for owners that have been rostering him for the last six years. (Paul Monte)
48) Ryan O’Hearn, Kansas City Royals, (Age 27, Previous Rank: NR)
When one door opens another door closes or something like that. Carlos Santana leaving Cleveland to sign with the Royals opened that door for Bobby Bradley in Cleveland and slammed it shut for Ryan O’Hearn in Kansas City. Now the backup first baseman as Hunter Dozier moves over to third base, there is not much value left. He managed to hit .195/.303/.301 with just 2 home runs in 113 2020 at-bats. This is the second season in a row that O’Hearn has hit .195. The most exciting thing to look forward to will be to see if he can hit .195 for the third straight season. (Paul Monte)
49) Nick Pratto, Kansas City Royals, (Age 22, Previous Rank: NR)
We are getting deep into the depths of the first base rankings. This where you will find the fourth first base eligible Kansas City Royal. Pratto is on this list because of his draft pedigree, not his recent on-field performance. Drafted 15th overall in 2017 he has slowly climbed the ranks. His 2018 season showed some promise as he hit .280/.343/.443 at full-season A ball. It was his 2019 that was a problem. He struggled against high A pitching to the tune of .191/.278/.310. He was invited to the 60-man roster, so the Royals have not given up on him yet. (Paul Monte)
50) Jedd Gyorko, Free Agent, (Age 32, Previous Rank: NR)
Gyorko is now at the point of his career where he is more valuable in real life than he is in fantasy baseball. He will be looking to sign with his fourth team in 3 seasons after killing left-handed pitching in the very short 2020 season. His career platoon splits match his 2020 season, it may be time for the eight-year National League vet to try out life in the American League. Of course, if MLB would decide if the National League will have a designated hitter in 2021 and beyond it won’t matter where he signs. He’ll likely end up being the short side of a platoon wherever he lands. (Paul Monte)