2024 Dynasty Baseball RankingsDynasty Baseball

TDG’S 2024 TOP 50 CONSENSUS FIRST BASEMEN: #1-#10

Oh man I’m excited. Here are our 2024 #1-#10 First Basemen!!

#1-#10

RankPlayerAvg. Rank
1Bryce Harper1.4
2Matt Olson2.4
3Vladimir Guerrero Jr.2.9
4Freddie Freeman3.9
5Pete Alonso4.6
6Cody Bellinger7.3
7Triston Casas7.3
8Vinnie Pasquantino9.7
9Spencer Torkelson9.9
10Paul Goldschmidt11.8

Being a Bryce Harper manager in 2023 was quite the ride.  First, you had to wait until May for him to return to action, as he started the year recovering from Tommy John surgery.  But then you had to wait through 101 plate appearances of only three home runs and 8 RBI.  Despite the not-so-great surface stats, everything under the hood indicated better days were ahead.  Harper still hit the ball hard with a 90 mph average exit velocity; his approach was still elite (14% BB% / 24% K%) and a wRC+ of 139.  I can assure you the garbage buy-low offers were coming in nonstop. The people that held were rewarded, as he exploded in June, hitting 12 home runs with a wRC+ of 145 for the rest of the season.  He’s still an elite bat and should be the first 1B off the board in all formats this year.

Matt Olson led the league with 54 home runs, a career slash line of.283/.389/.604, and a 160 wRC+.  His StatCast page is even more ludicrous.  All of his batted ball and expected stats are in the 90th percentile.  Olson also set career high in average and max exit velocities (93.7 mph & 118.6 mph).  There will probably be some batting average regression as his .302 BABIP is a new high (career .279), and it’s going to be hard to repeat a 28% HR/FB ratio, but it’s obvious Olson is one of the top power bats in the game.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is set up for a big 2024 after an unlucky 2023 season.  Despite putting up a .375 xwOBA in the top 6% of the league, he would finish with a .340 wOBA.  His final slash line was .264/.345/.444, 26 home runs and a 118 wRC+.  For anyone else this would be considered a good season, but Vlad was a first-round draft pick in dynasty and redraft.  And since he’s yet to have a monster season that wasn’t played in a spring training or minor league field, many doubters are sounding off.  To quote Adam Sandler in Uncut Gems, “This is how I win.”  If there’s any buying opportunity for Vlad, I would pounce on it.  Despite the mediocre results, he still hit the ball hard (92 mph average exit velocity & 117 max) and maintained his elite approach (14.7% K% / 9.8% BB%).  I get there is some hesitation, but these numbers don’t lie.  He’s heading into his age-25 season and could finish the year as one of the top hitters in baseball.

One day, when I’m older, I will be very excited to watch the documentary or read the book on how the current Dodger organization is being run.  Not just how they draft and develop but how they can get veteran bats to maintain their production level and improve.  Freddie Freeman joined LA as a 32-year-old, an age where you might expect to see a decline.  But he was great in 2022 and was even better last year.  Freeman hit .331/.410/.567, with 29 home runs, over 230 R+RBI and 23 stolen bases.  All his expected stats back it up; his .408 xwOBA is in the top 2% of the league.  It’s reasonable to expect Father Time to catch up with Freeman in his age-34 season, but with such a deep lineup around him and playing with the Dodgers for the next four seasons, I don’t see a severe decline coming soon.

This one hurt.  Despite a 115.7 max exit velocity, a .368 xwOBA, and even his great approach (22.9% K% / 9.9% BB%), Pete Alsonso had what some could say is a down year.  The 46 home runs were third in the league, and 210 R+RBI are nothing to sneeze at.  But a .217 batting average is not good.  The good news is that there’s an apparent reason for this: a career-worst .205 BABIP.  With the power intact and contact numbers within career norms, there’s no reason why this can’t rise closer to his pre-2023 career number of .274.  StatCast even believes Alonso got unlucky, with a .246 xBA versus the .217 average.  It’s the easiest buy this year.

After three seasons of hitting just above .200 and career lows in slugging percentage, Cody Bellinger found a new life in Chicago.  Maybe it was the fresh start in a new city or new rules (no shift, bouncier ball, larger bases), but he rode it to a .307/.356/.525 slash linen with 26 home runs and a career-high 20 stole bases.  It was a great year, but the underlying numbers aren’t buying it.  Bellinger was only in the 20th percentile for Barrel% and exit velocity.  His Hard Hit% was in the 10th percentile, and his xwOBA was barely above league average.  Bellinger combined his career-best contact numbers with pulling as many fly balls as possible to compensate for his lack of raw power.  Steamer has projected Bellinger to hit 27 home runs in 2024, and that feels right to me.  It’s essential to keep track of where the fee agent lands.  Any park that benefits left-handed hitters will be a massive boost for Bellinger.

If Triston Casas’s second half indicates what’s to come, I expect he’ll be much higher on this list next year.  The rookie could only have a 97 wRC+ in his first 77 games, but with good contact numbers (14% BB / 26% K%) and StatCast data (91.6 mph average exit velocity), he could be held down too long.  Casas would hit 15 home runs in the second half and put up a 175 wRC+.  Overall, he checks all the boxes – he hits the ball hard, hits the ball in the air, and has no contact issues.  Casas is heading to his age 24 season with the potential of being one of the best first basemen in the league.

I have loved Vinnie Pasquantino since I discovered him four years ago.  In order to join The Dynasty Guru I had to submit an article about a prospect and I chose him.  I was so excited to see him as the starting first baseman for the Royals last year, and I was heartbroken when he went down with a torn labrum.  I’ve noticed some fantasy players are scared of potential health issues with him, but he’s far from the first to have this injury.  Both Josh Jung and Corbin Carroll have had this same injury, and now that Vinnie is already swinging a bat, I’m not concerned.  The more significant issue is how bad Kauffman Stadium is for left-handed power – per StatCast, the stadium is graded 20% below the league average.  There’s very little doubt in my mind that Vinnie is an elite hitter, but there is some legitimate concern about how much power he will hit for.

Every year, we must be reminded that player progression is not linear.  We saw that with Casas earlier in this article.  Even with veterans, such as Harper, we notice that the baseball season is not a straight line; players have ups and downs.  Spencer Torkelson was yet another example of this in 2023.  Tork had hit 15 home runs through July, but it came with a .227 average and a 93 wRC+. From August on, he hit 16 more bombs with a 132 wRC+.  Much like Casas, Tork hits the ball hard (51% HardHit%) and doesn’t chase pitches, and his .252 xBA versus the .233 actual average indicates there may have been some bad luck last year.  While the ballpark or supporting cast isn’t as great in Detroit, Tork has the makings to be a solid everyday player, at worst.

I don’t know what to make of Paul Goldschmidt.  The 122 wRC+ was the lowest he’s had since his first year in St. Louis, and the 25 home runs his lowest since 2016 (not counting the shortened 2020 season).  But he still had a .367 xwOBA and good contact numbers (23% K%.  While I don’t want to say this could be the start of his decline, he is 35, and Father Time is undefeated.  But much like Freddie Freeman, elite hitters with promising approaches can age less drastically.  So, while it certainly won’t surprise me to see another great season from him, it wouldn’t shock me for the opposite to happen.

The Author

Colin Coulahan

Colin Coulahan

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