2022 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball


Continuing with our highlights of the league’s top First Basemen, as judged by our collection of industry experts, below are the 11th through the 30th ranked players in the league.

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11. Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 10)

Dropping one spot from last year, Rhys Hoskins finds himself at the top of TDG’s second highest tier for first baseman. Don’t let the fact that he no longer finds himself in the top ten spoil your Hoskins appetite. There is plenty to love with Hoskins. All you need to know is this. Dating back to the 2019 season, Hoskins has improved in his sabermetrics in the following categories each year: average exit velocity, xwOBA, Barrel %, max exit velocity, xBA, hard hit percentage, and xSLG. I highlighted Hoskins as someone to not forget about, as he fell in last year’s rankings. I can see Hoskins climbing up a few spots in next year’s first baseman rankings as I expect even better production from Hoskins in 2022. (Brett Cook)

12. José Abreu, Chicago White Sox (Age: 35, Previous Rank: 14)

If you want some reading material to depress you, then please read Patrick Magnus’s writeup on José Abreu from last year. It does seem as though father time reared his ugly head, seemingly numbering the days that Abreu has left in this dog eat dog world. Abreu went from elite in xwOBA, xBA, xSLG, and barrel percentage to only slightly above average in xwOBA, barrel percentage and xSLG. To make matters worse, Abreu’s xBA, which we just noted was elite in 2020, dropped below league average, to the 47th percentile in the league, Abreu’s career worst since the Statcast era began in 2015. (Brett Cook)

13. Jared Walsh, Los Angeles Angels (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 22)

I just have to say, I don’t understand the Walsh appeal. The only two areas of sabermetrics that Walsh seems to flourish in are his max exit velocity (94th percentile) and his barrel percentage (75th percentile). His average exit velocity, hard hit percentage, xBA, and xSLG are all only slightly above league average. His xwOBA, BB percentage, and whiff percentage are slightly below league average. Lastly, his strikeout percentage, chase rate and outs above average are abysmal. I don’t see Walsh having a great career. Can he? Of course he can. I just don’t believe he will. It is my opinion that he may have another good season or two, but I am not targeting him in any dynasty leagues. (Brett Cook)

14. Ty France, Seattle Mariners (Age: 27, Previous Rank: 29 at 2B)

You have more than likely heard of the French Revolution. Let’s talk about the Ty France revolution. France is a player I can get behind in dynasty because he isn’t selling out for power. What jumps off the page in France’s revolution as a player is his major improvement in his whiff percentage and strikeout percentage. When France swung his bat in 2020 he was only slightly above average in the whiff department according to sabermetrics (54th percentile), but in 2021 that percentage skyrocketed to being in the league’s top 16 percent at swinging without missing. Additionally, France’s average exit velocity was 4 times harder in 2021 and his hard hit percentage was 3 times harder. He is hitting the ball harder and making better, more consistent contact. What more could you ask for? (Brett Cook)

15. Nathaniel Lowe, Texas Rangers (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 13)

The Rangers look to have their first baseman of the future. Lowe is quite an anomaly. He is among the league’s worst at striking out, finding himself in the bottom 25th percentile. But he isn’t chasing or whiffing to get that high amount of strikeouts. At the same time he boasts one of the highest walk percentages in the league. What does that tell us? Sometimes his eye isn’t as keen as it seems. He still strikes out a lot by not swinging at pitches in the zone but in the grand scheme of things he also found enough plate appearances to walk a lot. You get a young pure hitter in Lowe, who, when he swings he hits the ball hard consistently. (Brett Cook)

16. Anthony Rizzo, Free Agent (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 7)

Rizzo dropped nine spots from last year’s rankings. He still boasts an elite max exit velocity in the league which is very encouraging. Rizzo also boasted his career best sabermetric in the outs above average department in the Statcast era in this latest season. Most of the areas that are measured by baseball savant showed only slight changes, some being favorable and others being  unfavorable for Rizzo. The most notable mark against Rizzo was his fall in walk percentage as he dropped from the top 25 percent in the league to only slightly above average. Don’t give up Rizzo just yet. (Brett Cook)

17. Juan Yepez, St. Louis Cardinals (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

Yepez pounced into the scene in 2021. Power seemed to come from nowhere with Yepez as he was promoted to Triple-A after hitting 5 home runs in 19 games at Double-A. After that promotion to Triple-A, Yepez further shocked the world by blasting another 22 home runs. It is no wonder that Yepez finds himself this high in the rankings. The question is can he repeat this for the foreseeable future? Yes, this success was at the highest level as the minors go, but the major leagues are a completely different animal. I am not buying into Yepez just yet but I can see why you would want to take a risk. (Brett Cook)

18. Josh Bell, Washington Nationals (Age: 29, Previous Rank: 16)

Below you can see Bell’s sabermetrics from the 2019 and 2021 seasons. I didn’t include Bell’s numbers from 2020 because it was a weird season. Altuve struggled in that same 2020 season and he proved many doubters wrong in 2021. Just take a glorious look at all the red from Bell in 2021. Bell definitely had his career best year in 2019, and, as you can see, he put up very similar numbers this past season. He still finds himself dropping in rankings and yet he had a .261/.347/.476 line. His 2019 line was better than his 2021 line but his 2019 line had a closer resemblance to 2019 than 2020. The problem is many still haven’t forgiven Bell for 2020 like they have Altuve, which is indicative of his continued fall in rankings. Hear me on this. Bell is super valuable in dynasty. (Brett Cook)








19. Trey Mancini, Baltimore Orioles (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 57 at OF)

Mancini is the guy you want your daughter to date. After missing the 2020 season from kicking cancer in the face, Mancini returned for the 2021 season. Comparing the sabermetrics for Mancini in 2019 and 2021, you can see a slight decline with these two seasons. 

One of my baseball coaches in high school said that a year out of baseball is like missing seven years. I must have missed a century and been seven hundred years behind according to this old wise tale. It helps to make my point though. Mancini missed a whole season of baseball in 2020. For this reason, I believe that the super-talented Trey Mancini will be jumping higher in our rankings this time next year. (Brett Cook)

20. C.J. Cron, Colorado Rockies (Age: 32, Previous Rank: 38)

Cron is someone to target in dynasty leagues. His maximum exit velocity, the hardest hit he produced in 2021 was among the top seven percent in the league. His xSLG, barrel percentage and walk percentage are all in the top 77 percentile for the league. You can’t go wrong with a buy who barrels the ball better than the majority of the league. On top of that, if you are in on base percentage leagues he will get you a lot of walks. Some of you may be lucky to have Cron as your second first baseman. Consider yourself rich in the first base department if this is you. (Brett Cook)

21. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds (Age: 38, Previous Rank: 28)

Votto didn’t want to hear anything about the tail-end of his career and fought back the last two seasons, a remarkable turnaround in which he’s hit 47 home runs in only 183 games. His launch angle has increased significantly over the past three years, all the way up to 18.2 degrees in 2021. Votto’s 36 bombs were only one shy of his career-high, in his age-37 season. After staying at 20% or lower for his entire career, Votto’s K’s spiked to 23.6% but something had to give for the sell-out for power, and the league struck out at 23.2% as a whole. He destroyed fastballs, hitting .306 with 27 of his 36 home runs on the pitch. His Statcast metrics were outstanding, sitting in the top 7% of the league in every “hit the ball hard” metric imaginable and averaging a 92.9% exit velocity, by far the best of his career since this began tracking. The BB-rate of 14.4% sat in the top-3 percentile in the league and made Votto a true force in OBP leagues, where he ranked on the Razzball OBP Player Rater as the 7th best first baseman and 38th best hitter overall in 2021. He may be 38 but as one of the smartest hitters around, he’ll find a way to contribute for at least a couple of more years. (Bob Osgood)

22. Nick Pratto, Kansas City Royals (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 49)

The difference in our rankings between Pratto and fellow Royals first base prospect Vincent Pasquantino is a “page down” on your keyboard this year. Pratto nosedived off of prospect lists for two years as a result of his .191 average and 35% K-rate in 2019. After a swing change during the pandemic, he destroyed baseballs at spring training and then did the same at multiple levels in 2021. Pratto hit .271 (.404 OBP) with 15 HRs in 61 games at Double-A, followed by .259 (.367 OBP) with 21 HRs in 63 games at Triple-A, with improvements in plate discipline, and has chipped in double-digit stolen bases in each minor league season. Pratto’s 60-grade defense may give him a leg up as the first baseman of the future but between Pratto, Pasquantino, MJ Melendez, and Salvador Perez, there are numerous solid options in the 1B, C, and DH rotation in the coming years for Kansas City. (Bob Osgood)

23. Yuli Gurriel, Houston Astros (Age: 37, Previous Rank: 32)

Perhaps having only played three full seasons in the States and being in his age-36 season in 2020, we dismissed Gurriel being a short season outlier and assumed he was on the decline. But after another stellar 2021, that is four out of five successful seasons for Gurriel with the 60-gamer being the outlier. He led the American League in hitting (.319) and finished second in the league in OBP (.381). Entering the season with a career 4.7% walk rate, Gurriel blew that out of the water with a 9.8% rate in 2021 and stayed right in line with his career K-rate (11.2% in 2021, top 2 percentile in the league). A drastic improvement in Chase Rate which sat around 34% the three previous seasons, dropped all the way down to 26% in 2021. If Gurriel can keep his walks and strikeouts at nearly a 1:1 ratio, there’s no reason to think that his career couldn’t continue into his 40s. We won’t see the 31 homers of 2019 again, but expect a floor of the 15 we saw in 2021 thanks to the short porch in left field in Houston. Gurriel will continue to hit in an excellent lineup, surrounded by Altuve, Brantley, Bregman, Alvarez, Tucker, and whomever the Correa replacement is, so the Runs and RBI will continue to be there. (Bob Osgood)

24. Vinnie Pasquantino, Kansas City Royals (Age: 24, Previous Rank: NR)

An 11th round pick in 2019, few prospects shot their way up prospect lists like Vinnie Pasquantino these past few months. He had a similar season as Nick Pratto (two spots above on our list) in that he impressed in 60 or so games at multiple levels, where Pasquantino’s occurred at High-A and Double-A, popping a combined 24 home runs. His identical walks and strikeouts, 64, in 116 games is a phenomenal rate and the .310/.405/.560 line at Double-A stands out. He can hold his own defensively as a first baseman but if Pratto holds down the position, his future could be as a DH. There’s a lot of helium behind Pasquantino in dynasty leagues right now, especially in OBP leagues. However, for leagues that only allow minor league pickups in the offseason, Pasquantino is a close proximity option later in the first round, after some of the early first-year players come off the board. (Bob Osgood)

25. Bobby Dalbec, Boston Red Sox (Age: 26, Previous Rank: 21)

On the surface, Bobby Dalbec’s age-26 rookie season doesn’t jump off the page, including a .240 batting average, .298 OBP, and a 34.4 K% to go with a 6.2 BB%. His splits show someone who only hit lefties (.278 BA compared to .212 vs RHP). Even the 25 HRs in 417 at-bats don’t show the 70-grade Raw Power potential that Dalbec possesses. However, he became a completely different player after the trade deadline, which, coincidentally, was the same time the Red Sox traded for Kyle Schwarber to play first base and threaten his job. After the Schwarber trade on July 30th, Dalbec put up a slash line of .287/.366/.692 (1.058 OPS!) with 15 HR and 40 RBI in only 143 at-bats. During that time, his BB/K rate was a far more acceptable 9.3% and 28.6%, respectively, and his Exit Velocity was 94.5 MPH. For those with a minimum of 250 batted ball events, the only two hitters in all of baseball with a higher percentage of barrels than Dalbec were Shohei Ohtani and Fernando Tatis Jr.  Triston Casas is looming at triple-A but J.D. Martinez is a free agent after 2022 and a move to DH isn’t out of the question for Dalbec if he proves he can be a full-time player. The key for Dalbec will be how often he strikes out but in the minors each time that he repeated a level, he cut the strikeout rate significantly. There is reason to think that he can sustain his second-half success and if you’re looking for a lottery ticket in this group, Dalbec might be the one to target now before he’s a 40 home run hitter. (Bob Osgood)

26. Luke Voit, New York Yankees (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 8)

The short season probably clouded our brains a little bit moving Voit into our top-10 last year but injuries were the main culprit for a lost 2021. Unfortunately, this was not the first season where Voit has missed time and an injury-prone, power-first 31-year-old isn’t an ideal profile in real-life baseball. After leading all of baseball in home runs in 2020, multiple knee injuries and an oblique strain held Voit to 68 games in 2021. While on the field, he struck out a career-worst 30.8% of the time and hit .239. When he did square up, he barreled balls at a 15.8% rate which would’ve been 14th best in MLB if he had the minimum events to qualify. With Anthony Rizzo as a free agent, the Yankees can go a number of ways in free agency but they will likely not want to enter spring training with Voit as their lone 1B option. An overreaction as a fantasy owner to 2021 could be just as damaging as doing so in 2020, and Voit might be available for a buy low in deeper leagues. (Bob Osgood)

27. Dustin Harris, Texas Rangers (Age: 22, Previous Rank: NR)

Harris entered the pandemic as a recent 11th round pick who was a contact-first hitter, with some projection remaining. He exited 2021 flying from low-A to high-A, dominating both levels and adding above-average power to the resume. One home run at two levels in 2019 turned into 20 home runs at two levels in 2021, to go with a .372/.425/.648 slash line in 37 games at High-A Hickory for the Rangers. He may be on our third base temporarily as the defense seems to be a question mark for Harris long term, possibly moving over to first base down the line, but the improvements in batted ball data to go with a baseline of hit tool and strike zone knowledge should keep Harris on the radar. The 45 to 50-grade speed is decent but don’t mistake Harris for a burner as 20 of his 25 steals came at Low-A, thanks to a combination of shabby pitching, catching, and rules changes in 2021. It may already be too late to pick up Harris on the cheap, but for once-a-year minor league pickup leagues, he is a target who has already destroyed the High-A level. (Bob Osgood)

28. Brandon Belt, San Francisco Giants (Age: 33, Previous Rank: 29)

Perennially underrated as a real-life player when he can stay on the field, Brandon Belt had a career year at the plate in only 97 games in 2021. Like so many other Giants veteran players, Belt thrived on the best team in baseball, blasting 29 home runs, knocking in 59, and scoring 65 runs in less than two-thirds of a season. His 12.6% walk rate was in line with career norms and contributed to a .274/.378/.597 line. This OPS of .975 was the fifth-best in all of baseball for hitters with a minimum of 350 plate appearances (Belt had 381), bested by only Harper, Guerrero Jr., Soto, and Acuña Jr.. In points leagues, on a “per-game” basis, Vlad was the only first baseman who bested Belt when he was on the field in many formats. Of course, the injuries can’t be ignored entirely and Belt missed time with oblique, knee, and thumb injuries in 2021. These risks seem to be baked into the draft price, however, as Belt’s NFBC ADP is 231 through the end of December and is a perfect corner infielder with power, and also having hit .285 combined in the 2020-2021 seasons. (Bob Osgood)

29. Frank Schwindel, Chicago Cubs (Age: 29, Previous Rank: NR)

Claimed off waivers from Oakland in July, the Cubs first base spot was simply “right place, right time” for Schwindel. Outside of 15 at-bats in the MLB, the 29-year-old had spent 8 years in the minor leagues entering 2021 in the Royals, Tigers, and A’s farm systems. Schwindel’s first true 64 game sample in 2021 ended with a 152 wRC+, complete with 14 HRs, 43 RBI, and 44 Runs, and a .326/.371/.591 slash line. A four-category contributor who undoubtedly won some fantasy leagues as the unlikeliest of contributors when the season began. A .348 BABIP likely contributed but Schwindel used the entire field, only pulling the ball 41% of the time and crushed fastballs (.338 BA) and curveballs (.354 BA), alike while struggling with changeups (.212 BA). Beware the 60 game small sample for the 30-year-old (in June), so don’t expect a 30/100 output over a full season but unless the Cubs sign another corner after the lockout, Schwindel is a fine short term fill-in at Corner Infield, or even 1B in deeper dynasty leagues. (Bob Osgood)

30. Miguel Sanó, Minnesota Twins (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 15)

As Sanó enters his age-29 season, it’s fairly clear who he is at this point. A 25-30 HR hitter who will kill your average in roto leagues (.238 career, .223 in 2021), and is borderline unusable in points leagues, thanks to a 36.5% career strikeout rate (34.4 in 2021). When making contact, he will hit the ball as hard as almost anyone in the league but the dream of a sub-30% K-rate season to put it all together seems to be long gone. Sanó is far more rosterable in OBP leagues (.329 career, .312 in 2021), but he has never reached 80 runs or RBI in a season. If you’re waiting until this point of the draft to take a 1B, grab Jesús Aguilar or Luke Voit instead and get your power upside with a little bit of batting average. (Bob Osgood)

The Author

Brett Cook

Brett Cook

1 Comment

  1. Jackson
    January 4, 2022 at 11:59 pm

    Where would Tyler Soderstrom rank among first basemen ?

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