2024 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

TDG’S 2024 TOP 50 CONSENSUS FIRST BASEMEN: #11-#30

Here are the Gurus’ 2024 consensus #11-#30 First Basemen!!

#11-#20

RankPlayerAvg. Rank
11Christian Encarnacion-Strand12.1
12Christian Walker12.9
13Josh Naylor13.1
14Spencer Steer14
15Yandy Díaz19.6
16Coby Mayo16.9
17Samuel Basallo18
18Isaac Paredes21.2
19Nathaniel Lowe18.7
20Alec Bohm21.1

The Notorious CES hit 33 homers between Triple-A and big league and never had a wRC+ lower than 125 at any minor league stop; right now in a loaded Cincinnati lineup Encarnacion-Strand is on the bench, but he has too much power to stay there. Any discount that news provides should be used to your advantage. I already wrote up his Reds teammate Spencer Steer as a target at third base, so you know I’m a fan.

Josh Naylor is, admittedly, a first baseman that has slipped under my radar, so I’ll tell you I was leery when I was offered him in not one, but two leagues, this offseason. So, I jumped into research, and here’s what I found. We have a player who has improved his numbers across the board in all three of his big-league seasons so far. Last season he slashed a mighty fine .308/.354/.489 with 17 homers, 97 RBI and even added ten steals. The hefty slugger, checking in at a listed 5’11” and 250 pounds, had a 70-grade power tool as a prospect, and a 45/55 grade hit tool (courtesy of Fangraphs). The one thing we haven’t seen is that power.

Naylor has spent time on the injury list the last two seasons, appearing in 121 games last year and 122 in 2022. If Naylor can stay healthy for 150 games, we could be in for a big season. Maybe a guy traded twice soured prospectors, or his body shape, but even after a season where he finished 22nd in the MVP race Naylor seems underrated. If there is a guy I could see that jumps from this group into the top five, its Naylor, and we will look back and say, duh.

Christian Walker also had a big 2024, finishing as the #4 first baseman on the Razzball player rater. That’s two straight years of 33+ homers, 178+ Runs+RBI, and 661 At-bats. Walker even chipped in ten steals last year with the new rules. He’s in a great lineup for those Runs + RBI and there’s no reason to suspect a decline at only age-32. NFBC current ADP has him as the #8 first baseman off the board; there’s a ton of value there, same with Dynasty leagues, since there’s a lack of trust with Walker; but once a guy does it in two straight seasons, he’s earned that trust.

Yandy Díaz, a year younger than Walker, just came off his best season as a pro, with 22 homers and a beautiful slash of .330/.410/.522 and a second straight season appearing in 137 games. He’s the #13 first baseman off the board in NFBC leagues, see if that low ADP carries over into your Dynasty leagues if you’re needing some help at 1B.

Díaz’s teammate Isaac Parades just had a season where he hit 31 homers with 169 Runs + RBI in 571 at-bats, and he’s even lower in NFBC ADP (177), while also qualifying at 3B. Parades will turn 25 this week, so there is room to grow.

The Orioles just keep showing off their loaded farm system with not one, but two guys in this group, Coby Mayo and Samuel Basallo. Both players are comfortably inside the top-50 on almost all prospect lists, and both also (may) qualify at other positions, Mayo at 3B and Basallo at 1B, respectively. Basallo is only 18 and has made it to Double-A already while not running into much opposition, same with the 21-year-old Mayo, who already had a successful debut at Triple-A last season. While it may seem like these guys will get caught in the logjam of good Oriloies infielders, take advantage of that uncertainty and see if that lowers the price to acquire in your Dynasty leagues.

(Phil Barrington)

#21-#30

RankPlayerAvg. Rank
21Kyle Manzardo21.1
22Rhys Hoskins21.3
23Ryan Mountcastle28.3
24Andrew Vaughn22.4
25Xavier Isaac26.8
26Heston Kjerstad29.2
27Abimelec Ortiz29.7
28Nolan Schanuel30.2
29Tyler Soderstrom30.4
30Josh Bell31.9

I must start this section by writing about Nolan Schanuel, not because he’s the best hitter in this tier (yet), but because his description of his approach to hitting has become my metaphor for the rest of this write-up. In fact, if the editors would let me get away with it, I’d use it for everything I write, but I’ll show some restraint. More on that later. Famously, Schanuel was promoted to the majors shortly after being drafted, with only 74 minor league at-bats under his belt, and once in the majors, he struggled. Or did he? He hit only one home run, however, he did hit .275 with a .402 on-base percentage thanks to a 15% walk rate. His average exit velocity of 85.4 may be pedestrian, but a max EV of 103.5 indicates that there is power to be tapped once he spends more time with major league coaching and adds some loft to his swing, I think he has a good chance to supply the power numbers a fantasy manager looks for in the first base position. He’s accurately ranked on this list, however, if a manager in your league is ready to give up on him this early, take a shot and see if you can buy low.

Aside from providing content for the opening paragraph, he’s also done me the pleasure of providing a theme for the remaining paragraphs. In an article posted on mlb.com in August 2023, Schanuel described his hitting approach as “When you’re going up there, you don’t want to eat the broccoli. You want that big, juicy burger,” he said. “That first pitch, you want what’s best on the menu. When I go up there, even if it’s something like beef jerky … I’ll settle for it. I’m not going to let that one on the outside corner go away if I think that’s the best pitch I’m going to get throughout that at-bat.” So, who’s the burger and who’s the broccoli in this tier?

Andrew Vaughn, welcome to the vegetable steamer. Vaughn is a former number one draft pick and is not a flop by any means, but he certainly has not lived up to the expectations the White Sox had when they drafted him. The double-digit home runs and high batting average are nice, and breaking the 20 home run barrier this year was a good sign, but there’s a lot of power in this tier and as mentioned already, this is a level where we’re looking for power. Joining Vaughn in the steamer as the other broccoli of the level is Josh Bell. After putting up strong numbers in 2021, Bell regressed in 2022 ( 17HR) and bounced back a bit in 2023 with 22 home runs, which is nothing to laugh at, but not enough to make you want to pick him out of this tier. (Full disclosure, I like broccoli, broiled with a little olive oil and sea salt, and also have fantasy rosters with Vaughn and Bell.)

If you’re looking for the beef jerky, I think you start with Tyler Soderstrom. He hit 29 home runs across three levels in 2022, and in 335 plate appearances in Triple-A last year hit 21 home runs with a .526 slugging average. Those are attractive numbers but the high strikeout rates (31% K rate in 138 MLB plate appearances last year) will hold him back until he gets those under control. I’m also putting Kyle Manzardo in this category at the moment, but the .590 slugging percentage after the trade to Cleveland may be an indicator that some of the outside factors that impacted his game are under control and he’s ready to take off.

If you like your burgers slightly undercooked, this tier offers two choices, Heston Kjerstad and Xavier Isaac. Kjerstad hit 23 home runs across three levels, with very high on-base percentages in the minors, and his high walk rate followed him to the minors. We’re beginning to see why Baltimore reached for him in the 2020 draft. Isaac’s 21 home runs and .285/.395/.521 slash line across A and High-A last year may also be a sign of very good things to come.

The burger you sent back to the kitchen and came back just the way you like it is Rhys Hoskins. The last season he played he hit 30 home runs, consistently has a double-digit walk rate, OBP in the .330s, and will be playing in a good lineup in Milwaukee. Managers who had room on the IR and were able to hold him last year should be very happy with his production for the next few years.

The burger you expected but there’s something missing, you’re just not sure what, is Ryan Mountcastle. If I told you there was a player who, over the course of two years, had his hard hit rate go up from 39.7% to 44.6% but saw his home runs fall from 33 to 18 (with 100 fewer at-bats to be fair), you’d likely say there’s a player who ran into some bad luck. That would be true if by bad luck you meant playing for an organization that moved the left field wall further away! I think you can expect over 20 home runs from him going forward, but if he changes teams, start sending offers because in the right ballpark, he could easily be hitting over 30 home runs again.

Finally, the bacon double cheeseburger here may be Abimelec Ortiz. He’s a big left-handed hitter in the Rangers organization who had a .294/.371/.619 slash line with 33 home runs across two levels in a breakout season last year. He could be a flash in the (frying) pan, but the Rangers have been successful in developing power hitters lately so he’s in a great situation. It’s a surprise to see an undrafted free agent this young appear so high on this list, but that’s a reflection of what our rankers think of him.

Drew Klein

The Author

Drew Klein

Drew Klein

Lover of all things baseball and determined to keep the fan in fantasy.

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