The Heat Index: First Baseman Rankings
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My sincerest apologies for not writing an article last week. Life happened and I wasn’t able to write. This week’s column should be something fun and surprising! Feel free to utilize this in your fantasy leagues as well as showing off your knowledge to friends or enemies.
First base is a position that most look to as a power hitting position. First basemen normally hit in the middle of the order and are some of the better RBI machines. I am going to show my SABR side and get a bit nerdy this week. The following rankings will be based on Runs Created (RC), a Sabermetrics stat invented by Bill James. RC is figured using the following formula: OBP x SLG x AB divided by AB + BB. The formula can get a lot more technical than that so if you want to know the exacts … look it up. RC is a great way to show how much a player is contributing to the team’s run total. With only a few weeks of baseball left, I will try to show rankings for every position before the season ends. Let’s dive in.
1. Casey Kotchman – Rays
Kotchman has been absolutely on fire for the last week. He is hitting .481 and has 9.7 RC in the last seven days. He is only owned in 19.8% of ESPN fantasy leagues and ranks number 17 in points this year. His power is finally starting to rear its ugly head and is a great addition to the .338 BA that ranks him second in the AL. If you need help at first base, pick him up.
2. Prince Fielder – Brewers
It’s no surprise to see Fielder on this list with the monster year he is having. In the past seven days, he has created 7.3 runs with a .429 batting average and has shown no signs of letting up. The Brewers are counting on Fielder to continue producing as they push to win the pennant. Fielder ranks in the top 10 in every batting category and should continue to rake. This year, when he becomes a free agent, the money he will be asking for will be ridiculous; but someone will pay it. My prediction is he will sign a huge deal with either the Dodgers, Orioles or Mets. The long-shot would be him signing with the Yankees as a DH.
3. Michael Morse – Nationals
Talk about breakout year!?! Morse changed a few things in his swing and is seeing the ball very well, which has allowed him to create 7.0 runs over the last week. During that time, he is hitting .423 with two home runs and eight RBIs. He has been a pleasant surprise to an up and coming Nationals team. He doesn’t look like he plans on slowing down any time soon and may become a fixture at first base for the Nats next year.
4. Carlos Pena – Cubs
It shocked me to write Pena’s name just now. Earlier in the season, he couldn’t hit a beach ball thrown by A.J. Burnett if he wanted to. Batting average is still a concern for Pena, but he has been able to create 6.9 runs over the last seven days and seems to be more patient at the plate (2BB/K). The change of scenery may not have done Pena very much good, and it looks like he may be traded sometime in the winter. He is owned in 81.2% of ESPN fantasy leagues, but most people are probably not starting him. Pick him up or even buy low if someone in your league has him on their bench.
5. Aubrey Huff – Giants
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