Five to Watch – 1B

FANFOOD_FB2014_5toW_1B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are hundreds of websites where you can get information to help you prepare for your upcoming fantasy baseball draft and season. It seems like every one of them offer rankingscheat sheets and draft guides.

In order to dominate your league you need to be familiar with a few of them. Check them outpick your favorites and have fun with your research. We will help you with our FANFOOD Fantasy Baseball Tools and new features, the FANFOOD 5 to Watch and FANFOOD goes 2 for 2.

During Spring Training, we offer 5 players from each position for you to watch and consider for your FB team. They will be ones that you may be able to find later in your draft or even off the waiver wire as the season progresses.

Once the season begins, FANFOOD goes 2 for 2 and discusses two upcoming starting pitchers scheduled for two starts. They will be our weekly picks for your team to stream (if that is your strategy).

So who are the FANFOOD 5 to Watch? Are they ones to target? Are they sleepers, studs or duds? The answer is yes and the answer is no. Simply put, they are the players that we find interesting at each position, ones you need to keep an eye on this spring before your fantasy baseball draft.

 

That all said, let’s get to it with our next 5, this time it is the First Basemen, followed by some helpful links and a great grilled recipe for Valentine’s Day, Grilled Lobster Tails

 

5 to Watch quick links:

[C] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF] [SP] [RP] [Prospects]

 

FANFOOD 5 to Watch – 1B

 

Even with Miguel Cabrera moving back across the diamond, first base is as shallow as it has been in years. The position is top heavy, with Cabrera, Paul Goldschmidt, Chris Davis, Prince Fielder, Joey Votto and Edwin Encarnacion all likely to be off the board within the first 20 picks, with Freddie Freeman coming about a round-and-a-half later. The talent pool starts to dry up after that, and there isn’t anything even approaching consensus rankings beyond those six guys. So who are the ones to watch at First base? Here are some breakout candidates, a prospect and veteran coming back from injury. It will be fun to watch them all this spring

 

1. Eric Hosmer

ADP #46

 

Watch for his strong second half to carry over into the spring and throughout the year as he is primed for a great season. You will want to keep an eye on him this spring and adjust your draft boards accordingly.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer completed the 2013 regular season with a .302 batting average, 17 home runs, 79 RBIs, 86 runs and 11 stolen bases. Hosmer recovered from a woeful sophomore season to put forth his first .300 average of his career. The 23-year-old hasn’t hit for a ton of power over his brief career (50 homers across three seasons), but he has managed to put the ball in play as evidenced by his 15 percent strikeout rate. Should Hosmer become a 25-30-home run guy, he may evolve into one of the game’s best all-around hitters.

source | MLB.com
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Royals avoided arbitration with 1B Eric Hosmer by agreeing to a one-year, $3.6 million contract. Hosmer was arbitration-eligible for the first time after qualifying as a Super Two player. The first baseman sported a nice .302/.353/.448 batting line with 17 longballs and 11 stolen bases last season. Hosmer is a candidate to really take off in 2014.

source | rotoworld
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With teams now likely to play him straight up, fantasy owners should see a full season’s worth of production from the guy he appeared to be after his big rookie season. I’ve got him penciled in for a .303/.358/.465 slash with 21 homers. That’s likely to make him a better option than other first basemen in his neighborhood, such as Albert Pujols and Adrian Gonzalez.

source | sports illustrated
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Something clicked for Eric Hosmer sometime around mid-June at the plate last season, and he did not look back. His patient owners were rewarded with strong second half production, which included a .323 batting average, 10 home runs, and 46 RBI. Still young, entering this season at age 24, do not look for him to double his second half numbers over the entire 2014 season, but 20+ home runs should be attainable with an average right around .300.

source | baseball press
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
61584180198010.293.351.447.798

source | KFFL
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2. Mark Trumbo

ADP #47

 

I know, he really isn’t a first basemen and will play the OF for the Diamondbacks, but because he has so much position eligibility, he could fit nicely for your team at 1B and let you get another big bat somewhere else.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Since he became a full-time player in 2011, Trumbo has cracked 95 long balls in 460 games. Over the last three years, that’s the fifth-most HR in baseball (tied with Giancarlo Stanton and Edwin Encarnacion). With his change in home parks this year, that number stands to rise.

source | baseball professor
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The Arizona Diamondbacks see OF Mark Trumbo strictly as a left fielder, despite the fact that he played first and third base and the outfield with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. “He’s very athletic,” manager Kirk Gibson said. “I think he will be more than adequate out there.”

source | KFFL
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The D-backs got the power bat they were seeking when they acquired outfielder Mark Trumbo from the Angels in a three-team trade. Trumbo, 24, hit .234 with 34 home runs and 100 RBIs for the Angels this year and has hit 95 home runs across his three full seasons in the big leagues. Though the defensive metrics are not kind to Trumbo, the D-backs believe he will provide adequate defense in left field. But more important, he will add power to a lineup that lacked it last season and possibly take some of the pressure off first baseman Paul Goldschmidt.

source | MLB.com
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The Diamondbacks have avoided arbitration with first baseman Mark Trumbo. The two sides have settled at $4.8 million. The team and Trumbo were $2.45 million apart when they exchanged salary figures.The agreed-upon salary will be a bargain if Trumbo continues to produce at his accustomed rate. He has averaged 32 home runs and 94 RBI in the last three seasons.

source | CBSsports.com
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 2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5947814633986.246.300.466.766

source | KFFL
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3. Anthony Rizzo

ADP #86

 

He is one to watch this spring of only to see who hits around him and if all his hard work this off season starts to pay off. There are high hopes for him around the fantasy baseball community and if you are a gambler, you will definitely be watching him this spring.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Not a lot went right for Anthony Rizzo in 2013; a .233 batting average was skewed by a miserable .258 BABIP, he lost all ability to be even slightly effective against left-handed pitching, and his line drive rate and home run to fly ball ratio all fell significantly. Outside an on-base percentage that was 90 points higher than his batting average, it was a lost season at the plate for Rizzo when it came to his production, but there are a few signs that show potential. The two most obvious improvements when swinging the bat in ’13 was a noticeable increase in his fly ball rate while decreasing his ground ball rate, which can show an increase in home runs to follow.

source | baseball press
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Rizzo is definitely a big risk vs. reward type player, but my problem is recognizing how likely he would be to reach the level that would make him a big reward at around 100 ADP. It’s definitely possible he goes for 30 and a .350 OBP as Steamer projects, but with a lackluster lineup around him there’s reasons to be pessimistic about him reaching the type of run production levels you would want with those types of numbers. I like Rizzo and still think he is a really good player to own in long term leagues, but I do struggle with drafting him over surer things in redraft formats. At first base I like to get sure things, and take my risks at lesser producing positions. If you think this way, then avoid Rizzo unless he drops in your league.

source | fangraphs
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It may be a bit of a surprise to see Anthony Rizzo in the Top 10, but there’s a lot of upside in his numbers from 2013. While he hit just 23 HR, he did have 40 doubles showing that there could be a lot more in that department. He also may have struggled with his average, but a lot of that was attributed to playing away from Wrigley Field (.215 courtesy of a .239 BABIP). Let’s not forget that he hit .285 over 337 AB with the Cubs in 2012, so we know what the upside looks like. There’s too much to like not to think of him as a viable option.

source | roto professor
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Though he led the Cubs with 23 home runs, 40 doubles and 80 RBIs last season, Rizzo batted .233 overall and hit .191 with runners in scoring position. That last number surprised him, and when he did see the stats, Rizzo admitted he tried to overcompensate. “I started hearing that I was hitting bad with runners in scoring position — and maybe it got in my head a little bit,” Rizzo said. “Sometimes, I go up there and try to hit the five-run home run when there are only two guys on base. You can’t do that. Maybe [I did that] because I’m young — it’s experience.”

source | MLB.com
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Rizzo predicts 2014 will be different and he’s looking forward to playing for new manager Rick Renteria, who Rizzo had worked previously with during his tenure with the Padres.”[Renteria] was great when I was there in San Diego — especially when I got sent down,” Rizzo said. “He told me he had no doubt in his mind that I’d be a great player and not to let it shake me or anything. That was nice and encouraging. He did that on the side. My time there was kind of a blur. I just know he’s a great person.”

source | CBSsports.com
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5987916028915.268.350.478.828

source | KFFL
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4. Jose Dariel Abreu

ADP #79

 

Top 80 might be a stretch and if you draft him much higher than this you are probably in for a world of hurt this season. This is not to say that you shouldn’t draft him or that he won’t be an asset for your team. He is one to watch this spring to see if his stock flies through the roof.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

White Sox hitting coach Todd Steverson said that Jose Abreu “looked better than what I thought he was going to” at the team’s minicamp last week.
‘‘As [general manager] Rick [Hahn] has stated, he is a very serious hitter,” Steverson added. “He has a plan, he has an idea of how he wants to go about everything he does. He’s pretty meticulous. He is a very strong man. He’s not the kind of guy who will flat whip the bat around, like Gary Sheffield bat speed or anything like that, but when he barrels up a baseball, it takes off.’’ A team raving about their shiny new toy at a minicamp should be taken with a grain of salt. However, there’s no doubt that Abreu has huge raw power, and playing at U.S. Cellular Field won’t hurt him.

source | rotoworld
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Abreu became the latest Cuban to land a large Major League contract after signing with the White Sox during the offseason. The 27-year-old has been known as a power hitter for a while, a fact he proved by batting .360 with three homers and nine RBIs in six games during the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Abreu’s power should transfer to the Majors almost immediately, and he also could hit for average. And though the 2014 White Sox are not projected to boast an elite lineup, Abreu should receive his share of RBI chances out the middle of their order. The Chicago White Sox have been impressed with 1B Jose Abreu during the team’s minicamp in Arizona this week. “That’s a strong man right here,” hitting coach Todd Steverson said. “That’s a big man. He has a nice smooth, compact approach. He didn’t try to do too much with the ball and the ball was flying off his bat. I think he has a nice bright future coming up with him.”

source | MLB.com
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Abreu is a 27 year old, who stands in at 6’2 and weighs 255 pounds. This power hitting first baseman has decided to take his talents to the Windy City to play in one of the games friendliest ballparks for right handed power hitters, as he defected from Cuba to sign with the Chicago White Sox. Abreu has hit for an incredibly high average in the Cuban league in his career, often batting above .350, and even topping .390 two years ago. He also has hit a ton of home runs, numbers that would project out between 45 and 70 home runs in a major league season. His only knocks right now are that he will have Paul Konerko looming over his shoulder for playing time, and not knowing how he will adjust to big league pitching. Because of the presence of Adam Dunn at DH, it is hard to imagine Konerko not getting any playing time, so planning for 140 games from Abreu would be realistic, but he has the potential to hit 40 home runs in those 140 games.

source | rotoballer
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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5106413431872.263.329.496.825

source | KFFL
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5. Mark Teixeira

ADP #202

 

Teixeira, who is expected to be ready by Spring Training, played in just 15 games last season. He initially sustained the injury in March while hitting off a tee with Team USA while preparing for the World Baseball Classic. The injury was aggravated in June, and a cortisone injection did not provide relief. Team physician Dr. Christopher Ahmad, hand specialist Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser and two other New York-based hand specialists concurred in recommending the season-ending surgery. Teixeira has not suffered any setbacks in his rehab, but doctors warn it will be a full year before he has full mobility. There is no doubt that he will be watched this spring and if he is somehow available after the top 200 are off the board, you got to grab him.

 

Notes from around the web:

 

Teixeira plans to get into games by early March. The Yankees did somewhat offset the loss of Cano by signing Jacoby Ellsbury and Carlos Beltran, but a return to strength by the switch-hitting Teixeira adds depth to the lineup.

source | MLB.com
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Mark Teixeira told Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal that he expects to feel some tightness in his surgically-repaired wrist until at least June and possibly through the whole season. Teixeira hasn’t had any setbacks since surgery last July and has begun taking batting practice in recent weeks, but he still feels some tightness and doctors have told him that it will likely take a year for his wrist to feel back to normal. While the veteran first baseman vows to play through the expected tightness, it wouldn’t be surprising if his power suffered. His situation is yet another question mark in the Yankees’ infield.

source | rotoworld
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Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he doesn’t have any concerns about first baseman Mark Teixeira, who is coming off wrist surgery, being ready by opening day, according to the New York Post. “Guys have come back from this, and have done pretty well. I think you have to be patient with it. I think we’ll have to watch him closely, and if he needs a day off here and there because of it, we’ll do it. But I feel pretty good about the surgery, and where he’s at, and … spring training, maybe we take it a little bit slower with him, but I think he’ll be ready opening day. I don’t have any concerns about that.”I think for every player, when you come back from a pretty serious injury, there’s always gonna be that in your mind, ‘Is it going to happen again?’ And he’ll have to go through games and drills and let go swinging in a sense where he lets it go. And then he’ll get over those hurdles. It was kind of the same thing that (Mariano Rivera) had to go through with his knee. Mo got over those hurdles, and he never looked back.”

source | CBSsports.com
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Mark Teixeira (wrist) hasn’t had any setbacks in his rehab from wrist surgery this offseason, but until he’s back on the field and going at full speed, he’s hesitant to say he’s fully recovered from his injuries in 2013. He’s been working hard to improve his flexibility, balance and strength in the meantime. “I can be as positive as I can, but until I hit a 95 mph fastball that’s inside, into the second deck, then I’ll go, ‘All right, I’m back,’” he said. “But you can’t do that in a batting cage. Only time will tell.” Wrist injuries can be debilitating for baseball players, causing them to lose much-needed power at the dish. Teixeira currently is pain-free, and doctors say the tendon sheath in his wrist is healing properly. However, he still feels some tightness, although it’s not a major concern in the rehab process. Doctors told him it’ll take up to a year before his wrist feels completely normal again. Teixeira plans to manage the tightness and play through it in 2014. He’s notorious for being a slow starter, so it’ll be tough to tell if his wrist is bothering him if he gets off to another slow start this year.

source | The Wall Street Journal | Daniel Barbarisi

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2014 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4285810523761.245.331.472.803

source | KFFL
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5 to Watch quick links:

[C] [1B] [2B] [3B] [SS] [OF] [SP] [RP] [Prospects]

 

FB2014 Player Links:

 

 

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Grilled Lobster Tails

 

INGREDIENTS

6 lobster tails
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

 

PREPARATION

Preheat grill for medium-high heat.
Cut lobster tails in half lengthwise, exposing flesh.
Combine remaining ingredients in small mixing bowl.
Brush mixture onto flesh side of lobster tails.
Place lobster onto grill and cook for 5-7 minutes, depending on the size of the lobster tail.
Make sure to turn once during cooking process.
Remove from heat and serve.

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