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FANTASY BASEBALL – Updated 2015 1B Rankings


THORNE’S 2015 MID-SEASON RANKS: 1B | 2B | 3B | SS | C | OF | SP

2015 1B Rankings (as of June 22nd)

  1. Paul Goldschmidt, Arizona
  2. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit
  3. Todd Frazier, CincinnatiThere were some major question marks surrounding the legitimacy of Frazier’s 2014: the sudden speed and the near 30 home run power to name a few – these issues seem to have been put to rest. The Red’s eight steals are already his second highest season total, putting Frazier on pace for 18 swipes projected over 650 plate appearances and his 23 long balls are currently third in baseball. Now, the .345 ISO and 21.9% HR/FB are likely unsustainable, but, even if the percentage of fly balls that leave the park goes down (and it will), at 49.3%, Frazier is hitting more fly balls than ever. All this means that the former first round pick has a real shot at 40 home runs this year.
  4. Anthony Rizzo, Cubs
  5. Freddie Freeman, Braves
  6. Jose Abreu, White SoxThe truth of Abreu’s 2015? Everything he can control is almost identical to his break-out rookie campaign. His fly ball, hard contact, and pull rates are within a percentage point of 2014 and, while his HR/FB ratio is down from 26.9% – it’s still above 20%. The problem is simply Chicago as a team. The White Sox rank dead last in the American League in runs (232), ISO (.108), and wOBA (.282) leaving Abreu with just 62 plate appearances with runners in scoring position – good for 107th in baseball. I don’t think Chicago’s this bad, expect some normalization and Abreu to continue to individually thrive. 
  7. Joey Votto, Cincinnati
  8. Edwin Encarnacion, TorontoEncarnacion is producing, his 41 RBI are tied with Freeman and Mike Trout, but the effects of a shoulder injury are quite clear when it comes to the former Reds’ 3B. His strikeout rate, ISO, and average are all at their worst points since 2009 (though his ISO is still .214) and, most concerning, he’s pulling the ball less often and for far less power. Encarnacion’s hard contact rate (27%) does seem to indicate normalization on the horizon, especially considering from 2010 to 2014 the figure sat at 35.4%, but it’s all about health. If Encarnacion’s shoulder isn’t right, there’s only so much the osmosis of being in the league’s most potent lineup can do.
  9. Prince Fielder, Texas
  10. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles
  11. Adrian Gonzalez, Los Angeles
  12. Chris Davis, Baltimore
  13. Mark Teixeira, New York
  14. Carlos Santana, Cleveland
  15. Victor Martinez, Detroit
  16. David Ortiz, Boston – Ortiz is currently outside the Top 30 at 1B in standard fantasy leagues and while there are some serious reasons to think the 39 year-old is hitting a wall, his fall from relevance has been a little exaggerated. The veteran has been extremely unlucky with runners in scoring position posting a .158 average due in large part to a disgusting .152 situational BABIP. Still, while these numbers should turn around, it’s becoming clear that Ortiz has lost some of the bat speed that made him such a force the past decade. You can almost credit the former Twin for the advent of the left-handed shift and in 2015, more than ever, it’s crushing his results. Ortiz is hitting more grounders than ever at 42.6% and that figure jumps to an astounding 65.5% when he pulls the ball – playing right into, usually, three waiting defenders. Ortiz is hitting just .119 on ground balls this season. It’s not really a surprise.
  17. Lucas Duda, New York
  18. Justin Turner, Los Angeles – You can choose to trust Turner’s small sample size or not (he has 499 plate appearances since the beginning of 2014), but the facts are the facts. Among players with 300 PAs since 2014 against right-handed pitching, Turner has the best average (.360) and wOBA (.427). Considering he’s managed a career 87.2% contact rate and has only produced soft contact in 8.8% of his at bats in 2015 – I’m inclined to believe.
  19. Brandon Belt, San Francisco
  20. Ryan Zimmerman, Washington
  21. Eric Hosmer, Kansas CityAfter a torrid two month start, Hosmer has mustered just a .076 ISO in June – likely closer to the real Hosmer than the former suggested. The former top prospect just hits too many ground balls. In fact, since the beginning of 2013, at 51.8%, Hosmer is one of only 28 players to have a ground ball rate above 50%. None of those men have an ISO above .200. 11 of the 28 have posted an ISO below .100. This is not the company Eric Hosmer owners want him to be keeping.
  22. Kendrys Morales, Kansas City
  23. Mark Trumbo, Seattle
  24. Brandon Moss, Cleveland
  25. Chris Carter, Houston
  26. Ryan Howard, Philadelphia
  27. Adam Lind, Milwaukee
  28. Adam LaRoche, Chicago
  29. Joe Mauer, Minnesota
  30. Chris Colabello, TorontoThere’s a reason his nickname is ColaBABIP. Aside from his regular .447 mark, the journeyman sports a .542 figure with runners in scoring position. Yes, like Encarnacion, Colabello benefits from his inclusion in baseball’s best offensive lineup, but when regression hits, even the added opportunity won’t be enough to save the 31 year-old.

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