2022 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

THE DYNASTY GURU’S 2022 TOP 50 DYNASTY LEAGUE FIRST BASEMEN, #31-50

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We continue our rankings with First Basemen ranked #31 through #50.  Read on!

31. Jhonkensy Noel, Cleveland Guardians (Age: 20, Previous Ranking: 45)

Light tower power. In a system with a number of interesting prospects, Noel stands out for his ability to hit the ball a country mile. Entering his 5th year in their system at just 20 years old he is showing that he might have more than just power. In three levels last year he put up good numbers. After 6 games in rookie ball he went to Lo-A. At his second stop he performed great hitting .393/.426/.693 in 150 at-bats. He followed up his promotion to Hi-A with solid numbers as well (.280/.351/.550) in 100 at-bats. Those numbers from 2021 put Jhonkensy on a path to the MLB  as early as 2022 in the minds of a lot of baseball people. If his hit tool continues to develop with that power it won’t matter if he is at 1B or 3B, he will be a top 10 option at one of the corners for years to come. (Sam Wirsching)  

32. Seth Beer, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 25, Previous Ranking: 24)

A first round pick by the Houston Astros in 2018 out of Clemson, Seth Beer has always been highly thought of. In 2019 he was dealt with 3 other players in a deal with Arizona for Zack Grienke. And in Arizona he continued to hit. In both 2018 and 2019 he played in three different levels in the minors hitting at each stop. 2021 saw Seth play the whole season at Triple-A. While he doesn’t have the pop that others at the corner do, he walks a ton and has a great feeling for the strike zone. That was born by his .287/.398/.511 line with 16 homers.  He has been incredibly consistent in the minors. At 25 it is time to shine. If his glove can catch up he should be able to supplant Christian Walker by mid season. If the NL adopts the DH we could see him earlier than that. (Sam Wirsching)

33. Jonathan Schoop, Detroit Tigers (Age: 30, Previous Rankings: 37 @ 2B)

An eight year veteran of MLB, Jonathan Schoop has been a consistent producer during his time. Early in his career he played second base well and in 2017 played at an all star level. After bouncing around with Milwaukee and Minnesota he is manning first base with Detroit and on his way to becoming a solid utility player. 2021 good because he played the most games in the field since that 2017 season, but he didn’t field well, and was good, not great at the plate. He doesn’t strike out a lot, he almost never walks, and while he occasionally hits the ball hard, his average EV isn’t great. If he is on your dynasty roster, flip him to a win now team for picks/prospects if you can. (Sam Wirsching)

34. Rowdy Tellez, MIlwaukee Brewers (Age: 27, Previous Rankings: 23)

Drafted out of High School in 2013, Rowdy Tellez was a big boy with big power. Unfortunately he hasn’t shown much else at the the plate. In the middle of his ninth season (2021) with Toronto he was traded to Milwaukee for a couple of pitchers. Rowdy seemed to be becoming a trend in body types the Brewers were collecting (Daniel Vogelbach??). He had a decent run in the 56 games he played in the NL hitting .272/.333/.481 with 7 home runs. While currently projected to hit cleanup next year by Fangraphs, he easily could get bumped down the lineup or  pushed into a utility role without the DH in the NL. Or he could start hitting more home runs and contribute big time. 2022 is going to be a big year to see if he has “it” or not. (Sam Wirsching)

35. Keston Hiura, Milwaukee Brewers (Age: 25, Previous Rankings: 3 @ 2B)

Going into 2019 one of the biggest names for prospects was Keston Hiura. Drafted in the first round out of Cal, he mashed in the 2 ½ seasons he played in the MiLB. When he was called up mid season that year he was hitting .329/.407/.681 with 19 home runs. Keston kept it going in the majors that year hitting .303/.368/.570 with 19 home runs. The future was bright. Then he just bottomed out in 2020 and 2021. He lead the majors in strikeouts in 2020 while hitting 13 home runs. In 2021 his average dropped and he only hit 4 home runs in 44 less at-bats. What the stats don’t tell you is his mother was battling cancer during that time. Anyone would be expected to struggle at work with that weight around their neck. I continue to pull for her complete recovery and can’t wait to see if he returns to form… If he does he will rocket up this list. Here’s to both! (Sam Wirsching)

36. Jesus Aguilar, Miami Marlins (Age: 31, Previous Rankings: 31)

Where did Jesus Aguilar come from last year? After an all-star year with Milwaukee in 2018 he looked lost at the plate in 2019 splitting the season between the Brewers and Tampa Bay. Claimed off of waivers by the Marlins for the shortened 2020 season all he has done is hit for Miami the past two seasons. So what changed? I just think he has bad luck in 2019. His k-rate has dropped every year since 2017 and the two years with the Marlins have been under 20%. I am hoping at 31 he has a couple more years of good production under his belt. (Sam Wirsching)

37. Eric Hosmer, San Diego Padres (Age: 32, Previous Rankings: 17)

It is hard to remove Eric Hosmer the player from Eric Hosmer the dude that got the bag of money from the Padres. Without the contract he is a league average bat with a below average glove the past four years. With it, he is one of the worst 1B in the MLB for the money spent. He doesn’t strike out a lot. His exit velocity has remained stable in San Diego. That’s good. But Eric is terrible in the field, and without adding significant value at the plate, that contract will be the only reason he should be rostered (Sam Wirsching)

38. Michael Toglia, Colorado Rockies (Age: 23, Previous Rankings: 27)

Michael Toglia’s best years were at UCLA where he was named All PAC-12 first team two consecutive years in a row. Drafted by Colorado 23rd overall there was a lot of shine on that rising star. But ever since then he has struggled to find himself at the plate in the minors hitting .233/.342/.454 with 312 home runs and 11 steals. Playing for the Rockies, I have no idea what his path to playing time in the majors will be (the Rockies don’t seem to know what to do with prospects) but if he can adjust to the pitching, he can walk, has some speed, and doesn’t have a lot of internal competition at the position. I like dreaming on prospects so I will keep an eye on him. Plus how many 1B steal bases? (Sam Wirsching)

39. Carlos Santana (Age: 35, Previous Rankings: 33)

Carlos Santana has played in the MLB for 12 years and as far as I can tell has always been among the league lead for walks. Going over his numbers I wonder why I have been so low on him in the past. Maybe my brain gets confused with his name sake and so I can’t adjust, I just haven’t given him the recognition he deserves over all. It would seem the last two years are what I thought his whole career would have looked like. A lot of patience and discipline at the plate and not much more. At 35 he might have another good season in him, however I think his best years are behind him, just like his name sake.  (Sam WIrsching)

40. Aaron Sabato (Age: 22, Previous Rankings: 25)

As a freshman for the Tarheels in 2019 Aaron Sabato hit 18 home runs (a freshman record) and was having a good start to his sophomore/2020 season before it got cancelled. It didn’t matter as Aaron was drafted 27th overall by the Minnesota Twins out of UNC. He has a sweet swing, tons of power, and he walks a ton. Aaron was decent in 2021 hitting .202/.373/.410 for the whole season over two levels. That only tells part of the story however as he hit .253/.402/.613 at high A in 22 games. It is likely he doesn’t make the majors until 2023 unless Miguel Sano busts.  (Sam Wirsching)

41. Yandy Díaz, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 38 at 3B )

You can’t look at Yandy Díaz and not dream about what the dude could do with a swing change. One of his biceps is the size of my two toddlers’ entire bodies. He often reaches 110+ mph on his max exit velocities and possesses powerful plate skills. However, if you’ve followed Yandy, you know he is a worm killer. His groundball rates are regularly higher than 50%, and unfortunately, he just doesn’t hit the ball in the air as often as Juan Soto, who can get away with that kind of rate. I like Díaz as a late-round pick; he offers safety in ratios, 15-20 homers, and qualifies at 3B in some leagues. (Patrick Magnus)

42. Evan White, Seattle Mariners (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 19)

The 25-year-old’s first 300 ABs in the majors haven’t been spectacular. A popular sleeper pick only a year ago, now finds himself way down here at rank 42. Evan White has been touted as having a solid hit tool but has flailed at the ball in his tenure with the Mariners. The strikeout rates have been sky high, and the expectation is that he’ll settle into his true hitting self with more plate appearances. Most of my patience goes towards my two toddlers these days, and I’m not banking on White in any leagues. Seattle is looking to end its playoff drought and has plenty of options to fill first base. Someone braver than me can roster him, maybe you? (Patrick Magnus)

43. Lewin Díaz, Miami Marlins (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 30)

Big-time pop and solid defense give Díaz a shot at being a serviceable first baseman, or at least one who should see a decent amount of at-bats. About those ABs, though, he’ll be backing up ​​Jesús Aguilar in 2022 and is an injury away from getting everyday at-bats. There are likely some significant growing pains in the cards for  Díaz as he continues to adjust to Major League pitching. He’s worthy of a place on your watchlist, but as a fringe prospect who doesn’t have a clear pathway to playing time, there isn’t much to get excited about here. (Patrick Magnus)

44. Bobby Bradley, Cleveland Guardians (Age: 25, Previous Rank: 47)

Our third 25-year-old in a row here, and this one carries a big stick. Bobby Bradley is an exciting prospect. The dude can hit the long ball. Last year he recorded a max exit velocity of 114 MPH, suitable for the top 8% in the league. He barreled the ball up a whopping 16% of the time, and was patient enough at the plate with a 9% walk rate. The problem? Do you feel that breeze? That’s a 35.5% whiff rate promising a future where Cleveland is powered solely by Bradley’s strikeouts. Honestly, I don’t mind the whiffs if he can continue to walk at a steady rate, A big bopper worthy of a late-round flier or bench spot. He should see the lion’s share of plate appearances next season unless the Guardians land another first base option. Solid high-risk/high-reward profile here. (Patrick Magnus)

45. Ji-Man Choi, Tampa Bay Rays (Age: 30, Previous Rank: 39)

Who doesn’t love the Ji-Man?! He’s higher on the fun factor than the fantasy production these days. Still, he’s a decent bet in OBP leagues, as he regularly sits around .350 OBP. There are teens pop here too, but in average leagues, .230 isn’t going to get it done. Tampa also hordes infield prospects and platoons on the regular. That means Choi isn’t a lock for the 465 ABs Steamer has him projected for. Though I love the JI-Man, I think there are plenty of names on this list that offer a sustainably higher ceiling with less risk. (Patrick Magnus)

46. Mason Martin, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 22, Previous Rank: 40)

If you live near Pittsburgh, the breeze your feel might come from Mason Martin rather than Bradley. Martin is knocking on the door of the majors, as he managed to reach Triple-A last year, but his approach at the plate is worrisome. Throughout his tenure, he’s consistently whiffed near or above 30% in the minors. Granted, he also has ISO’s about .200 and sometimes nearing .300! Martin would need to walk in the double-digit range to be rosterable in most leagues, and he failed to do that upon reaching Double-A. Worthy of a spot on your watchlist, but not rosterable, in my opinion. (Patrick Magnus)

47. Bryce Ball, Chicago Cubs (Age: 23, Previous Rank: 36)

The big bat of Bryce Ball was quelled in 2021, as he managed a mere 13 homers between the Braves and Cubs minor league systems. His walk rate remained elite, and the ISO is also promising as it hovered around .200. In most circles, though, Bell has been written off as a fringe Major Leaguer at this point, but I believe it’s too early to make that assumption. I’m anxious to see how Bell performs with his new team at Double-A, as I think the wonkiness of 2020-21 gives us a little more time to dream that Bell blossoms into a thunderous threat at the plate. He’s worthy of a backend minor league spot and can likely be acquired at the drop of a hat. Keep an eye on him. (Patrick Magnus)

48. Christian Walker, Arizona Diamondbacks (Age: 31, Previous Rank: 20)

Now two years removed from a 29 homer season, Christian Walker is teetering on losing his everyday at-bats. Seth Beer is major league ready (when fully recovered), and Walker doesn’t do enough with his bat to warrant everyday at-bats anymore. In the deepest of leagues, if you need a sub .320 OBP and 15ish homers, then this is your guy. There is the chance that he has some rebound in the power department and becomes a serviceable first baseman. Still, there are just too many options here to warrant a flier on a below-average platoon bat who has a significant chance of losing playing time. (Patrick Magnus)

49. Yoshi Tsutsugo, Pittsburgh Pirates (Age: 30, Previous Rank: NA)

Initially signed by the Rays, Yoshi came stateside with some fanfare. However, Tsutsugo has been unable to find his stride. Throughout his time with the MLB he has consistently underperformed his projections and fooled me more than once. Yet, I still believe there is an underappreciated hitter here. Tsutsugo’s ceiling is all that high, but there’s the potential for 20 homers and a serviceable .330ish OBP in OBP leagues. That’s not nothing, and he can be rostered for pretty much nothing. I’m going back to the well here and rostering Tsutsugo in a few leagues. Average leagues can safely look elsewhere, as he likely won’t hit above .240. (Patrick Magnus)

50. Ryan O’Hearn, Kansas City Royals (Age: 28, Previous Rank: 48)

What is there to say about Ryan O’Hearn? He’s not someone you should roster in your dynasty leagues. With a career slash line of .215/.294/.401, he provides a small amount of pop and nothing else. There’s very little chance that he receives much in the way of playing time, as there are many names above him on the depth chart that deserve the playing time. I feel a bit bad because I don’t have anything nice to say here. Perhaps he posses a very good handshake, or can make a mean sandwich. (Patrick Magnus)

The Author

Keaton O. DeRocher

Keaton O. DeRocher

Keaton O. DeRocher is a Data and Tech Consultant in Chicago, Senior Baseball Writer for The Dynasty Guru and writer for Over The Monster. A voice on Dynasty's Child podcast and on the Over The Monster podcast network. Lover of bat flips, brunch, and Bombay Sapphire. His High School batting average was .179 and he lead the team in strikeouts. Follow him on Twitter @TheSpokenKeats

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